WWE's First Openly Gay Wrestler Pat Patterson Sadly Passes Away
Tributes have come flooding in for Pat Patterson, who has sadly passed away aged 79 after a long battle with cancer.
Patterson, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, is most well known for clinching the very first Intercontinental Championship as well as being the first openly gay professional wrestler.
He was also the creator of the 'Royal Rumble' match which has become so popular today.
Patterson was loved by so many within the sport.
In the wake of his death, the WWE released a statement saying: "WWE is saddened to learn that Pat Patterson has passed away at the age of 79.
"A true trailblazer of the industry, Patterson was linked to many 'firsts' in sports entertainment throughout his storied career, including the first-ever Intercontinental Title reign and the creation of the Royal Rumble Match."
Since joining the WWF in 1978, Patterson went on to have a decorated career in the ring before eventually transitioning to the commentary box shortly after his retirement in 1984.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson lead the long list of legendary wrestling stars who took to social media in the wake of Patterson's passing.
Within his tribute, The Rock simply said: "A WWE hall of Famer, true trailblazer and one of the most brilliantly creative wrestling minds the industry has ever known."
While Triple H tweeted: "No words can describe what he gave to us. His body as an in-ring performer, his mind as a storyteller, and his spirit as a beloved member of our large WWE family. I will miss him for so many reasons..."
And John Cena added: "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."
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No words can describe what he gave to us. His body as an in-ring performer, his mind as a storyteller, and his spirit as a beloved member of our large @WWE family. I will miss him for so many reasons... it's never goodbye, it's see ya down the road. Love you, Pat. Abooze
- Triple H (@TripleH) December 2, 2020
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.
- John Cena (@JohnCena) December 2, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/FdaAFnsw8m
- Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) December 2, 2020
Pat Patterson was more than the first Intercontinental Champion & father of the Royal Rumble Match. He helped lay the foundation for WWE as we know it. His mentorship shaped careers, his creativity sparked innovation and his friendship lifted spirits. Love you, Pat. We miss you. pic.twitter.com/TugpAOrN6O
- Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) December 2, 2020
Very saddened to hear about the passing of one of my best friends..Pat Patterson. He had an infectious personality where you always wanted to be around him. This photo of Pat, @ShawnMichaels and me was from Wrestlemania 21. Pat helped us create an incredible Story. #RIPHOFer pic.twitter.com/APHVs7hRoi
- Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) December 2, 2020
#PatPatterson was the #Yoda to my Luke. He taught me 90% of what I know about putting together a wrestling match. He was a confidant, a mentor, a collaborator, a comedian, a singer and most importantly... a friend. I love you Pat...this hockey puck is gonna miss you. pic.twitter.com/FnqzSZD8pH
- Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) December 2, 2020
I owe Pat Patterson so much for the knowledge he passed on. Not sure my career would've been the same without it. He was a mentor & a friend.
Pat: Christian, you know who asked about you?
Me: who Pat? (Knowing the answer)
Pat: NOBODY! Hahaha
Never got old Pat. Rest well. pic.twitter.com/gWmUoZBp5n
- Jay 'Christian' Reso (@Christian4Peeps) December 2, 2020
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@therock
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