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Ken Patera

      

Real Name - Kenneth Wayne Patera
Birthdate - 11/6/41
6' 235 lbs. - Portland, OR

Athletic Background - Olympic Lifting [`72 Olympics], Shotput [`68 Olympic Tryouts], Track & Field (Discus) [Brigham Young University] , Track & Field (High Jump & High Hurdles), Wrestling [High School]

Teacher(s) - Verne Gagne, Wahoo McDaniel, Billy Robinson (`72 Camp)

Professional Background - AWA(`73), IWE(`73), Texas(`74), Georgia(`75), Mid-Atlantic(`75), Tri-State(`76), WWWF(`76-`77), Mid-Atlantic(`78), St. Louis(`80-`81), WWF(`80), Georgia(`81), AWA(`82-`83), Memphis(`82), WWF(`83), WWF(`87-`88), AWA(`89), CWA(`91), Indies(`90-`96)

Aliases - none

Groups - Heenan Family, Sheik's Army

Peak Years - `76-`84


Finisher(s) - 
- Swinging Neckbreaker (Swinging Full Nelson)
- Bearhug

Favorites -
- Throwing Bodyslam
- Suplex
- High Knee
- Small Package
- Forearm


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power10 
 Strikes

Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat
 Legacy


Place in History - In the 1970s and 1980s, Ken Patera, a former Olympian seemed like the most unlikely of heels, but he was one of the best. As a result, he was one of the strongest pushed. Patera was a natural athlete and his credentials are impressive. He'd been very successful with several gold medals in the Pan-American Games, however injuries spoiled his Olympic appearance. While him going into pro-wrestling as a gold medalist lifter might have been catapulted him to instant success, Olympic success might have actually prevented him from jumping to pro-wrestling when he did. However, the bronze medalist was still young enough and healthy enough to make big waves. Thickly muscled in a period where that was still a novelty, Patera's legitimate strength was a central feature in his offense and it made him look as credible as anyone. Furthermore, Ken Patera was a talented worker and was pushed strongly everywhere. He showed a knack for having good matches with almost everyone and that afforded him numerous quality programs in addition to his pushes. Although he was not the best interview at the time, Patera with his blond mane, well-timed posing and arrogance was a tremendous heel. Unfortunately, right when his career was at its pinnacle, Patera and Masa Saito had a bizarre incident were they supposedly vandalized a McDonald's and then mixed it up with some police officers. It landed them in prison for two years and Patera returned to a world that did not seem to want him anymore. Sadly, his final few years in the sport all but killed his legacy. Ken Patera is now remembered as someone who had natural ability and worked hard to get to a certain level in a couple sports, but choked in the clutch and never fully achieved the level he could have or should have. It is an inaccurate assessment. He was a world class athlete in a couple sports and pro-wrestling as well. His work, his ability to draw heat and his success in numerous territories cannot be denied and Ken Patera should be remembered as one of the premier pro-wrestlers of his era.
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