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WWE Hall Of Famer Pat Patterson Dies Aged 79

by : Julia Banim on : 02 Dec 2020 14:28
WWE Hall Of Famer Pat Patterson Dies Aged 79Shutterstock

WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson has died at the age of 79.

Patterson – who regarded himself as wrestling’s ‘first gay superstar’ – enjoyed a career spanning six decades, during which time he became known as one of the all-time greats.

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WWE announced the sad news in a statement, describing Patterson as a ‘renaissance man’ who ‘left an indelible mark on the industry in the ring, on the microphone and behind the scenes’.

Described as having been a ‘true trailblazer of the industry’ by WWE, Patterson broke new ground in various ways throughout his long and decorated career.

Patterson started wrestling in the 1950s in his home country of Canada, joining up with WWE in the late 1970s after having won the AWA Tag Team Championship with Ray Stevens in 1978.

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As well as becoming the first-ever Intercontinental Champion in 1979, Patterson also devised the Royal Rumble in 1988, an achievement he later recounted in his 2016 autobiography, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE.

Reflecting on the beginnings of the Royal Rumble, Patterson wrote:

The first Royal Rumble was on January 24, 1988, in Hamilton, Ontario. The difference between WWE’s Royal Rumble and a traditional over-the-top rope battle royal is that the participants come into the match at two-minute intervals — not all at the same time at the beginning of the match. I wanted to create something special.

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According to the statement by WWE:

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.

In 1996, Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Bret Hart in recognition of his significant contribution to the world of wrestling.

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Tributes have poured in via social media for Patterson, both from fans who grew up watching him in action and those fortunate enough to have known and worked with him.

Retired professional wrestler, Tony Marinaro, tweeted:

Just got a text from my buddy Rodger Brulotte letting me know that legendary wrestler Pat Patterson of
WWE passed away earlier this morning in a Miami hospital. Patterson, had cancer. He was 79. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP.

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Former professional wrestler and fourth-generation wrestling promoter, Shane McMahon, wrote:

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.

Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Pat Patterson at the difficult time.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Now, Obituary, Wrestling, WWE

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  1. WWE Shop

    Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE

  2. WWE

    WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson passes away