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Pat O'Connor (1924-1990)


Real Name - Patrick John O'Connor
Lifespan - 8/22/24 - 8/15/90 
6' 230 lbs. - Auckland, New Zealand

Athletic Background - Freestyle Wrestling (1950 British Empire Games - Silver Medalist), Rugby

Teacher(s) - Len Levy, Joe Pazandak, Tony Stecher, Verne Gagne

Professional Background - n/a

Aliases - none

Peak Years - 1954 -1961

Place in HistoryThe name Pat O'Connor is known even by the modern fans, but what exactly he did is perhaps unknown past vaguely being a top star. He was an incredible worker who played the traditional babyface with excellent technical skill and was the NWA World Champion for over two years. O'Connor built his name up in the 1950s and 1960s winning "world" and top regional titles in Florida, Montreal, Kansas City, Toronto, St. Louis and others. He was a constant challenger to Lou Thesz and Whipper Watson during their reigns and vice-versa, he also worked with memorable characters like Gorgeous George, Dory Funk Sr. and The Crusher. During his reign, he was named the first AWA champion, but was injured and couldn't defend against Verne Gagne, who was awarded the belt and so that new "world" title was born. Finally his reign ended when the legendary Buddy Rogers defeated him in front of a record setting 30,000 in Chicago. In the years following that O'Connor continued to work all over, forming a legendary championship team with Wilbur Snyder.  He finished his career working, refereeing, promoting and booking the St .Louis and Kansas City offices into the 1980s. Pat O'Connor's legacy has been a bit hampered in recent years by the fact he was not regarded as a particularly good worker and some felt his in-ring work really slipped in his later years.  After   those Missouri promotions closed down, O'Connor largely moved into the background and died soon after without receiving much accolades. He was one of the best wrestlers of the 1950s and 1960s, but is often forgotten for his great contributions to pro-wrestling's great history.

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