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Ken Patera


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After watching some of his stuff in the WWF in 1980, he really was a top notch hell at the time. He might make for a good comp. I'm wondering what's out there of him.

 

Couple of posts on his WWF stuff. No complete as I have looked at all the yearly stuff on Graham's site for 1984-85 and 1987-88. But it hits the bigger house shows (MSG, Philly, Boston) and Prime Time.

 

It might be interesting to point KHawk in here for AWA recommendations. There is some New Japan stuff, which I'll have to dig through. He worked in STL and Mid Atlantic.

 

 

John

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1977-78 WWF Run

 

01/17/77 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - MSG

02/07/77 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - MSG

03/07/77 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - MSG

03/28/77 Patera & Stasiak vs Putski & Zbyzsko - MSG

04/25/77 Ken Patera vs Tony Garea - MSG

05/16/77 Ken Patera vs Chief Jay Strongbow - MSG

06/04/77 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - Spectrum

06/27/77 Patera & Volkoff vs Andre Strongbow - MSG

07/09/77 Bruno Sammartino vs. Ken Patera - Spectrum

08/01/77 Ken Patera vs Chief Jay Strongbow - MSG

08/29/77 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - MSG

09/26/77 Patera & Stasiak & Albano vs Strongbow & Garea & Zbyzsko - MSG

11/21/77 Ken Patera vs Dewey Robertson - MSG

01/23/78 Ken Patera vs Chief Jay Strongbow - MSG

02/20/78 Ken Patera vs Peter Miavia - MSG

03/20/78 Patera & Fuji & Tanaka vs Andre & Rhodes & Mascaras - MSG

03/25/78 Bruno Sammartino vs Ken Patera - Spectrum

04/24/78 Ken Patera vs Larry Zbyszko - MSG

05/22/78 Bob Backlund vs Ken Patera - MSG

06/26/78 Ken Patera vs Mil Mascaras - MSG

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1980 WWF Run

 

01/12/80 Ken Patera vs. Ivan Putski - Spectrum

01/21/80 Ken Patera vs Bob Backlund - MSG

02/18/80 Ken Patera vs. Bob Backlund - MSG

03/01/80 Ken Patera vs Dominic DeNucci - Spectrum

03/24/80 Patera & Duncum vs Andre & Patterson - MSG

04/12/80 Ken Patera vs Rene Gouelt - Spectrum

04/21/80 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson - MSG

05/10/80 Ken Patera vs Ivan Putski - Spectrum

05/19/80 Ken Patera vs. Bob Backlund - MSG

06/16/80 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson - MSG

06/21/80 Ken Patera vs Bob Backlund - Spectrum

07/26/80 Ken Patera vs Bob Backlund - Spectrum

08/23/80 Ken Patera vs Gorilla Monsoon - Spectrum

10/11/80 Ken Patera vs Andre the Giant - Spectrum

10/20/80 Ken Patera vs Pedro Morales - MSG

11/08/80 Ken Patera vs Bruno Sammartino - Spectrum

12/08/80 Ken Patera vs Pedro Morales - MSG

12/13/80 Ken Patera vs Bruno Sammartino - Spectrum

12/29/80 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson - MSG

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1984-85 WWF Run

 

08/25/84 Ken Patera vs Pat Patterson - MSG

09/22/84 Ken Patera vs Rick McGraw - MSG

10/13/84 Ken Patera vs Tony Garea - Spectrum

10/22/84 Ken Patera vs Rocky Johnson - MSG

11/26/84 Ken Patera vs David Sammartino - MSG

12/01/84 Ken Patera vs Jose Luis Rivera - Spectrum

01/21/85 Ken Patera vs Andre the Giant - MSG

03/17/85 Patera & Studd & Ventura vs Andre & Snuka & Junkyard Dog - MSG

05/20/85 Ken Patera vs Tony Atlas - MSG

05/18/85 Ken Patera vs Tony Garea - Boston

05/25/85 Hulk Hogan vs Ken Patera - Spectrum

05/26/85 Ken Patera vs Paul Orndorff - Toronto: 06/11/85 PTW

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1987-88 WWF Run

 

