Pat Patterson passed away today. He was 79.
Patterson was a legendary wrestler, perhaps best known for his Blond Bombers tag team with Ray Stevens (another all-time great), being WWE’s first-ever Intercontinental Champion in 1979, and his 1981 “Boot Camp” match vs. Sgt. Slaughter at Madison Square Garden. Patterson’s championships, notable feuds and in-ring accomplishments are too numerous to list.
After Patterson retired from the ring, he was Vince McMahon’s long-time right-hand man at WWE.
Few helped more wrestlers advance their careers.Patterson was The Rock's mentor and urged McMahon to sign him.
Creatively, Patterson was wrestling’s best finish man. When it came to concocting a conclusion to a match that was captivating, logical and kept a storyline moving, he had few peers. Patterson also invented the Royal Rumble.
Patterson was openly gay, coming out in the early ‘70s. It was never part of his gimmick, except briefly (and only implied) at the beginning of his career. Patterson was groundbreaking.
Wrestling is often portrayed as a moral cesspool, and not without cause. But it’s more accepting backstage than most sports-based professions, and long has been.
Patterson was a wrestling lifer. The business was built by men like him. He will be missed.