Pat Patterson: Two Sides to the Legacy

Pierre Clermont or better known as Pat Patterson was born in 1941 in Montreal Canada. In 1958 his wrestling career began where he wrestled Palais des Sports for promoter Sylvio Samson. In 1965 Pat would join Big Time Wrestling and form his tag team Blond Bombers with Ray Stevens in San Francisco. This tag team had 2 NWA tag ream title runs.

On September 1st 1979, Pat made his WWF debut by defeating Ted DiBiase winning the North American Championship. The “story” is supposedly Pat unified this title with the South American championship in a tournament in Rio de Janeiro (which was totally fiction). However, he became the inaugural champion of this title.  .

By 1980, Pat did commentary before retiring form in ring competition in 1984. After this he would have a big backstage role becoming Vince McMahon’s right hand man with creative and storylines. Pat had said working backstage allowed him to teach Vince how wrestling should work, putting matches together and creating that “finish.”

Pat came out as gay in the 1970s, but it was never acknowledged in WWE storylines. However, in 2014, Pat acknowledged it in WWE Legend’s House a reality TV show.  He was with his partner Louie Dondero for 40 years before Louie died in 1998.

Many WWE past and present gave Pat credit for their success, remarking on how creative his mind was.

Pat was also known notable and innovative match ideas was that of the Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble which first aired in January 24, 1988, is also seen as the start to the road to WrestleMania for the lucky superstar who is the last man or woman standing. The Royal Rumble is one of the most iconic matches in WWE history.

Forever WWE Star and Current AEW star Chris Jericho stated on twitter that

“Pat Patterson was the Yoda to my Luke. He thought me 90% of what I know about putting together a wrestling match.”

WWE Superstar and Actor Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) also stated on his Instagram:

“A WWE hall of famer, TRUE trailblazer and one of the most brilliantly creative wrestling minds the industry has ever known. 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”.

One of Pat Patterson’s last TV appearances was that on July 22, 2019 when he pinned Drake Maverick on the Raw Reunion show to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. He lost it the same night. He was 78 years old and became the oldest person to win a title in WWE.

Pat Patterson not only as one of the most innovative people in wrestling, but he was also a WWE Hall of Famer.

Now, with all that being said, I think it is important that while we can acknowledge the good a person done for the wrestling community, we must also acknowledge and hold accountable the bad actions of said person even if that person was admired and respected.

In 1992, Pat was accused of sexual harassment along with former wrestler Terry Garvin. He resigned with WWF, but returned later on down the line. He was accused to abusing the ring boys in WWF/WWE. One of the victims, Tom Cole had said that Pat would grab his private parts on numerous occasions starting when was 13 years old.

In 1999, during an interview with Wrestling Perspective, Tom Cole had stated

 “He’d look at you when he was talking to you, he’d look right at your crotch and he’d like lick his lips and s***. He’d make sexual gestures by looking at you like that. He put his hand on you’re a** and squeeze you’re a** and stuff like that. He’d check you out like you were a chick.”

Another victim former WWE Wrestler Tom Hankins also spoke about an experience he has with Pat in 1985 at a Los Angeles bar.  

“After about an hour, I asked Patterson about giving me a shot at doing TV for them. He told me in no uncertain terms that there was only one way that I was ever going to work TV for them, and that was by having sexual relations with him that very night … I told him that I felt he was free to do as he pleased, but that I definitely wasn’t interested in being a participant. He responded by reiterating that I would never work TV for the WWF in that case. He kept his word.”

Quite, a few former wrestlers have confirmed these stories such as Jesse Ventura, Billy Graham, Iron Sheik, Bruno Sammartino, Roddy Piper, David Schultz and Barry Orton.

As much as I respect what he has done for wrestling, I can’t overlook the harm he has caused to his victims. For me, his reputation and career have become tainted. Harming children in any way is always unacceptable.

On December 2, 2020, it was announced on WWE’s twitter account that Pat Patterson died at age 79 from cancer.

My condolences to his family and loved ones.

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