04/23/87 Ken Patera vs Hercules - New Haven: 05/16/87 Superstars

05/02/87 Ken Patera vs Honkytonk Man - Boston

05/17/87 Ken Patera vs Honkytonk Man - Toronto

05/18/87 Ken Patera vs Honkytonk Man - MSG

06/20/87 Patera & Hogan vs Race & Hercules - Spectrum

10/07/87 Patera & Muraco & Haynes vs Orton & Islanders - Green Bay: 10/29/87 PTW

11/07/87 Patera & Haynes vs Demolition - Boston

11/07/87 Patera & Haynes vs Demolition - Spectrum

01/06/88 Patera & Haynes vs Race & Hercules - Nashville: 01/18/88 PTW

02/22/88 Ken Patera vs Demolition Ax - MSG

05/27/88 Ken Patera vs Dino Bravo - MSG

06/18/88 Ken Patera vs Dino Bravo - Spectrum

06/21/88 Patera & JYD vs Bravo & Bass - Glens Falls: 07/11/88 PTW

07/14/88 Ken Patera vs Greg Valentine - Cedar Rapids: 07/25/88 PTW

08/29/88 Ken Patera vs Bad News Brown - MSG: SummerSlam

09/10/88 Ken Patera vs The Big Bossman - Boston

09/24/88 Ken Patera vs The Big Bossman - Spectrum

10/25/88 Ken Patera vs Dino Bravo - Baltimore: SNME (quicky)

11/05/88 Ken Patera vs The Red Rooster - Boston

11/15/88 Ken Patera vs Ron Bass - San Francisco: 12/05/88 PTW

11/17/88 Ken Patera vs Bad News Brown - Los Angels

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It might be interesting to point KHawk in here for AWA recommendations.

Here's a timeline and brief overview of Patera's AWA work. I felt explaining what was going on around some of these bouts was important to put the feuds and matchups in proper context.

 

Ken Patera in the AWA: timeline and Significant matchups/feuds/angles

 

Note—bouts/angles on film have been bolded. I may have missed some of them.

 

1st listed match

10/17/81 Rockford, IL @ Boylan High School

Ken Patera drew Tito Santana

 

 

10/22/81 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

Andre the Giant won a 16-man Battle royal by eliminating Ken Patera

 

1st regular TV appearance

11/1/81 Minneapolis TV

Ken Patera beat Ken Fontaine

 

1st teaming with Duncum (Black & Blue Express)

10/25/81 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum beat Billy Robinson & Rene Goulet

 

11/5/81 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

Ken Patera beat Tito Santana

 

Most notable early angle was his interfering in a Jesse Ventura-Hulk Hogan arm wrestling bout and “injuring” the Hulkster:

11/26/81 St. Paul, MN

Arm Wrestling

Hulk Hogan beat Jesse Ventura

 

12/6/81 Minneapolis TV

Tito Santana & Buck Zumhofe no contest Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum

**Notable for Hogan run-in to save faces after Zumhofe gets attacked with his own boom box.

 

This lead to Patera/Duncum beating Hogan/Tito around the horn. After that, Patera beat Hogan by DQ mostly around the horn.

 

Next were 6-man tags. These were still bouts playing off the original tv angle noted above (in addition, Heenan-Zumhofe weasel suit matches also playing off that angle were going around the circuit at this time).

 

2/28/82 Minneapolis, MN @ Auditorium

Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum & Bobby Heenan beat Buck Zumhofe & Hulk Hogan & Baron Von Raschke

**Notable for Hogan going nuts and beating Heenan half to death and getting temporarily suspended for it.

 

Random singles bout:

3/4/82 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

Ken Patera beat Baron Von Raschke

 

For some reason, they killed the Hogan-Patera dynamic in Winnipeg and a few other places with a handicap match. Possibly to make Hulk look stronger for his first bouts vs. Bockwinkel?:

 

4/15/82 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

Handicap Match

Hulk Hogan beat Ken Patera & Bobby Heenan

 

 

6/20/82 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Tito Santana & Rick Martel beat Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum dq

This bout was a precursor to Tito/Rick challenging Gagne/Brunzell in their two excellent tag bouts in July and August in St. Paul. It was a surprise result in that Patera/Duncum would have been expected to get the #1 contender nod at this point, and already had wins over Hulk and Tito in tag bouts. Not on video, unfortunately, but other bouts from this card were filmed so it might come out someday…

 

Ken got a title shot at Otto Wanz but mostly was working with Duncum in various tags and 6-mans through here:

9/12/82 Green Bay, WI @ Brown County Veteran’s Memorial Arena

Ken Patera beat AWA Champion Otto Wanz dq

 

Patera and Duncum wrestled a heel vs. heel bout to a N/C vs. Blackwell and Adnan in September 1982 in Winnipeg. Notable because they got a title shot in November even with the N/C result.

