According to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Rey Mysterio’s 2006 World Heavyweight Championship victory would not have happened without Pat Patterson.
In the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer states that Vince McMahon and others were not keen on Mysterio capitalising on the passing of his friend, Eddie Guerrero two months prior, to become champion at WrestleMania 22.
The original plan for the Rey Mysterio story following his Royal Rumble victory was for the resultant WrestleMania championship match to be taken away from the masked marvel. That would have left Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship which in McMahon’s eyes was the more preferable clash.
However, it was thanks to the input of the late inaugural WWF Intercontinental Champion that Mysterio got to experience the ultimate underdog story. Acting as the tiebreaker in the decision to play Rey in the WrestleMania bout, Patterson convinced his long-time friend that the story was worth of wrestling’s grandest stage.
Following the guidance, Vince acquiesced but removed the strap from the biggest little man just a few months later at The Great American Bash.
Rey Mysterio’s underdog story was not met with the fervor many in WWE hoped. Instead, his victory at the 2006 Royal Rumble caused many to turn on him in the belief that WWE were cashing in on the death of Eddie Guerrero.
Pat Patterson’s influence on the wrestling industry went beyond what anyone knew. Not only the creator of the Royal Rumble Match, he was the driving force behind many a main event run including that of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.
Pat Patterson passed away on December 2 from liver failure.