WWE legend and first ever Intercontinental Champion has sadly passed away on Dec 2nd, 2020, WWE.com has confirmed. He was 79 years old.
He was reportedly battling cancer and was hospitalized in Miami, Florida at the time of his death.
Patterson had worked for WWE since 1979, first as a wrestler and then transitioning to a backstage role in 1984.
In 1987, Patterson coined the idea for the Royal Rumble match, which has remained a mainstay marquee match in WWE year on year. Patterson was also the first openly gay wrestler in the industry, paving the way for others in later years.
Patterson’s legacy and influence stretched far beyond the confines of WWE. Some of the AEW roster have tweeted their tributes to Patterson today.
AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of the legendary hall of fame wrestler Pat Patterson, our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/jqxhXrKN2j— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) December 2, 2020
Just heard of the passing this morning if the great, Pat Patterson.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) December 2, 2020
True legend of the pro wrestling business.
A wonderful mentor who taught me so much.
RIP old friend. ? pic.twitter.com/t61R9yCze1
#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
Karaoke Night with Pat Patterson in Belgium will forever be a highlight of mine. #RIPPatPatterson— Miro (@ToBeMiro) December 2, 2020
I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Pat Patterson. My thoughts and prayers go out to Pat’s family and friends. I had the pleasure of working along side Pat in 1989. A class act, Best finish man in the Business. He will be missed. ?— Tony Schiavone (@tonyschiavone24) December 2, 2020
A good man. In all the conversations I had with him there was an underlying thread, and that was the brotherhood/sisterhood throughout the locker room and how much we were a team. Loved life and lived it hard. He was incredibly loved and will be missed. (Pat w/Momma) pic.twitter.com/bTT1LsCxtp— Cody (@CodyRhodes) December 2, 2020
Rest In Peace Pat Patterson.— Christopher Daniels (@facdaniels) December 2, 2020
Sorry to hear the sad news of Pat Patterson passing away. Pat was a really funny guy…not stop smiling & busting chops. No doubt one of the greatest finish men in the history of the business. #RIP pic.twitter.com/Hy6D2cAKrK— head honcho (@OfficialTAZ) December 2, 2020
RIP Pat Patterson— EVIL UNO of the DARK ORDER (@EvilUno) December 2, 2020