 

Only a one-and-out in Winnipeg for The Flyers vs. the B and B Express. Somewhat surprising:

11/10/82 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

AWA Tag Team Champions Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum

 

Patera/Duncum started getting title shots in St. Paul in September 1982. There was only one encounter that has made it out on film (noted later).

 

10/17/82 St Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Hulk Hogan won a battle royal

Andre the Giant & Buck Zumhofe beat Ken Patera & Bobby Heenan

This is notable because the battleroyal set up the 4-on-2 bout for the next month after Hogan won and Andre came to his rescue. The Andre match exists, and just a guess but I would bet that Andre was announced as a “mystery partner” for Buck’s final revenge on Patera and Heenan from the tv incident many months prior.

 

The 4-on-2 bout:

11/7/82 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Handicap match

Andre The Giant & Hulk Hogan beat Bobby Heenan & Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum & Nick Bockwinkel

 

Here the High Flyers end the feud in Minneapolis/St. Paul. IIRC They actually forced Duncum to submit in this one to a figure-four:

2/13/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

AWA Tag Team Champions Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat Ken Patera & Bobby Duncum

 

Patera started teaming with Jesse Ventura after this as Duncum was out with that leg injury. They had some title shots and a bunch of six-man tags like below:

 

3/13/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Hulk Hogan & Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat Bobby Heenan & Ken Patera & Jesse Ventura

 

From the Super Sunday card. Lanza was brought back as Heenan’s special surprise for this one to get revenge on the Flyers injuring Duncum:

4/24/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center Super Sunday

Ken Patera & Jesse Ventura & Blackjack Lanza beat Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell & Rick Martel

 

It was just after this card (It would have hit TV in early May IIRC) that Heenan sold Patera’s contract to Kaissie and the Patera/Blackwell team was born. They won the titles relatively quickly:

 

6/26/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell to win AWA Tag Title

 

First Twin Cities Challengers:

7/24/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Mad Dog Vachon & Dick The Bruiser COR (this should read a no contest)

 

Other Twin Cities title bouts:

8/28/83 St Paul, MN @ Civic Center

AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Dino Bravo & Steve O

 

Gagne/Brunzell needed to win to get a title rematch:

9/25/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell & Rick Martel beat Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell & Sheik Adnan

 

10/23/83 St Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Non Title

Mad Dog Vachon & Rick Martel beat AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell

 

..and finally, the Flyers get a Twin Cities rematch:

11/24/83 St Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Special Referee: Ray Stevens

Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell dq

 

Patera and Blackwell did a bit in Memphis. They cut promos in the regular AWA interview setting that were sent down for these:

1/16/84 Memphis, TN @ Mid South Coliseum

AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Crusher Blackwell w Rock and Roll Express

 

1/24/84 Memphis, TN @ Mid South Coliseum

Jerry Lawler & Austin Idol beat AWA Tag Team Champions Jerry Blackwell & Ken Patera dq (some clips MIGHT Be available, I can’t remember.)

 

Random singles bout as Blackwell was in a bout/feud with Crusher:

2/2/84 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada @ Arena

Ken Patera drew Brad Rheingans

 

These next three bouts were filmed for Japanese TV which was following Jumbo’s AWA title defense tour:

 

3/4/84 Rosemont, IL @ Rosemont Horizon

AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Blackjack Mulligan & Jerry Lawler

Lanza got a title shot at Tsuruta on this card, hence the weird Lawler/Mulligan pairing.

 

3/11/84 Green Bay, WI @ Brown County Veteran’s Memorial Arena

Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell dq

 

3/15/84 Salt Lake City, UT @ Salt Palace

AWA Tag Team Champions Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Greg Gagne & The Crusher

 

Patera was heavily involved at the end of this, but not in the cage bout itself. It ended with Verne and others running in to save the Flyers:

3/25/84 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Cage Match

Greg Gagne & The Crusher beat Sheik Adnan & Jerry Blackwell

 

Before this next bout, the Blackjacks came in and challenged Patera/Blackwell to a title match. Patera and Blackwell ended up going crazy on the faces in the tag bout and Wally Karbo was going to suspend them for life and strip them of the tag titles.

4/15/84 Minneapolis TV

Buck Zumhofe & Steve Olsonoski beat Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell dq

One thing I don’t remember is if the McDonalds incident with Patera and Saito was before or after this. Before = a possibly quick setup for a title loss in the wake of the legal issues, and After = fortuitous that they did this sort of thing given the legal issues that came up.

