Pat Patterson (wrestler)

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Pat Patterson
Pat Patterson April 2014 crop.jpg
Patterson in April 2014
Birth name Pierre Clermont
Born (1941-01-19) January 19, 1941 (age 75)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Spouse(s) Louis Dondero (Deceased)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Pat Patterson
Le Rêve du Québec
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Billed weight 240 lb (110 kg)[1][2]
Billed from San Francisco
Trained by Pat Girard[1]
Debut 1958[1]
Retired 2000[3]

Pierre Clermont (born January 19, 1941)[1][2] better known by his ring name Pat Patterson, is a Canadian former professional wrestler signed to WWE, where he works as a creative consultant, and was the first Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Patterson debuted in Montreal, Quebec in 1958 as "Pretty Boy" Pat Patterson, an effeminate wrestler who wore red lipstick and pink trunks and was accompanied by his pet Poodle. Patterson wrestled frequently for affiliates of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) throughout the 1960s, and was a ten-time tag team champion in San Francisco with a variety of tag team partners. His most famous pairing was with Ray Stevens, the two of them forming the heel tag team, The Blond Bombers.[4] Also, in San Francisco, Patterson was a six-time United States Champion.

After Stevens turned face in the late 1960s, he had a feud with the heel Patterson, culminating in the 1970s Texas Death match, in which Stevens won the title from Patterson.

In 1970 and 1971, Patterson wore a mask during his matches, and would cheat by placing a foreign object under the mask to add power to his head butts. In 1972, Patterson turned face again, after feuding with Lars Anderson, who was managed by Dr. Ken Ramey. Later that year, he teamed with Rocky Johnson and won the tag team championship. In 1975 and 1981, Patterson won the Cow Palace Battle Royal in San Francisco.

World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Active wrestling (1979)[edit]

In 1979, Patterson debuted in the then World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWF), working as a heel, under the tutelage of manager The Grand Wizard. As a villain, Patterson's primary feuds were with then WWF North American Champion Ted DiBiase and WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund. During a television taping on June 19 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Patterson defeated DiBiase for the WWF North American Championship by using a pair of brass knuckles to knock out DiBiase. Patterson was unsuccessful, however, in winning the WWF Heavyweight Championship from Backlund.

First Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (1979–1981)[edit]

In September 1979, the WWF North American Championship and the (fictional) South American Championships were unified to create the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Patterson was crowned the company's first Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion after an alleged tournament held in Rio de Janeiro. While Patterson's tournament "victory" is widely listed in wrestling title and match histories, the tournament itself never actually took place. Patterson's apocryphal title victory would later become something of an inside joke during Patterson's on-screen tenure as one of Vince McMahon's "stooges". The fictional tournament was also later profiled in-depth on as an April Fool's joke.

It was during Patterson's reign as champion that he turned face, after a botched attempt by the Grand Wizard to "sell" Patterson's contract to "Captain" Lou Albano for $100,000; Albano's protégés, the Wild Samoans, attacked Patterson after he cut a promo insulting Albano. Patterson held the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship until April 21, 1980 when he was defeated by Ken Patera in New York City, New York. The match ended in controversial fashion after Patterson placed his right leg on the ropes just before the three count was made.

On May 4, 1981, Patterson's feud with Sgt. Slaughter culminated in an Bootcamp match in Madison Square Garden.[5] The match was voted Match of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[5]

Backstage roles and part-time appearances (1984–present)[edit]

Patterson retired from wrestling in 1984, and became a color commentator, as well as hosting an interview segment known as "Le brunch de Pat", where he would politely ask questions in English but furtively mock his guests in French. He began working backstage as a road agent and right-hand man to WWF promoter Vince McMahon, and is credited with inventing and booking the Royal Rumble match. In the late 1990s, he also worked in the talent-relations department.[6]

After his retirement, Patterson also worked as a WWF referee. He was selected as the in-ring referee for the main event at the first ever WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985. The tag team match saw then WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan and actor Mr T (with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka) taking on the team of Rowdy Roddy Piper and "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff (with "Cowboy" Bob Orton). Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali was the special guest referee for the match, with entertainer Liberace (accompanied by The Rockettes) and New York Yankees manager Billy Martin as the special guest timekeeper and ring announcer respectively. After losing the match, a frustrated Piper knocked out Patterson before returning to the locker room.

In 1992, Patterson was accused of sexual harassment by former ring announcer Murray Hodgson.[7] He was released from the company until the charges were dropped, when he was promptly rehired.

