Pat Patterson (wrestler)

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Pat Patterson
Pat Patterson April 2014 crop.jpg
Patterson in April 2014.
Birth name Pierre Clermont [1][2]
Born (1941-01-19) January 19, 1941 (age 75)[1][2]
Montreal, Quebec, Canada[1][2]
Spouse(s) Louie Dondero (deceased)[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Lord Patrick Patterson[3]
Pat Andrews[2]
Pat Patterson[4]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[4]
Billed weight 237 lb (108 kg)[4]
Billed from Montreal, Quebec[4]
San Francisco
Trained by Loisirs Saint Jean Baptiste[1]
Debut 1958[5][4]
Retired 1984[1]

Pat Patterson (born Pierre Clermont on January 19, 1941) is a Canadian/American retired professional wrestler. He is currently employed by the professional wrestling promotion WWE as a creative consultant. The inaugural WWF Intercontinental Champion and creator of the Royal Rumble match, Patterson was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1996.[4][5][6] He has been described by journalist Dave Meltzer as "Vince McMahon's right-hand man" and "one of the chief architects of the WWF, playing an integral role in helping it become a global phenomenon."[7]

Early life[edit]

Patterson was born into an impoverished French-speaking family in the Ville-Marie arrondissement of Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1941. He began training to wrestle at the age of 14 at Loisirs Saint Jean Baptiste.[1][8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1958–1962)[edit]

Patterson debuted in Montreal, Quebec in 1958, wrestling at the Palais des Sports for promoter Sylvio Samson.[8] Early in his career, he performed as "Killer" Pat Patterson.[9]

Big Time Wrestling (1962)[edit]

In 1962, Patterson - despite speaking no English - emigrated to the United States to pursue his professional wrestling career. He initially worked for Tony Santos' Big Time Wrestling promotion in Boston, Massachusetts. While living and working in Boston, Patterson met his long-term partner, Louie Dondero.[1][8]

Pacific Northwest Wrestling (1962–1965)[edit]

In 1962, Patterson was recruited by Mad Dog Vachon for Don Owen's Portland, Oregon-based Pacific Northwest Wrestling promotion. At the encouragement of PNW promoter Harry Elliot, who was aware of Patterson's homosexuality, Patterson developed the character of "Pretty Boy" Pat Patterson, an effeminate wrestler who wore lipstick, sunglasses, and a beret and carried a cigarette holder.[1]

In 1963, Patterson wrestled for promotions in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma as part of a talent exchange organized by Owen.[1]

Patterson returned to Pacific Northwest Wrestling in 1964.[1] He held the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship on two occasions that year. On October 2, 1964, Patterson defeated Pepper Martin for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship. He held the championship for six weeks before losing to Martin. Patterson won the championship again in 1965 and 1966.[10]

NWA San Francisco (1965–1977)[edit]

In January 1965, Patterson was hired by Roy Shire for his San Francisco, California-based NWA San Francisco promotion.[2] At Shire's request, Patterson dyed his hair blond to form a tag team with Ray Stevens, The Blond Bombers.[8][11] The duo won the NWA World Tag Team Championship in 1965 and again in 1967.[12] The Blonde Bombers were described by Bret Hart as "considered by many to be the best tag team of the 1970s".[13]

In 1968, Patterson wrestled for NWA Western States Wrestling in Amarillo, Texas as Lord Patrick Patterson, winning the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship and NWA Brass Knuckles Championship.[3] In the same year, he undertook a six-week tour of Japan, facing Antonio Inoki in a series of bouts.[8]

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.

Championship Wrestling from Florida (1977)[edit]

In 1977, Patterson wrestled for Eddie Graham's Tampa, Florida-based Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion. During his run, he won the NWA Florida Television Championship and the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship, as well as briefly serving as booker.[14][10]

American Wrestling Association (1978–1983)[edit]

In 1978, Patterson joined Verne Gagne's Minneapolis, Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association. He reformed The Blond Bombers with Ray Stevens, with the duo winning the AWA World Tag Team Championship later that year. Patterson performed intermittently for the AWA until 1983.[8]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1979)[edit]

In 1979, Patterson toured Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Lutte Internationale (1980–1983)[edit]

Patterson made his professional return to Quebec in 1980, wrestling a number of bouts for the Montreal, Quebec-based Lutte Internationale promotion. He held the Canadian International Tag Team Championship on five occasions between 1980 and 1983.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE[edit]

North American Champion (1979)[edit]

In 1979, Patterson debuted in the World 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.

Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (1979–1980)[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 WWE.com as an April Fool's joke. On November 8, Patterson dropped the North American title to Seiji Sakaguchi.

