WRESTLING HERITAGE

B: Ivor Pat Barratt

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Ivor Pat Barratt
(Known outside the UK by his  surname Pat Barrett)
Despite much of his career working overseas, even in the 1960s he travelled far and wide, and without any colourful gimmick Pat Barratt was a memorable figure. The red haired Irishman with the round, smiling face was an easy man to like.

We remember him entering the ring carrying his shillelagh, a sure warning to any wayward villain. Not long after his professional debut in 1958 Ivor had itchy feet and was soon working regularly on the continent, especially in Germany. With his wanderlust unsatisfied in the winter of 1962 Pat  travelled across the Atlantic and gained  success and fame in North America, working for both the NWA and WWWF.  

Between 1966 and 1968 he returned to Britain frequently enough for fans to remember him, but was simultaneously developing an American career forming successful tag partnerships (and later feuds) with both Tim Geoghegan and Don Leo Jonathan, winning the NWA Canadian tag team title with both of them Further success came in winning the WWWF tag team culminating championship alongside Dominic Denucci. On television in Britain opponents included Docker Don Stedman, Josef Zaranoff, Johnny Yearsley, Bruno Elrington and Steve Veidor. Commentator Kent Walton would wax lyrical about his overseas accomplishments, which were admittedly something of a novelty in those days.

Pat moved on to Australia and is remembered by Heritage's Alan Smith, "Irish Pat Barratt was in Australia in the early seventies, wrestling in a mask as "Mr Wrestling." The climax of his tour was a very entertaining rivalry with Bobby Shane's protegee, the Australian George Barnes, who also donned a mask as "The ORIGINAL" Mr Wrestling. The two hooded grapplers fought a series of bouts, during which Barratt was unmasked and resumed his original name, and finally a loser leaves town match which the heel also won."

Ed Lock provided more information of the time down under. He told us Pat and Tony  Kontellis won the vacant Austra Asian Tag Team Title in a tournament on 5 April 1974 in Sydney when they defeated Bobby Shane and the masked Original Mr Wrestling (George Barnes) in the tournament final. Shane and the Original Mr Wrestling regained the  Title on 19 April 1974 in Sydney.

On 15th May 1975 Pat wrestled Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight championship, losing by a knock out. Having wrestled throughout the United States, Australia, new Zealand and the Pacific islands Pat returned to Ireland where it has been reported he had his last contest in 1985. However, the Staffordshire Sentinel of 23rd February, 1987, reported Pat defeating Soldierboy Prince at the Victoria Hall on the previous Saturday and a loss to Steve Veidor in April, 1986.

Pats autobiography, called ‘Everybody Down Here Hates Me’ recounted stories from his wrestling career. Following his retirement from wrestling he pursued his interest in horse riding.

Ivor Pat Barratt, born 4th September, 1941 and died 28th November, 2021

Pat Barrett in Australia

by Graeme Cameron

Pat Barrett was a familiar face to Australians in the Seventies, touring every year from 1971-74 and again in 1978. 

He first appeared in October, 1971.  After some bouts with lower level wrestlers he was paired with top blue-eye Mario Milano against Killer Karl Kox and Beautiful Brutus. These teams appeared in a number of main events. They were, on occasions, joined by the 6'10" Tex McKenzie, who alongside the 6'6" Milano somewhat dwarfed Pat. His only significant singles match was a loss to Brutus. On the final card of the year he teamed with the 43-stone Haystacks Calhoun for a victory over Kox and Tiger Jeet Singh

Pat returned in January, 1972 when he was paired with Native American legend Wahoo McDaniel in main event tag team matches against Kox and Singh. In singles he recorded a TV draw with Kox and  losses against Singh and The Stomper (Archie Gouldie of Stampede fame). He toured briefly in March, 1973 during the period when the Tennessee promoters were in charge, They didn't know how to use him and the only recorded matches are losses against Waldo Von Erich and Paul DeMarco (who was the matchmaker at the time).

He next returned in March, 1974 as the masked Mr. Wrestling. He became embroiled in a month long rivalry with local villain George Barnes, which culminated in a mask v hair match won by Barrett and saw Barnes getting his head shaved. The next day on TV  a new masked wrestler, The Original Mr. Wrestling made his debut (guess who). Les Thornton made his Australian debut on the same show. The following week on TV an unmasked Barrett gave  an interview stating Mr. Wrestling  had left the country. Pat won a tournament for the vacant tag team title, teaming with local Greek star Tony Kontellis but it was as Pat Barrett, not Mr. Wrestling (Les Thornton was also a participant in this tournament, teaming with American Don Carson). They only held the title for two weeks before losing it to Bobby Shane and The Original Mr. Wrestling. On debut, Les Thornton had been billed as British Commonwealth heavyweight champion. Pat Barrett challenged him all around the country in matches which were under British (Mount Evans) rules

He made his final tour in the first quarter of 1978. No results survive from this period apart from one card which shows Pat Barrett losing by disqualification to American Bobby Hart

Pat Barrett did indeed hold the WWF tag team title with Dominic DeNucci, but he didn't actually win it. DeNucci won the title with Puerto Rican Victor Rivera. Rivera left the promotion a few weeks later and Barrett was his replacement. They defended the title for only 23 days before losing it to The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan). Sadly, Blackjack Lanza died just a week after Pat Barrett. What is often forgotten is that Pat Barrett was NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion for almost 3 months in 1976, although, again he appears to have been awarded the title rather than winning it in a match.

02/12/2021: Page added
09/01/2021: Pat Barrett in Australia added
13/02/2022: Page reviewed