WWE has lost a legend in the form of Pat Patterson, who passed away on Wednesday, 2 December, at the age of 79. He was reportedly suffering from cancer.
The star had many firsts to his credit. Notably, Pat Patterson was the first-ever wrestler to become the Intercontinental Champion and also credited with creating Royal Rumble.
Born in Canada, he started wrestling training at 14 and moved to the US in 1962 in order to pursue his dream of becoming a wrestler. After working with numerous promoters, he entered WWE in 1979.
In the same year, he won the Intercontinental Championship after emerging victorious in an alleged event held in Rio de Janeiro. Even though his name is recorded in WWE history as the first person to crown the said title, there have been contradicting reports on whether the event was ever held.
His feud with Sgt. Slaughter in Bootcamp matches remain one of the highlights of his career in WWE. He was also associated with the sports entertainment in the backstage roles. As a road agent and the right-hand man of Vince McMahon, he invented the Royal Rumble match.
In his decades of association with WWE, Patterson was in the centre of controversy when sexual harassment allegations were made against him by former announcer Murray Hodgson in 1992.
WWE has expressed its condolence to his family and friends. Stars from the sports entertainment are also mourning the death of the legend. Many have shared some rare and unseen pictures of Pat Patterson. Read their messages along with the photos:
John Cena: 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.
Shane McMahon: 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.
Mick Foley: 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.
Roman Reigns: 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.
Bayley: Pat Patterson always sat in or near gorilla and not only watched the shows, but made sure to compliment us on our way back Red heart. 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.
The Iron Sheik: 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
Eric Bischoff: 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.
NattieByNature: Pat Patterson 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, PatHeart suit
John Layfield: 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.
Daana Brooke: Heaven gained an angel! As my heart breaks a bit! Pat Patterson would fill a room w/ laugher, always sit & make me laugh every week in catering by barking & people would wonder where the dog was! Would joke w/ @HEELZiggler & I, & most importantly supported me! #RIPPatPatterson
Frankie Kazarian: Any interaction I ever had with Pat Patterson, albeit brief, was very enjoyable and an opportunity to learn. RIP to a trailblazer and great professional wrestler. A man who truly broke through barriers and an outstanding credit to our business. Godspeed sir