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The Untold Story of WWE Legend and The Creator of Royal Rumble, Pat Patterson

Published 12/04/2020, 7:00 AM EST

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Pat Patterson wasn’t just a wrestler, he was a brand in himself. Whether it was his performance inside the ring or backstage, he was one of the top Superstars for five decades.

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Patterson’s career began in 1958 in Montreal. Following this, he moved to San Francisco, where he made a name in the Bay Area for two decades. During this time, he secured the Tag Team Championship ten times with seven different partners; furthermore, he won the Legendary Cow Palace Battle Royal twice, 1975 and 1981.


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Pat Patterson moved to WWE soon afterwards

He met Ray Stevens in San Francisco and had teamed up with him. The duo moved to AWA in the 1970s and secured the World Tag Team Championship in 1978. The following year, the team lost the gold and Patterson made his way to WWE.

Patterson had an immediate impact on the WWE audience and took the ring by the storm. In September 1979, he secured a win at Rio de Janeiro to become the first Intercontinental Champion.


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One of the greatest rivalries in the history of WWE was between Pat Patterson and Sgt. Slaughter. They brutally fought at every opportunity in several Boot Camp matches. Both of them engaged in a savage battle at the Madison Square Garden Alley Fight.

While he was performing inside the ring as a wrestler, he was becoming popular with the mic too. As a result, he started a double-career as a colour commentator alongside Vince McMahon. This dual-duty continued until 1984, when he officially retired.

He was the brains behind a popular WWE event

He kept contributing to the WWE universe even after his retirement. Patterson progressed to becoming a WWE Official and one of the closest individuals to Vince McMahon.

One of his greatest contributions to WWE was the idea for the original format of Royal Rumble. While WWE has expanded the event and changed ever since, WWE credits Patterson for the idea.

After a decade, Patterson returned to the ring as one of Mr. McMahon’s advisors along with Gerald Brisco. Both of them conducted certain dirty deeds for the Chairman during the latter half of 1990. This etched Patterson’s position in history.

Finally, in 2000, Patterson returned to the ring as a wrestler to capture the Hardcore Championship as the oldest man ever. He pinned Crash Holly for this title.

The same year, he came face to face with Brisco at King of the Ring. During this, Crash Holly capitalized on the “24/7” rule to enter the match and recapture the Hardcore Championship title. After this, Patterson returned to McMahon’s side for the next five years.

He was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996 by Bret Hart.

Pat Patterson opened up about his personal life

Patterson was the first Superstar to open up about his sexual orientation. In his book, ‘Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Change WWE’, he wrote about how WWE reacted to him coming out while being in the company.

He came out in the 1970s, but WWE gave him the privacy to never use it as a part of a storyline or angle for ratings. It was finally on the Legend’s House show on WWE Network when he spoke about it on TV.


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His tragical demise

Pat Patterson passed away on December 2nd, 2020 at a hospital in Miami at 79. He was battling cancer during the time he tragically passed away.


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Even though he will never walk the ring again, his memories will always be a part of the WWE universe, influencing others as they try to attain great heights in the company and in the industry.

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Written by:

Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury


One take at a time

Shuvangi is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. She has over 1000 published WWE articles and also has experience in content operations with Forbes. Having completed her undergraduation from Royal Holloway, University of London, Shuvangi is closely aligned to the fitness industry, having amateur skills levels in tennis and basketball while rowing at a regatta level.
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