 

Stranger still, you would think that this was an ideal setup for the Blackjacks to get the titles, not Crusher and Raschke. The Blackjacks were not around much after this and never got the titles. Not sure what happened but I suspect Raschke/Crusher were not the original choices to get the tag titles (Hence there being no film of the match, only the post-match celebration).

 

The title change:

5/6/84 Green Bay, WI @ Brown County Veteran’s Memorial Arena

The Crusher & Baron von Raschke beat Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell to win AWA tag title when Crusher pinned Patera in 14:08

 

..and with that, Patera was basically gone.

 

So, as you can see, although Patera was in the AWA for almost two solid years, there isn’t a ton available of his work on video outside of the tag title bouts. There are also several TV squashes available.

In terms of recommendations out of this, from my memory, honestly there isn’t much that really “stands out” in terms of highlighting Patera’s work. I would, off the top of my head, go with the Tito bout, with Blackwell vs. The Flyers in the St. Paul rematch with Stevens as the referee, the TV angle with the Blackjacks from 4/15, the TV angle from 12/6/81, and the 6-man from 2/28/82, the tag match with Blackwell vs. Bravo and Steve O, and the 6-man tag from Super Sunday. Sheiks vs. Lawler/Mulligan is also interesting.

 

I didn’t like the Rheingans draw or the Raschke bout, or the Gagne/Crusher vs. Sheiks matchups.

 

My recommendations might change at some point when I get a chance to review some of these bouts (probably while making a Patera comp), and if that happens I will post it here.

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St. Louis - Larry M DVD's

 

Ken Patera vs. Kerry Brown (STL Vol 3)

Ken Patera vs. Tommy Yates (STL Vol 3)

Interview with Ken Patera (STL Vol 3)

Ken Patera vs Tommy Sharp - Missouri Title (STL Vol 4)

Ken Patera & King Kong Brody vs Rocky Johnson & Pat O'Connor (STL Vol 4)

Ken Patera vs. Kerry Von Erich (STL Vol 5)

Ken Patera vs. Dewey Robertson (STL Vol 7)

Ken Patera & Pat Kelly vs. Bulldog Bob Brown & Rocky Johnson (STL Vol 7)

Ken Patera vs Joe Kirkland (STL Vol 8)

Ken Patera & Crusher Blackwell vs Butch Reed & Spike Huber (STL Vol 10)

Dick The Bruiser vs Ken Patera - Missouri Title (STL Vol 10)

Ken Patera & Dory Funk Jr. vs Ric Flair & Crusher Blackwell (STL Vol 11)

Ken Patera vs Ron Sexton (STL Vol 12)

 

Dan G

Patera & Valentine vs. Brown & Hutchinson (Mike Rogers S23)

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Japan

 

09/30/80 Ken Patera vs Antonio Inoki - NWF Title (NJ Classics)

05/11/84 Ken Patera vs Andre the Giant (NJ Classics)

06/14/84 Patera & Adonis & Murodch vs. Choshu & Yatsu & Saito (NJ Classics)

 

Those are easy to find. The Patera vs Inoki is on the Inoki Box, which would be prime condition.

 

He was all over TV on another series:

 

01/09/81 Ken Patera vs Riki Choshu

01/16/81 Patera & Enforcer vs Inoki & Choshu

01/22/81 Ken Patera vs Tatsumi Fujinami (aired 01/23/81)

01/30/81 Patera & Singh & Allen vs Inoki & Sakaguchi & Choshu

02/04/81 Ken Patera vs Antonio Inoki - NWF Title (aired 02/13/81)

02/06/81 Patera & Duncum vs Sakaguchi & Fujinami

 

This is going to be harder to find. One would have to check with Dan if he's gotten any early 1981 TV. Some does exist:

 

List B

13

Inoki VS Kemper Thera (55/9/30NWF)

Inoki VS Kemper Thera (56/2NWF)

 

List C-5

042

Inoki VS Kemper Thera (56/2/4NWF)

 

053

Nagato VS Kemper Thera (56/1/9)

 

So the second Inoki vs Patera is on a pair of tapes, while the Choshu vs Patera is out there as well. But that's a tough source for Dan. Don't know if he's found anyone better for 1981.

 

John

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All Japan

 

10/21/77 Patera & Brazil vs Baba & Tsuruta - NWA Int'l Tag Title

10/24/77 Ken Patera vs Giant Baba - PWF Title

 

These is 1977 stuff that's out there, and Dan has dug up other stuff from this very series. But I haven't seen any of the key matches listed (these two along with Jumbo vs Wahoo for the UN).

