WWE Hall Of Famer Pat Patterson has passed away today. He was 79 years old.
It has been a sad day for entire pro wrestling world as they lost the one of the great legend of the company earlier today. However, entire company came as an unit to pay their tribute to this late great legend which included Roman Reigns, John Cena, The Rock, Triple H and many other WWE superstars.
The news was shared by Tony Marinaro on Twitter. He revealed that Patterson breathed his last in a hospital early on Wednesday morning. He had a long battle with cancer prior to his passing.
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
No words can describe what he gave to us. His body as an in-ring performer, his mind as a storyteller, and his spirit as a beloved member of our large @WWE family. I will miss him for so many reasons… it’s never goodbye, it’s see ya down the road. Love you, Pat. Abooze
— Triple H (@TripleH) 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
A major loss for the @WWE family today. Pat worked alongside my family for years and was always invested in my success.
Brilliant mind for the business and always ready to make a joke … at your expense!
Rest In Peace, Pat. God bless.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) December 2, 2020
A Great Wrestler, He And Ray Were Second To None, A Fabulous Mind, Caring And Thoughtful, Always Had A Smile On His Face. Just To List A Few Of Many! The Last Thing I Can Remember Him Saying To Me Is “She Is So Damn Good Ricky, Are You Sure She Is Your Daughter?” RIP Pat! 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/KHzabO7v7G
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) December 2, 2020
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) December 2, 2020
Wow – what a loss for the @wwe family. There was never a time I saw Pat Patterson backstage at a show or event where he wasn’t smiling or trying to make people laugh. Thanks for always being kind to me during our interactions. Your bright spirit will be missed.
— Kayla Braxton (@KaylaBraxtonWWE) December 2, 2020
Patterson is most famous for being the first-ever wrestler to hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship. He was also the creator of the Royal Rumble match concept. He was a WWE producer and many consider him to be the right-hand man to Vince McMahon’s operations in the company.
WWE has also released a statement on his passing:
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 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.