WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterso...


WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson dies aged 79

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WWE legend Pat Patterson has died at the age of 79. 

The Canadian lost his life to cancer at a hospital in Florida on Wednesday.

Patterson is widely regarded as one of the most creative minds the professional wrestling business has ever known.

The first WWE (then WWF) Intercontinental champion, he transitioned from in-ring talent to backstage producer in the early 1980s, helping Vince McMahon build his wrestling empire.

Patterson was part of McMahon's small inner circle, and was credited by many as helping come up with fresh finishes for matches and storylines.

He was also the innovator of the Royal Rumble, a reverse battle royal where participants enter the match every 60-120 seconds. Since its first airing as a network TV special in 1988, the event has become one of the staples of WWE's pay-per-view output.

In a business of widescreen macho stereotypes, Patterson broke ground in other ways. He was one of the few openly gay figures in professional wrestling for many years.

Patterson's partner of approximately 40-years Louie Dondero dies of a heart attack in 1998.

He'd met Dondero while working for the Boston-based promotion Big Time Wrestling in the 1960's.

During a particularly nomadic time for talent, Patterson would bounce around the various territories, including Don Owen's Pacific North West.

But it was in the San Francisco-based Big Time Wrestling where Patterson became a true superstar. Together with Ray Stevens he formed the Blond Bombers.

They were two-time winners of the NWA World Tag Team Championship, which led to them travelling around the United States, and to Japan where Patterson wrestled the legendary Antonio Inoki.

The Montreal native gained notoriety on-screen in middle age. Along with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco, they became known as McMahon's 'Stooges'.

They would play comic foils to the evil heel character of McMahon's, and occasionally partake in comedy-leaning matches on television and pay-per-view.

Despite many retirements, Patterson could still be relied upon in his later years to offer some creative advice to contemporary talent.

Vince McMahon's son - Shane - was among the first to pay tribute to the former Blond Bomber, saying, "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."

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