The wrestling world has lost another iconic legend. Wrestler Pat Patterson is gone. On Wednesday morning, the WWE announced the sad news, tweeting, “WWE is saddened to learn that Pat Patterson has passed away at the age of 79.”
He was a trailblazer within the industry, Patterson was linked to many “firsts” in sports-entertainment throughout his storied career, including the first-ever Intercontinental Titlereign 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 as his teachings impacted many of the legends that followed him.
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.
He was induced into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.
Patterson came out as gay in the ‘70s, but his sexual orientation was rarely referred to publicly until a 2014 episode of “WWE Legends’ House,” on which he emotionally recalled losing his partner of 40 years in 1998.
After news broke of Patterson’s death, WWE star Triple H tweeted, “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.”
Pat Patterson will be missed…