'First Gay Wrestling Star' Pat Patterson dies of cancer
2020 snatched away many stars, and WWE joins that list now. Pat Patterson, a WWE Hall of Famer, lost his fight against cancer and breathed his last yesterday. The Canadian-American had given a solid 60 years of his life to World Wrestling Federation and is touted as one of the most creative fighters inside the ring. Many WWE legends expressed grief and shared condolences.
All the bigwigs of WWE hailed the awesome and influential figure that Patterson was and also shared the impact he had on their respective careers. "Pat and Buddy Colt let me ride with them when I had my first match, the ribbing started that day and went on until now, love you my brother, tabernac HH (sic)," said Hulk Hogan in a tweet.
Another wrestling bigwig Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock remembered his "pro wrestling mentor and father figure," and how he rooted for the Hollywood actor. "He was also responsible for calling Vince McMahon when I was training to become a pro wrestler (my $7 bucks days) and said, 'Vince you gotta see this kid work in the ring,'" reflected the star in an Instagram post.
They were joined by John Cena, Paul Levesque aka 'Triple H', his wife and former wrestler Stephanie McMahon, WWE CEO Vince McMahon, and many other compatriots, who poured their hearts out after knowing their favorite WWE star is no more. Patterson came to the US from Montreal in 1962 and joined WWE in 1979, the same year when he became the first intercontinental champion.
Patterson retired as an announcer in 1984 and introduced Royal Rumble, in which participants of a match enter the ring in two-minute intervals while the match has already started, thus revolutionizing wrestling. Despite all the glitz, life was tough for him after he came out as gay in the 1970s and was mocked. However, in 2014, it was finally acknowledged in WWE Legends' House.