Thunderbolt Patterson

Last updated
Thunderbolt Patterson
Birth nameClaude Patterson
Born (1941-07-08) July 8, 1941 (age 78)
Waterloo, Iowa [1]
Residence Atlanta, Georgia
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) K.O. Patterson
Sweet Daddy Brown
Thunderbolt Patterson
Billed from Atlanta, Georgia
Trained byPat O'Connor
Steve Kovacs
Debut1964 [1]

Claude Patterson (born July 8, 1941) is an American retired professional wrestler, ring name Thunderbolt Patterson. He is best known for his efforts at starting a labor union for professional wrestlers. He began his career in 1964 and wrestled primarily in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Professional wrestling entertainment form that mimics contact sports

Professional wrestling is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on - and evolved from - classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included.

A ring name is a name used for professional purposes by a professional wrestler, martial artist or boxer.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.


Professional wrestling career

Patterson had grown up in Iowa and worked for John Deere in Waterloo, Iowa when he broke into professional wrestling in the Kansas City area. [1] Promoter Gus Karras put Patterson in matches against Don Soto in 1964. [1] In 1965, Patterson moved to Texas and worked with promoter Dory Funk Sr.. [1] The following year, he traveled to California, where he held the WWA Tag Team Championship with Alberto Torres. [1] He also continued to work in Texas, where he worked as a villainous character in Dallas until he was turned on by his partner Boris Malenko, Fritz Von Erich had a Russian chain match with Malenko for Patterson's contract which Malenko owned.. [1]

John Deere American corporation

John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company, an American corporation that manufactures agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains used in heavy equipment, and lawn care equipment. In 2018, it was listed as 102nd in the Fortune 500 America's ranking and was ranked 394th in the global ranking. The company also provides financial services and other related activities.

Waterloo, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. and the city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The NWA Americas Tag Team Championship was a professional wrestling tag team title in the National Wrestling Alliance's NWA Hollywood Wrestling based out of Los Angeles, California.

In 1969, he worked for Big Time Wrestling in Michigan and Ohio.

In 1970, he feuded with Jose Lothario and held the Florida version of the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship. [1]

The Florida version of the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship was a secondary professional wrestling championship defended sporadically in the National Wrestling Alliance's Florida territory, Championship Wrestling from Florida. As its name suggests, the title was contested in matches in which the participants wore brass knuckles and it existed from 1960 until the title was abandoned, no earlier than late 1984.

Patterson agreed to work for an outlaw promotion (that is, one outside of the NWA) run by Ann Gunkel, the widow of his old friend and Georgia promoter Ray Gunkel, in the 1970s. [1] He also spoke out against poor working conditions for wrestlers and sued for racial discrimination, and as a result, he was blacklisted from wrestling. [1] He had been complaining about racism from promoters for many years (he would later recall that only Dory Funk Sr. had backed him) and wanted to start a wrestlers' union, a dream he shared with Jim Wilson a former NFL player and wrestler, himself blacklisted. It would be years, with Patterson working at the Los Angeles Times in the interim, before he would get another shot, when Dusty Rhodes took ill in Florida.

Ray Gunkel American professional wrestler and promoter

Raymond Fred "Ray" Gunkel was an American professional wrestler and promoter in the state of Georgia. He died of heart trauma after a match in Savannah, Georgia in which he defeated Ox Baker.

<i>Los Angeles Times</i> Daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the third-largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.

Dusty Rhodes (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., better known as "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, was an American professional wrestler, booker, and trainer who most notably worked for the National Wrestling Alliance, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the World Wrestling Federation, later known as the WWE. Following his retirement from wrestling, he made occasional on-air appearances on WWE television and pay-per-views and worked as a backstage booker and producer in WWE's NXT developmental territory. Billed as "the son of a plumber", Rhodes did not have a typical wrestler's physique; his character was that of the "common man", known for the personality exhibited in his interviews. WWE chairman Vince McMahon remarked that no wrestler "personified the essence of charisma quite like Dusty Rhodes".

In 1976, he won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship from Bruiser Brody. [1] In 1977 He scored a surprise pinfall win over The Sheik in Toronto for the U.S. title but lost three weeks later.

The NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship was a major title in Championship Wrestling from Florida, USA and is now the major title in NWA Florida Wrestling Alliance. It started in 1937 and was abandoned in 1949. It was picked back up in 1966 by CWF and lasted until 1987 when the company was purchased by Jim Crockett Promotions. In 1988, the newly created Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), soon renamed Pro Wrestling Federation (PWF), picked it back up in 1988 and it continued its lineage through NWA Florida, until they ceased operations in 2006. In 2009, Pro Wrestling Fusion revived the title until they left the NWA in 2011. For several months in 2012, a new Championship Wrestling from Florida affiliated with the NWA, briefly reviving the title until NWA Florida Underground Wrestling took over the championship.

Bruiser Brody American professional wrestler

Frank Donald Goodish was an American professional wrestler who earned his greatest fame under the ring name Bruiser Brody, he also worked as King Kong Brody, The Masked Marauder, and Red River Jack. Over the years Brody became synonymous with the hardcore wrestling brawling style that often saw one or more of the participants bleeding by the time the match was over. In his prime he worked as a "special attraction" wrestler in North America, making select appearances for various promotions such as World Class Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, Central States Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and the American Wrestling Association among others. As well as getting regular work in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Patterson joined Ole Anderson as a tag team partner in the early 1980s and they briefly held the NWA National Tag Team Championship. [1] Ole's kayfabe nephew, a young Arn Anderson, came to the sport, and Ole, saying he was "tired of carrying guys like Patterson and Dusty Rhodes" broke up with Patterson, and joined Arn in what would be the foundation for the Four Horsemen which would include NWA Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard.

The NWA National Tag Team Championship was the major tag team title in the NWA-affiliated Georgia Championship Wrestling from 1980 until 1986. The championship was introduced in November 1980 when Georgia Tag Team Champions The Fabulous Freebirds won a tournament to determine the first champions, defeating Stan Frazier and Robert Fuller in the final. They were introduced as the Georgia and National Tag Team Champions and carried a trophy to the ring representing the National title as they wore belts which represented the Georgia title.

In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. The term kayfabe has evolved to also become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.

Arn Anderson American professional wrestler

Martin Anthony Lunde, better known by his ring name Arn Anderson, is an American road agent and retired professional wrestler and author. His career has been highlighted by his alliances with Ric Flair and various members of the wrestling stable The Four Horsemen in the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling. After his retirement Anderson worked as producer for WWE until 2019. On March 31, 2012, Anderson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen.

Patterson retired from the ring in 1993 (his last match was at Slamboree '93, where he teamed with Brad Armstrong to defeat Ivan Koloff and Baron von Raschke). [1] He would also mentor Ice Train, until retiring completely in 1994.

On July 27,2019 Patterson was inducted the 2019 Class of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in his hometown of Waterloo,IA

Patterson is regularly mentioned by commentators Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino on the Ring of Honor wrestling promotion's Ring of Honor Wrestling syndicated television show. They often refer to Caprice Coleman as his favorite wrestler.

Personal life

In 1988, he was a labor organizer for Service Employees International Union in Atlanta. [1]

After retiring from professional wrestling, he began running a Christian camp for children. [1] Patterson is also an ordained minister. [1]

Championships and accomplishments

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Johnson, Steven (August 14, 2008). "Thunderbolt Patterson still 'on top'". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  2. Johnson, Mike (May 21, 2019). "2019 Tragos/Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class Announced". PWInsider. Retrieved May 23, 2019.