WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson passed away at the age 79.
WWE confirmed the news Wednesday morning, issuing a lengthy statement.
WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Pat Patterson has passed away at the age of 79.
A true trailblazer of the industry, Patterson was linked to many “firsts” in sports-entertainment throughout his storied career, including the first-ever Intercontinental Title reign and the creation of the Royal Rumble Match. In a career spanning six decades, the renaissance man left an indelible mark on the industry in the ring, on the microphone and behind the scenes.
Patterson began his career in 1958 in his native Canada before becoming a fixture in the Bay Area for nearly two decades. After winning the AWA Tag Team Championship with Ray Stevens in 1978, Patterson moved on to WWE. Under the tutelage of The Grand Wizard, Patterson made an immediate impact and became the first Intercontinental Champion in September 1979. Patterson’s most legendary WWE rivalry was undoubtedly his war with Sgt. Slaughter, which captivated the WWE Universe with Boot Camp Matches and a brutal Alley Fight at Madison Square Garden.
Shortly before his in-ring retirement in 1984, Patterson joined Mr. McMahon as a color commentator. Even after hanging up his boots, Patterson was far from finished reimagining the possibilities of the sports-entertainment industry. In 1988, Patterson brought one of the ring’s most groundbreaking ideas to life by creating the original format for the Royal Rumble Match.
Patterson returned to the ring during WWE’s electric “Attitude Era,” creating many memorable moments alongside Gerald Brisco as one of Mr. McMahon’s hilarious “Stooges.” Patterson even pinned Crash Holly to claim the Hardcore Title. For all his efforts, Pat Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996 by Bret Hart.
In his 25-plus years in WWE, Patterson was synonymous with making history. From the Intercontinental Title to the Royal Rumble Match and beyond, his name will forever be revered in WWE lore. This amazing legacy was captured in Patterson’s 2016 autobiography, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE, a moving chronicle about his life both inside and out of the ring.
WWE extends its condolences to Patterson’s family and friends.
The wrestling world began posting tributes to Pat Patterson on social media, including his peers and talent he has helped along the way.
Loss is incredibly difficult. Those we love are only truly gone if we stop caring. Pat Patterson lived life as it should be lived with passion, love and purpose. He helped so many and always entertained with a story or joke. He will live on in my life always. Love you Patrick.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) December 2, 2020
I just heard the terrible news about the passing of Pat Patterson. I loved the man. I could listen to his stories for hours. One of the all-time great wrestlers, one of the best minds in the business, and a dear friend.#RIPPatPatterson https://t.co/SozhlF8bQY
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) December 2, 2020
Very saddened to hear about the passing of one of my best friends..Pat Patterson. He had an infectious personality where you always wanted to be around him. This photo of Pat, @ShawnMichaels and me was from Wrestlemania 21. Pat helped us create an incredible Story. #RIPHOFer pic.twitter.com/APHVs7hRoi
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) December 2, 2020
Heaven gained an angel! As my heart breaks a bit! Pat Patterson would fill a room w/ laugher, always sit & make me laugh every week in catering by barking & people would wonder where the dog was! Would joke w/ @HEELZiggler & I, & most importantly supported me! #RIPPatPatterson pic.twitter.com/7D65WHToY9
— Dana Brooke WWE (@DanaBrookeWWE) December 2, 2020
This one really hurts.
RIP, Pat Patterson.
Thank you for the laughs, the stories & most importantly, paving the way for us, Canadian wrestlers. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/AauzPuMNhG
— Bollywood Boyz (@BollywoodBoyz) December 2, 2020
#RIPPatPatterson I’m deeply grateful to have grown up with @wwe Hall of Famer, the first-ever Intercontinental Champion, the father of the #RoyalRumble and the first openly gay wrestler of his generation. Thank you for teaching me how to not take it all so seriously. Abooze ❤️
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) December 2, 2020
I can not express how crushed I feel right now with the loss of Pat Patterson. A true member of my family, mentor and dear friend.
I love you Pat.
God speed. pic.twitter.com/FdaAFnsw8m
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) December 2, 2020
Just heard of the passing this morning if the great, Pat Patterson.
True legend of the pro wrestling business.
A wonderful mentor who taught me so much.
RIP old friend. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/t61R9yCze1
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) December 2, 2020
So sad to hear of the passing of @wwe legend Pat Patterson. One of the greatest minds in the business and just an all around great guy. I will miss him and his karaoke! RIP my friend. You are a hero to many! pic.twitter.com/WXFwJ1fjkO
— Charles Robinson (@WWERobinson) December 2, 2020
Pat Patterson knew @WWE was his home away from home, a place where he felt completely accepted and truly loved. Someone like Pat made all the difference because he wasn’t afraid to be himself and he made no apologies for it. Pat did it his way. Rest in power, Pat♥️ pic.twitter.com/3hRYmaCb5W
— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) December 2, 2020
Saddened to hear the news about Pat Patterson. Coming to WWE in 2002 was a “unique” situation. Pat was one of the first to go out of his way and genuinely make me feel at home. We shared many hours, stories, and yes a cocktail or 2. RIP Pat. You did it your way.
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) December 2, 2020
Pat Patterson always sat in or near gorilla and not only watched the shows, but made sure to compliment us on our way back ❤️. But I’ll always remember Pat most for coming to Xmas karaoke in NXT to sing the same song every year! Always the main event. He will be missed.
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) December 2, 2020
I’m truly saddened to hear the passing of Pat Patterson. Always helpful, willing to offer advise, funny and kind to me. A legendary career. x
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) December 2, 2020