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.

Various feuds and retirement (1980–1984)[edit]

On May 4, 1981, Patterson's feud with Sgt. Slaughter culminated in an Bootcamp match in Madison Square Garden. The match was voted Match of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[8]

Backstage roles (1984–1997)[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.

Although retired, Patterson continued to occasionally wrestle. On January 26, 1985 he wrestled Nikolai Volkoff in a losing effort in a house show in Cincinnati, OH. [15] The following month he teamed with Andre the Giant at a pair of house shows in Canada and defeated Ken Patera and Big John Studd. A year later he made another appearance, this time in a battle royal in Montreal on February 24th, 1987. [16] He also appeared in a battle royal at a house show in Buffalo, NY on December 27th. Patterson made a handful of additional appearances in Montreal in 1987, with the most notable being a win over the up-and-coming Brutus Beefcake on August 10th [17] His final match would come three weeks later in Montreal as he fell in defeat to Beefcake.

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.[7][18]

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.

In 1992, Patterson was accused of sexual harassment by former ring announcer Murray Hodgson.[19] He was briefly released from the company until the charges were dropped, when he was promptly rehired.

"Stooge" (1997–2000)[edit]

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.[20][21]

Backstage roles (2000–2004, 2005–present)[edit]

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.[22] 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 was born "Pierre Clermont", adopting the ring name "Pat Patterson" at the outset of his professional wrestling career in 1958. He legally changed his name to Pat Patterson in 2008.[1]

Patterson is openly gay.[23] He first came out in the early 1970s,[24] but his sexuality was not acknowledged publicly or in WWE storylines until the season finale of WWE Legends' House, which aired June 12, 2014.[25]

His longtime partner was Louie Dondero.[6][26] Patterson stated on WWE Legends House that they were together for 40 years and that Dondero died of a heart attack in 1998.[27]

Patterson emigrated from Canada to the United States in 1962, eventually successfully applying for United States citizenship.[1][8]

In August 2006, Patterson underwent emergency heart surgery to remove a cyst from his coronary artery.[14] In October, Patterson recovered from his operation and was released from the hospital.[22]

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".[5]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE (2016)

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Patterson, Pat (1 August 2016). Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-77090-864-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Pat Patterson". Canoe.com. Postmedia Network. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Terry Funk; Scott E. Williams (13 December 2013). Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-61321-308-7. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Pat Patterson". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Solomon, Brian (2006). WWE Legends. Pocket Books. pp. 203–208. ISBN 978-0-7434-9033-7. 
  6. ^ a b c "Pat Patterson's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  7. ^ a b John F. Molinaro; Dave Meltzer; Jeff Marek (December 2002). Top 100 pro wrestlers of all time. Winding Stair Press. p. 197-198. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pat Laprade; Bertrand Hebert (1 February 2013). Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs: The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-77090-296-1. 
  9. ^ a b c d Brian Solomon (15 June 2010). WWE Legends. Simon and Schuster. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-4516-0450-4. 
  10. ^ a b Harris M. Lentz III (1 January 2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland. pp. 267–268. ISBN 978-0-7864-1754-4. 
  11. ^ Pepper Martin; Penny Lane (31 March 2016). Shrapnel of the Soul and Redemption. Page Publishing Inc. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-68289-451-4. 
  12. ^ George Schire (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors. Minnesota Historical Society. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-0-87351-620-4. 
  13. ^ Bret Hart (15 September 2009). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Ebury Publishing. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-4070-2931-3. 
  14. ^ a b Greg Oliver (2007). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. ECW Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-55490-284-2. 
  15. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/85.htm
  16. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/86.htm
  17. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/87.htm
  18. ^ Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8. 
  19. ^ Irv Muchnick (2007). Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal. ECW Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-55490-286-6. 
  20. ^ James Dixon; Arnold Furious; Lee Maughan; Bob Dahlstrom; Rick Ashley (3 April 2014). The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume V. Lulu.com. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-291-81693-8. 
  21. ^ Ben Undelson. Fiction. A Nostalgic Guide to Growing up with the WWF. Lulu.com. p. 371. ISBN 978-1-304-12875-1. 
  22. ^ a b Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 27. 2007 Edition. 
  23. ^ "Farewell My Friends". WWE Legends' House. Season 1. Episode 2. 12 June 2014. WWE Network. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Haynes, Danielle (14 June 2014). "Pat Patterson, WWE legend, says he's gay". UPI.com. UPI. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ Lee, Esther (2014-06-13). "Pat Patterson Comes Out As Gay: WWE Legend Makes Emotional Speech on Reality Show". Us. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]