There’s sad news to report today because we have learned that legendary WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson has passed away. He was 79 years old.
Pat is a legend in the professional wrestling business and made a huge impact on the business that he loved so much. His real name was Pierre Clermont, he was from the Montreal area and was also one of the wrestlers to come out as being gay. Pat lost his battle with cancer and his death was first reported early this morning. Here’s more from TMZ about it as well.
Patterson was known for being an amazing wrestler, the first-ever Intercontinental Champion, the man that came up with the Royal Rumble match concept and known for being one of the brightest minds in the history of professional wrestling. In addition to all of that, he was one of the best friends of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and obviously the McMahon family is going to be hit hard by this loss. I think of Pat’s smile especially during his run with Gerald Brisco as “The Stooges” and all the funny things they did together. Also as a Canadian wrestling fan, I know Pat is one of the greatest wrestlers from my country, so that makes him stand out even more to me. There are so many stories of Pat singing the Frank Sinatra song “My Way” and it’s fair to say that’s exactly how he lived his life.
In 2016, Pat released his autobiography “Accepted” which had a foreword by Vince McMahon and you can see a quote from The Rock on there as well. It covered Pat’s life as the first gay superstar and also the incredible he played in helping to build WWE as a worldwide brand.
There’s more info coming in this morning and I will update this post with tributes to him. Here’s what WWE.com wrote about Patterson:
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.
On behalf of everybody associated with TJRWrestling, we send our condolences to Pat’s family and friends.
Here are some tributes to Patterson. This will be updated throughout the day.
Pat Patterson was more than the first Intercontinental Champion & father of the Royal Rumble Match. He helped lay the foundation for WWE as we know it. His mentorship shaped careers, his creativity sparked innovation and his friendship lifted spirits. Love you, Pat. We miss you. pic.twitter.com/TugpAOrN6O
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) 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
#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
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
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
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
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
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
RIP 💔🙏 Pat was a staple. Always came to NXT. Loved the women’s matches. He will be missed.
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) 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
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
No one had more passion for our business or went out of their way to help new talent, myself included, like Pat. Today we lost a legend. You’ll be sorely missed my friend. https://t.co/buOuM62Tkj
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) December 2, 2020
Loved @wwe Hall of Famer Pat Patterson as a great friend and a mentor. The incredible times we had traveling the world, watching him sing karaoke, telling stories, talking golf are something I’ll treasure forever. Love you Pat, RIP legend. pic.twitter.com/xk3y08J24H
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) December 2, 2020
— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) December 2, 2020
I am still reeling from the news that I woke up to, that Pat Patterson passed away last night.
Pat was my mentor and great friend, he taught me so much, more than he ever knew.
He will be missed, but, NEVER forgotten, as Pat left his mark on this business years ago!
— Michael PS Hayes (@MichaelPSHayes1) December 2, 2020
PAT PATTERSON I DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY OTHER THAN I LOVE YOU. YOU HAVE BEAUTIFUL MIND FOR THIS BUSINESS AND BEAUTIFUL HEART FOR THIS WORLD. MY HEART IS BROKEN. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP #rip pic.twitter.com/XASbSUG0qO
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) 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
Saddened to hear this. Pat helped me and hundreds of other up & coming wrestlers as we tried to figure the business out. A brilliant mind & a tremendous loss to this industry. Thank you Pat. https://t.co/qOv2cCOcjW
— Stu Bennett (@StuBennett) December 2, 2020
Shook to hear the loss of an absolute legend in Pat Patterson. From an incredible in ring career to influencing countless superstars and matches behind the scenes to finally being able to tell his story and his truth after having to hide for so long. We’re forever in his debt.
— Matt Rehwoldt (@DramaKingMatt) 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
Saddened to learn of Pat Patterson’s passing this morning. Pat was a true visionary when it came to the psychology behind pro wrestling. He also evolved with an open mind as times & styles changed. I always looked forward to Pat’s karaoke gatherings after Montreal.
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) 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
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
This was a extremely hard hit today Pat Patterson is truly a special person. I enjoyed so many wonderful conversations with him throughout my time here. From talking @wwe to playing golf & some horrible jokes in between. This man is one I along with so many others will truly miss
— THE KING (@BaronCorbinWWE) December 2, 2020
RIP, Pat Patterson. Like so many others, I greatly benefited from Pat's knowledge and passion for the sport. He is an absolute legend. https://t.co/NVfnVEKiai
— Kane (@KaneWWE) December 2, 2020
So much to say & so many stories to share about Pat Patterson. For now I’ll just say this, when I got to NXT, NO ONE was a bigger supporter, advocate, or believer in me than Pat Patterson. NO ONE went to bat for me more often than him. I feel lucky to have had him in my life. RIP
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) December 2, 2020
One of the smartest men I ever had the pleasure of working with and learning from. And when it came to “finishes” … a genius.
A gentlemen, a friend, a legend and one hell of a karaoke singer.
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) December 2, 2020
Pat Patterson was a unique wonderful individual. His passion was inspiring. His favorite “rib” /“joke” with me was; “ Paul, do you know who was asking about you the other day? I would reply who Pat? He would say NOOOBBOOODDDYY! “ I loved his wisdom and treasured our friendship.
— “The Big Show” Paul Wight (@WWETheBigShow) December 2, 2020