 

John

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Great stuff, Khawk.

 

The title change should or shouldn't be on there? I would think if it exists it needs to be on there given the importance?

 

 

John

The title win is there:

 

6/26/83 St. Paul, MN @ Civic Center

Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell beat Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell to win AWA Tag Title

 

The title loss is not. All that has appeared is the end-of-match celebration in the dressing room with Baron and Crusher. There was a camera there to film the celebration, but since the match has never appeared it either was not filmed for whatever reason or the ending was perhaps botched and it wasn't shown for that reason. The AWA had plenty of chances to include it in their Best of the 80's videos and other specials, but did not..if it exists.

 

Everything in bold on my main lsit is available on video. The bouts listed that are not bolded are not available as far as I know.

 

If a good set of 1982-83 ever shows up, there will probably be more. The Duncum/Patera match vs. The High Flyers from Minneapolis that is bolded just showed up about 6 months ago on a highlight tape of early 1983 stuff.

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On the title change with the High Flyers, my question was more towards whether you'd recommend it being a part of the final list. I probably misread your recommendtions - they may have only been aimed at "good work from Ken" rather than including "also needs to be on the short list for historical reasons". :)

 

 

John

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Shado, the maker of the Ric Flair Legend set, put together a Patera set.

 

It looks like a pretty decent overview for a 3 DVD set, though it probably would be better off w/ more of the JCP films and the strength contest angle that was re-aired on one of the '78 year in review shows that's floating around in great quality.

 

Who has the best version of the TX death match w/ Backlund? It aired on MSG Classics but that was probably clipped at least a little bit.

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As far as Memphis appearances, I was able to find:

 

Lynch #10 ('83 Arena footage) DVD #2:

Jerry Lawler vs. Ken Patera (Why haven't I watched this?)

Lawler, Idol & Valiant vs. Patera & The Assassins

 

Lynch #12 (9/17-11/26/83)

Lawler vs. Patera (Aired 8/20 - clips or JIP?)

 

Lynch's #13 (11/19/83-1/28/84) DVD #2

RNR Express vs. Blackwell & Patera (clips or JIP)

Lawler & Idol vs. Patera & Blackwell (clips or JIP)

 

-----------

 

Elsewhere...

 

Lynch Georgia #3 DVD #1

Tommy Rich vs. Ken Patera

 

Highlights #7 Midwest 1981-82 DVD #2

Flair & Blackwell vs. Dory & Patera

 

NJPW Samurai TV Classics Showa #158

1. Adrian Adonis/Ken Patera/Dick Murodch vs. Hiro Saito/Yoshiaki Yatsu/Riki Choshu (06/14/84)

 

The JCP '78 year in review (specifically Worldwide 12/31/78) has:

 

Tony Atlas Interview (w/ Patera-Atlas tests of strength)

Ken Patera Interview

Johnny Weaver Interview (w/ clips of Patera-Weaver)

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Lynch's #13 (11/19/83-1/28/84) DVD #2

RNR Express vs. Blackwell & Patera (clips or JIP)

Lawler & Idol vs. Patera & Blackwell (clips or JIP)

These are my listings of these two from my Blackwell comp:

 

2) Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell (AWA World Tag Champs) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Memphis, December 1983, clips). Includes promos for the match by both the Sheiks and Morton & Gibson. (total time of clips + promos: 6:02, VG-/VG)

3) Ken Patera & Jerry Blackwell (AWA World Tag Champs) vs. Jerry Lawler & Austin Idol (Memphis, January 1984, clips). Includes promos for the match by both Lawler and The Sheiks. (total time of clips + promos: 5:09, VG-/VG)

 

 

The interviews probably count for at least 90 seconds each out of that, so match time, clipped, would be 3-4 minutes each.

 

***

 

FYI to jdw: I would also include the title win over the Flyers definitely for historical importance, but I will need to watch it again to see where it stands in terms of Ken's work. The other ones jumped out quickly in that regard, although none were a "slam dunk". If/when I make a Patera in the AWA comp, a review of all of these will clarify my muddy memories of the times that I have watched these bouts.

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Also a note, not sure who would be aware of this but Patera's title win over Kevin Von Erich exists on 8mm film. I have it, converted to vhs. As I remember, Patera actually wins the title with his Swinging Full Nelson...puts Kevin out and the ref awards the title to Patera.

 

Being on film, I don't know how that would hold up for review purposes, but historically it would be a very important inclusion.

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