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Thunderbolt Patterson

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Birth name  Claude Patterson
Trained by  Pat O'Connor
Debut  1964
Retired  1994
Name  Thunderbolt Patterson
Billed from  Atlanta
Role  Professional wrestler

Thunderbolt Patterson CANOE SLAM Sports Wrestling Thunderbolt Patterson still on top

Ring name(s)  K.O. PattersonSweet Daddy BrownThunderbolt PattersonT-Bolt
Residence  Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Ole Anderson & Thunderbolt Patterson split up

Claude Patterson (born July 8, 1941) is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Thunderbolt Patterson. Patterson 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.


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Professional wrestling career

Thunderbolt Patterson Thunderbolt Patterson Crockett Foundation

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. Promoter Gus Karras put Patterson in matches against Don Soto in 1964. In 1965, Patterson moved to Texas and worked with promoter Dory Funk Sr.. The following year, he traveled to California, where he held the WWA Tag Team Championship with Alberto Torres. 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..

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

Thunderbolt Patterson Thunderbolt Patterson Online World of Wrestling

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

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. He also spoke out against poor working conditions for wrestlers and sued for racial discrimination, and as a result, he was blacklisted from wrestling. 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.

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

Patterson joined Ole Anderson as a tag team partner in the early 1980s and they briefly held the NWA National Tag Team Championship. 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.

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). He would also mentor Ice Train, until retiring completely in 1994.

Patterson is regularly mentioned by commentators Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino on the Ring of Honor wrestling promotions 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.

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

Championships and accomplishments

  • Championship Wrestling from Florida
  • NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Florida version) (1 time)
  • NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Continental Wrestling Association
  • CWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Georgia Championship Wrestling
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Mr. Wrestling (1), Tommy Rich (1), and Tony Atlas (1)
  • NWA Georgia Television Championship (2 times)
  • NWA National Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Ole Anderson
  • International Championship Wrestling
  • ICW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Maple Leaf Wrestling
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Toronto version) (1 time)
  • Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
  • NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jerry Brisco
  • NWA Big Time Wrestling
  • NWA American Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Wahoo McDaniel (2) Toru Tanaka (1), and Johnny Valentine (1)
  • NWA Tri-State
  • NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Tri-State version) (1 time)
  • NWA Western States Sports
  • NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version) (4 times)
  • World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles)
  • WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Alberto Torres
  • References

    Thunderbolt Patterson Wikipedia