The Ken Patera Story
- Today, we’ve got another Coliseum Video Review and this time out it’s the one video that many CV fans are afraid to watch. But don’t fret ladies and gents, The Millennium Man’s got it covered; it’s The Ken Patera Story. It was released in 1987 and was the 43rd video produced by the good folks at Coliseum Video. Let’s proceed . . . how bad could it be?
- We are welcomed by the two and the onlies, Craig DeGeorge and Johnny V.
- Intercontinental Title Match: Pat Patterson vs. Ken Patera in MSG from 1981 --- We’re JIP and Patty P is defending. Patera’s shoulder meets the post as Patterson gets the 1 - - - 2 - - - Foot on the rope. Patty’s pissed but sees Patera from the corner of his eye and continues his assault. Ref gets bumped along with Patterson. Patera hits a knee from the second rope for the 1 - - - 2 - - - Foot on the - - - 3!!! Ref didn’t see the foot on the rope. (Seinfeld Mode on) That’s a shame (Seinfeld mode off). Still, a fairly innovative finish for 1981 and all. Ya know, when these twenty minute matches are clipped to three, they become very watchable.
- Ken Patera and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on TNT from April of 1985 --- This would only be a month or two before Patera got arrested. Heenan makes a false claim that Patera is undefeated. He then makes a token threat to Hulk Hogan on behalf of Patera and Studd.
- Ken Patera vs. Ronnie D from WWF TV --- Jesse Ventura and Jack Reynolds (I think) on commentary. Squashola match to showcase Kenny. Lots of choking and elbows by Patera. He does the fun heel tactic of pulling him up at 2 a couple times. Swinging full nelson and it’s all over. How ‘bout that . . . the early years of Ken Patera covered in just a hair over eight minutes.
- It’s now time for The Ken Patera Story hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund --- Okie shills Patera’s amateur background. Clips from TNT are shown of Patera. It seemed that Patera was too soft spoken to be a dominant heel. BUT DIDYOU KNOW . . . that it was the influence of one Bobby Heenan that led the Olympic hero into a life of crime and two years in JAIL?!?!? This segment is being produced like a piece out of 60 Minutes. Gene goes through the story that Patera was denied service at a fast food restaurant and that Patera and a co-defendant started to throw rocks at the store windows. Not even his Olympic background could save Kenny now! Patera goes on to cut a promo from jail. He’s awfully well-dressed for an inmate. Patera lets Heenan know that he’s coming for him, Grrrrr! We cut to Patera becoming a free man and who is the first guy he meets up with? Mean Gene Baby! We now cut to the same promo except Patera is working out in this one. You really can’t be working out that hard if you can cut a coherent interview during your reps. This music in the background is quite creepy.
- Interview w/ Bobby Heenan --- Mean Gene conducting this one in front of a gray screen. Heenan denies any responsibility for Patera’s problems. Heenan goes onto accept a challenge for a debate with Patera.
- Ken Patera vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in a Debate from Superstars --- Mean Gene is moderating. I wonder if this can reach the intellectual highs of Steiner/Nowinski. We shall see. Heenan bashes Patera and tells him he should still be making license plates. Patera repeats the same 2 lines over and over. “As I’ve stated before, I’ve paid my debt. I’m proud of my amateur records. I’ve paid my debt. My debt is paid. I’m coming after you.” Heenan reads a letter in which the audio gets bleeped out and the following message flashes on the screen, “The producers have been forced to censor Mr. Heenan’s remarks due to their heinous nature.” Why can’t they do this during HHH interviews? Offbeat HHHate RULES! Seriously, what was the deal behind the censoring? Patera seems peeved about Heenan neglecting him. Heenan “could give a DAMN!” I’ve got to side with Heenan on this one. Heenan starts whipping Patera with his belt which proves to be a mistake. Patera counters, ties the belt around Heenan’s neck, and snaps him to the mat. This leads to Heenan wearing a neck brace. Well, now it’s REVENGE TIME!!!
- Ken Patera vs. Hercules w/ Heenan and King Harley Race from Superstars --- This is Patera’s first match in two years. Hercules attacks before the bell. Patera tries to fight back but Herc rakes his eyes and regains the advantage. McMahon claims all Heenan has is a strained neck. This prompts Jesse to threaten to tie his belt around Vince’s neck and throw him around. HAHA! VKM’s response . . . “I don’t think we have time for that.” Backbreaker by Herc. Herc now slaps on a bearhug. Patera breaks the hold and nails the mythical figure with a clothesline. A couple of Patera bodyslam-heaves send Hercules from one end of the ring to the other. I was always a mark for those Patera slams. Bearhug by Patera but before Herc can give up, Race comes in for the DQ. A 2-on-1 beatdown ensues until Billy Jack Haynes makes the save for Ken.
