Earlier today, the professional wrestling world was struck with devastating news. At 79 years old, WWE Hall of Famer, Pat Patterson, passed away. According to TSN 690 Montreal host Tony Mariano, Patterson passed away at a Miami hospital. It was also said that Patterson suffered from cancer. Later in the day, multiple sources, including WWE, confirmed the news.
#PatPatterson was the #Yoda to my Luke. He taught me 90% of what I know about putting together a wrestling match. He was a confidant, a mentor, a collaborator, a comedian, a singer and most importantly… a friend. I love you Pat…this hockey puck is gonna miss you. pic.twitter.com/FnqzSZD8pH
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) December 2, 2020
Pat Patterson began his professional wrestling career in 1958, wrestling in his native city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In the years that followed, he made his way to the United States, where he earned citizenship. He wrestled largely in the Bay Area, working for such promotions as Pacific Northwest Wrestling and Big Time Wrestling. He won multiple championships during this time before eventually making his way to the World Wrestling Federation, where he would remain until his death.
Arguably Patterson’s greatest in-ring achievement, in the WWE, was being crowned the first-ever Intercontinental Champion in 1979. The legend was that he won the title in a tournament held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However, there is no concrete information to substantiate this and it remains pro wrestling lore to this day. In any event, Patterson would hold the Intercontinental Championship for 233 days before ultimately dropping it to Ken Patera the following year.
When I won the NXT Title, Pat was so proud & so happy, he HAD to be there to celebrate with me.
If you watch it now it’s so funny, all the NXT kids…and Pat Patterson.
He’s the happiest one there.
They told him “Pat you can’t go out there” and he said,
“TRY AND FUCKING STOP ME” pic.twitter.com/jGdFbSjIbp
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) December 2, 2020
Later in his WWE career, Patterson would take on multiple roles, including color commentator and road agent. Patterson was also credited for creating the concept of the Royal Rumble match, a yearly tradition to this very day. In the late 1990s, Patterson became one of Vince McMahon‘s on-screen “Stooges” alongside Gerald Brisco. Together, Patterson and Brisco would do McMahon’s bidding, oftentimes being made to look foolish.
Patterson would remain with WWE in various backstage roles. These included, but weren’t limited to, cast member of the WWE Network reality show Legends House. During the summer of 2019, Patterson appeared on the RAW Reunion episode of the WWE flagship show. On said episode, Patterson pinned Drake Maverick to win the 24/7 Championship; given Patterson’s history with the Hardcore Championship almost two decades prior, this made for a memorable moment. Patterson held the 24/7 Championship at age 78, the oldest individual to win the title in question.
Pat Patterson was more than the first Intercontinental Champion & father of the Royal Rumble Match. He helped lay the foundation for WWE as we know it. His mentorship shaped careers, his creativity sparked innovation and his friendship lifted spirits. Love you, Pat. We miss you. pic.twitter.com/TugpAOrN6O
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) December 2, 2020
The staff at Last Word on Pro Wrestling wish to offer their condolences to the friends, family, and loved ones of Pat Patterson.
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