It was on a sultry September evening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that Pat Patterson became a WWE legend. He was already the WWE North American
Champion, but he was hardly a household name yet in the northeast. On this September night, however, he emerged victorious after a grueling tournament
to become WWE's first Intercontinental Champion.
Of course, Patterson was a huge star and one of the most respected grapplers in the business long before he came to WWE. He first made a name for
himself in the Pacific Northwest. He moved to the San Francisco area, where he dominated the tag team scene and won multiple championships with
partners Rocky Johnson and Ray Stevens. Many consider Patterson & Stevens the greatest tag team ever.
Despite having accomplished so much, when he came to WWE, fans didn't realize how good a wrestler he was. That quickly changed when he defeated Ted
DiBiase to become the North American Champion. Then, when he won the tournament in Rio de Janeiro and laid claim to the brand-new Intercontinental
Championship, his name was instantly placed among the sport's immortals.
Patterson held the title for about eight months before he lost it to former Olympic strongman Ken Patera. Patterson was far from finished, however, as
he became embroiled in a bitter rivalry with the most-hated grappler in the world at the time, Sgt. Slaughter. The Slaughter Patterson Alley Fight at
Madison Square Garden in April 1981 is considered one of the greatest, and certainly one of the bloodiest, matches in the sport's history.
After he retired from full time competition in WWE, Patterson made the transition to announcer, providing color commentary alongside Vince McMahon on
WWE broadcasts. Patterson went on to become Vince's right hand man, playing a very important role in the transformation of WWE from a wrestling
company into an international entertainment sensation.
Patterson reappeared on television in the late 1990s as one of Vince McMahon's "stooges." Along with fellow stooge Jerry Brisco, Patterson proved that
he could still entertain the masses, and his appearances alongside his maniacal boss made for some of the funniest episodes in WWE history.
Patterson's legacy will be felt as long as men lace up their boots and go toe to toe. In the ring, he was a master of both the physical and
psychological aspects of the sport, while behind the scenes, he has had a hand in making and developing dozens of great Superstars and matches. In a
business where respect is hard to come by, perhaps no one has ever been more respected that Pat Patterson.
WWE Hall of fame