This Month on WWE Classics On Demand: Pat Patterson’s Classic Matches

Last week I purchased the WWE on Demand service and I’ve enjoyed it so far. If you have an extra $9 lying around each month it’s well worth it. Since some Inside Pulse readers may not get the service, or may want a review of some of the features before they watch them, I decided to create a weekend column that will review the content available each month on WWE on Demand.

Each month, WWE on Demand highlights a Hall of Fame performer and puts up some of their classic matches. This month’s featured superstar is Pat Patterson, the first Intercontinental Champion (after winning the infamous tournament in Rio de Janeiro) and McMahon crony of the late 1990s.

WWWF North American Championship Match: Ted DiBiase (Champion) vs. Pat Patterson (w/The Grand Wizard):

This is from Championship Wrestling on June 19, 1979 from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino are on commentary. If you think this is going to be a combustible commentary team think again because Bruno doesn’t say much. DiBiase was the first North American champion, getting the title in March 1979 after he joined the WWWF. For pro wrestling historians, the North American Championship is the predecessor of the Intercontinental title but more on that later. Patterson attacks DiBiase before the opening bell but DiBiase quickly fires back. It’s so weird seeing DiBiase without facial hair. DiBiase hits a knee drop for two. A dropkick sends Patterson to the floor and goes to work on the arm when Patterson rolls back in. To DiBiase’s credit, he wrenches and knee drops the arm to keep the crowd alive. DiBiase gets a couple of near-falls from an armbar and Patterson eventually gets to a standing position and DiBiase ends up on the floor after Patterson side steps his charge. Patterson takes DiBiase into the timekeepers table, while still standing in the ring. You might wonder how that’s possible but the ring isn’t far off the floor. DiBiase gets into the ring and makes the comeback, but Patterson whips him into the referee to escape a headlock. Patterson pulls out a foreign object (or international object if you prefer) and clocks DiBiase with it to win the title at 8:32. A few months after this Patterson “won” the infamous tournament in Rio de Janeiro to unify his North America title with the South American Championship and create the Intercontinental title. So now you know where the “Intercontinental” in that belt comes from. This was a pretty boring match, but the crowd was into it. Grade: D

Pat Patterson vs. “Olympic Strongman” Ken Patera:

This match is from a Madison Square Garden show on December 29, 1980 and is a few weeks after Patera lost the Intercontinental title (that he won from Patterson) to Pedro Morales. Howard Finkel tells us that two all-star bouts follow, which I assume are the headline bouts. Vince McMahon is on commentary and tells the fans at home that the show has gone long and they won’t be able to show the main events. Wow, the WWWF was doing bait and switch as early as 1980! Patterson attacks Patera before the referee finishes checking him for foreign objects and the action quickly spills to the floor where Patterson rams Patera’s head into the guardrail. Back in, Patterson pounds away and traps Patera in a figure-four. Patera easily gets to the ropes to force a break and catches Patterson with a forearm to take the advantage. A suplex gets two. Patera knocks Patterson to the floor with a knee and hits him with a chair. Patterson takes a while to get back in so Patera yells at some fans at ringside. Patera slams Patterson and drops an elbow for two. Front facelock time but Patterson’s arm only drops once and he goes to the eyes. Patterson slingshots Patera into the corner for the double KO and covers him for two. A small package gets two. A blind charge leads to Patterson getting trapped in Patera’s full nelson, but Patterson kicks off of the middle turnbuckle and falls on top of Patera for two. The crowd bought thought as the finish and I have a feeling it’s all going downhill from here. A slugfest ensues between both guys, which Patera comes out on top of and the referee calls for the bell at 7:31. The crowd is puzzled until Finkel says that the referee disqualified Patera. This is one of those rare times when you’ll see a referee disqualify a wrestler for not giving a clean break. The match was picking up steam before that horrible finish. Grade: D+

Pat Patterson vs. Kevin Sullivan:

This is from Tampa, Florida on the Championship Wrestling from Florida program in 1977. Gordon Solie and Patterson are on commentary. Patterson is playing the heel here. Patterson has an altercation with Mike Graham before the match and when it gets started Sullivan unloads in the corner and dropkicks Patterson out of the ring. The match is subsequently clipped all over the place which makes it tough to recap. Patterson works the leg with the help of the ring post and gets the submission with a figure-four at 1:48 shown. Graham charges back into the ring and forces Patterson to flee. Can’t grade this because of the cutting of the match.

The Final Report Card: A sub-par collection of matches this month, but it does offer an interesting glance at Ted DiBiase Sr.’s first run in the WWE. Plus, if you are unfamiliar with the early days of the Intercontinental title it’s a nice glance at that era.

Overall Grade: D+

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