On a recent episode of Cheap Heat Productions podcast, Rita Chatterton opened up about a threat that was made to her by WWE Hall of Famer, Pat Patterson.
Rita Chatterton was the WWE’s first female referee and made her debut in 1984 as Rita Marie. She would then leave the company after she alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Vince McMahon. These allegations have now resurfaced after Chatterton spoke about the incident on the Cheap Heat Productions podcast.
She also spoke about an incident that occurred before her first match as a WWE referee that involved Pat Patterson. The WWE Hall of Famer offered Rita Chatterton money to not referee a match which she then denied and told Pat and two other talents that she would sue them and the WWE. This was the first time Rita had any kind of interview in 30 years.
“Pat Patterson comes walking over and he says “who are you here with?” And I said “well I’m here with myself”, he said “look, this is for the wrestlers, you can’t be back here”. And it’s like “well I’m your referee for tonight” and he started laughing at me. He’s like, “sweetheart you gotta do better than that. I’ve been around for thirty years, you’re no referee”.
I was like “well do you want to see my license” and he’s all “yeah”. So I went in the car and I get my license and I hand him my license and he looks at the license and he looks at me and he looks back at the license and he looks at me and he’s just shaking his head no and he literally throws the license at me and says “who in their right f”n mind would give a female a referees license” and he stormed away.”
“Pat Patterson, Jay Strongbow, and Richard Herring come walking over to me and Pat Patterson’s got a fist full of money and he walks over and he says “here take this”. I looked at him and I said “what’s that”. He says “you’re getting paid for tonight, but you’re not refereeing anything”. I looked at him and I said “yes I am”. He kinda just stood back and I said “look it, if I don’t referee tonight I will sue you personally, and I will sue you, and I will sue you”, and I pointed to the other two. I said “then I will sue the WWF because I’m a good referee, I’ve worked hard for it and yes I am working”.”
Chatterton then went on to referee her first match which was a women’s tag team match. A couple of months later she had found out that Pat Patterson had told the women in that match to break Chatterton’s legs, so that she would never want to get into the ring again.
“Luckily being women they instead of doing anything to hurt me, they helped me.”
Rita described the world as crazy back then and noted that being a woman meant that you had to work 10 times as hard as a man to get any recognition.
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