- Ken Patera vs. Jimmy Jack Funk from SuperStars --- You read me right. Insert promo from Heenan threatening Patera some more airs as Funk has the early advantage. Patera counters with a clothesline, punches, and an inverted atomic drop. Vertical suplex gets 2. Bearhug by Patera is enough for the quick submission victory.
- Ken Patera vs. Frankie Lane from Superstars --- You read me right again! Even DeGeorge admits that this match sucks in so many words. Lane looks like an older Nick Bockwinkle. Yes, an OLDER Bockwinkle! The Heenan Family (Heenan, Hercules, Race, Orndorff, and Bundy) are in the aisleway. Patera bullies Lane around for a minute or two and finishes him off with a bearhug. The Heenan Family comes to the ring and each wrestler takes a side of the ring surrounding Patera. The numbers quickly become too much for the Pan-Am Champ to absorb. Patera takes a 4-on-1 whoopin’. Heenan takes off his belt and each member takes turns whipping Patera’s back with it. Crowd is screaming for Hogan. No Hogan today kiddies! Jesse compares this to Spartacus. The belt ends up around Patera’s neck as three officials come in to break it up. Quite an overlooked beatdown as I think it holds up pretty well today.
- Snake Pit w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan --- Roberts hints that Heenan could use some protection. So The Brain introduces each of his Family members (sans Andre) one-by-one. Heenan seems pumped and makes some more threats the way of the ex-con Ken Patera.
- Ken Patera vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart from MSG --- For whatever reason, DeGeorge and Johnny V are overdubbing the commentary. This is right before Honky would win the I-C Title. Patera hits his patented slams early. “Man, those musical notes are bouncin’ off the keyster of the Honky Tonk Man!” exclaims JV. Honky stalls a bit, no really he does! Patera dominates some more and lets Honky perfect his atomic drop sell. Honky takes a walk, but decides to come back if Patera watches the hair. Patera loses the advantage when he throws his shoulder into the ringpost for the 12,587th time in his career. Honky works the arm and shoulder. Typical Honky offence follows until he misses a kneedrop of sorts. Patera takes control and Honky’s begging off. Patera with a bodyslam for 2 when Honky gets his foot on the ropes. Hart jumps on the apron distracting The World’s Strongest Man but he sees Honky coming and slaps on his bearhug. Hart runs in for the DQ though. “Booooo”, says the crowd. Patera ends up getting them BOTH in the bearhug simultaneously! Nice spot. Not a God-awful match or anything. Fun stuff for 1987.
- Main Event: WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Ken Patera vs. Hercules and King Harley Race w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan from the Spectrum --- Craig DeGeorge and the Great Dick Graham on commentary. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve always been a Dick Graham mark. Heenan suggests the crowd shall bow to the King of Wrestling. No one bows, which inspires The Brain to tap the microphone a few times, “Is this thing on?” Haha! Faces clean house early with Hogan doing most of the cleaning. Hogan’s wearing white if you’re keeping score at home. Hogan and Race start with Race getting a quick advantage. Hogan mini-Hulks up and clotheslines Race 360 (Monsoonism) over the top rope. Patera and Hercules tag in and Graham marks out. God bless him! Patera chucks Herc into Race. The faces then ping pong Herc around for a bit. Hogan tags in and surprisingly enough becomes the face in peril. Piledriver and a headbutt by Race gets a 2. Herc in and he hits the bearhug. When the guy you’re giving the bearhug to is bigger than you, you’d think the effect of it would be minimal at best. Eh, I dunno. Hogan fights back and nails the dastardly one with a clothesline and makes the hot tag to Patera. Quick bearhug by Patera which is broken up by Race. Race tags in and gets two suplexes for two-counts thanks to Hogan saving each time. Race misses a headbutt and Patera tags The Hulkster back in. Hogan wipes the mat of the heels. Big boot and legdrop on Race BUT Heenan jumps on the apron which gives Hogan the perfect excuse to hit a guy wearing a neckbrace. Hogan and Patera double-clothesline Race and Hogan gets the easy 1-2-3 victory.
- Closing credits roll and previews of The Best of the WWF Volume 14, George “The Animal” Steele, and The WWF’s Most Embarrassing Moments send us off to bed.
- Final Thoughts --- Nothing to see here. It’s not a horrible tape or anything, but there’s nothing to it. It’s a mere 65 minutes long and isn’t worth the time or money to hunt it down on eBay. However, there are worse ways to spend an hour. If you were to pop this in the ‘ol VCR, I think you would know what to expect. Thanks for reading and as always, feedback is appreciated.