By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Pro wrestling legend Pat Patterson (born Pierre Clermont) died Wednesday at age 79. Reports indicate that he was hospitalized while battling cancer prior to his death. WWE.com confirmed the news on Wednesday.
Powell’s POV: Patterson was an in-ring great and was openly gay throughout his career at a time when that was considered taboo in the wrestling industry. Patterson was named the first Intercontinental Champion when he was credited with winning a fictitious tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Following his in-ring career, Patterson became Vince McMahon’s righthand man on the creative side of the business and is known as the creator of the Royal Rumble match. On a side note, I had the pleasure of listening to Patterson share some stories one night in Minneapolis and it was something that I will never forget. My condolences to Pat’s friends and family at this difficult time.
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
#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
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
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