In 1997, Patterson became an on-screen stooge of Vince McMahon. He and Gerald Brisco became comedy heels, aiding McMahon in his rivalries with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind and The Rock. Patterson and Brisco were members of The Corporation, and used "Real American" as their entrance music to mock Hulk Hogan. They would also parody Hogan's flexing routine as they approached the ring. On the December 16, 1999 episode of SmackDown, Patterson and Brisco were placed in a match for the WWF Tag Team Championship against The New Age Outlaws by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon after they helped Test backstage, who was injured by D-Generation X earlier in the night, and were told if they didn't compete that they would be fired. Patterson and Brisco would compete in the match in a losing effort. Later on, Patterson and Brisco would join The McMahon-Helmsley Faction. On June 12, 2000 the McMahon-Helmsley Faction briefly gained control over Kane after they unmasked him, enabling Patterson to photograph his "hideously scarred" face, and threatened to "expose him to the world" if he did not comply. Kane was forced to wrestle The Rock (then his ally) in a No Holds Barred match. However, the film did not develop properly, and Kane turned on the Faction. Patterson became the oldest WWF Hardcore Champion ever on June 19, 2000 after blinding reigning champion Gerald Brisco with champagne and then breaking a second bottle over Brisco's head. On June 25 at King of the Ring, Patterson defended the championship against Brisco in an hardcore Evening Gown match booked by Vince McMahon after Patterson and Brisco brawled in the women's locker room. In the course of the match, Crash Holly attacked both men and pinned Patterson to become Hardcore Champion.

The Intercontinental Championship, unified with the World Heavyweight Championship on October 20, 2002, was resurrected on May 18, 2003 at Judgment Day in a battle royal. Patterson, as the first ever Intercontinental Champion, was at ringside to present the belt to the victor. Booker T eliminated Christian for the win, but the referee was unconscious. As Patterson attempted to give the championship belt to Booker T, Christian attacked him, stole the Intercontinental Championship belt and used it to knock out Booker T. The referee then recovered and awarded the match to Christian.

In October 2004, Patterson retired from World Wrestling Entertainment. One of his last acts was a report for WWE which claimed that too much time was being devoted to Triple H, the son-in-law of Vince McMahon.[citation needed] Patterson returned to WWE in a limited capacity in May 2005. While he is now retired as a producer for WWE, he still acts as a creative consultant.[8] At Breaking Point, Patterson made an appearance in his hometown of Montreal in an in-ring segment with Dolph Ziggler.

On April 10, 2012, Patterson made an appearance on WWE Smackdown: Blast from the Past.

On May 27, 2013, Patterson was a surprise guest for Bret Hart appreciation night in Calgary, Alberta which was the post Raw show, shown around the world on the WWE App, and across Canada on The Score.

On January 25, 2016, Patterson was seen briefly during a backstage segment on Raw involving The Rock.

Patterson was a regular cast member on the WWE Network original reality show Legends' House.

Personal life[edit]

Patterson is openly gay.[9] He first came out in the early 1970s,[10] but his sexuality was not acknowledged publicly or in WWE storylines until the season finale of WWE Legends' House, which aired June 12, 2014.[11]

His longtime partner was Louis Dondero.[2][12] Patterson stated on WWE Legends House that they were together for 40 years and that Dondero died of a heart attack.[13]

In August 2006, Patterson underwent emergency heart surgery. In October, Patterson recovered from his operation and was released from the hospital.[8]

Patterson is a Roman Catholic, and was an altar boy. He expressed an interest to a priest in becoming one himself, but was advised it would not have worked, because he was "too adventurous".[1]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Patterson was the first WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, shown here with the championship belt at WrestleMania 31


  1. ^ a b c d e f Solomon, Brian (2006). WWE Legends. Pocket Books. pp. 203–208. ISBN 978-0-7434-9033-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Pat Patterson's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  3. ^ a b c "Pat Patterson's Hall of Fame profile". WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  4. ^ John Molinaro, The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time, (Winding Stair Press: 2002), page 197.
  5. ^ a b Cawthon, Graham (2013). The History of Professional Wrestling: The Results WWF 1963–1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 332. ISBN 978-1-4928-2597-5. 
  6. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8. 
  7. ^ Irv Muchnick (2007). Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal. ECW Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-55490-286-6. 
  8. ^ a b Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts (Kappa Publications). p. 27. 2007 Edition. 
  9. ^ "Farewell My Friends". WWE Legends' House. Season 1. Episode 2. 12 June 2014. WWE Network. 
  10. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2014-06-13). "FRI. UPDATE: Injuries weaken WWE weekend shows, Pat Patterson". The Wrestling Observer. Archived from the original on 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-13. 
  11. ^ Haynes, Danielle (14 June 2014). "Pat Patterson, WWE legend, says he's gay". UPI. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Oliver, Greg (2007). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. ECW Press. p. 274. Patterson is proud that he was able to stay on top for so long, and the city was home for many years to him and his life partner, Louis Dondero. 
  13. ^ Lee, Esther (2014-06-13). "Pat Patterson Comes Out As Gay: WWE Legend Makes Emotional Speech on Reality Show". Us. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  14. ^ "1979 WWF results". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  15. ^ "1980 WWF results". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 

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