Triple H reflected on Pat Patterson’s legacy during an interview on Fox Sports, claiming Patterson was the second most influential person in Professional Wrestling.
“If you made a list of the most influential people in this business, and I’m not just talking about in-ring career. Everything, soup to nuts, from the moment you get into it to the time you’re not in it. Most influential people, probably Vince is top of the list, like I dont know how you could have anybody be higher than that. But Pat would be, man he’s there as a tight second.”
Pat Patterson sadly passed away on December 2nd, leaving the professional wrestling world to mourn one of the greatest titans of the industry. Patterson had been battling cancer, however succumbed to liver failure at a hospital in Miami, Florida. Countless tributes were paid to Patterson this week, including longtime friend Gerald Brisco and WWE CEO Vince McMcMahon, who finished his tribute with “Love you, Pat. We miss you.”
Although Patterson would become the first WWE Intercontinental Champion, as well as the creator of the Royal Rumble, he became best known as one of Vince McMahon’s right hand men, both on and off screen. Triple H reiterates the importance of Patterson’s in ring career:
“Pat is an afterthought a little bit on the work rate side sometimes. But you think, a guy who was on the San Francisco territory for 14 years as a top guy, in a time where you went to the same clubs every week man, that just doesn’t happen.”
Patterson would retire from in ring competition in 1984, and go on to play a vital role in WWE in a backstage role. Often praised as being the best “finish guy” in the history of Professional Wrestling when creating a match, Patterson mentored countless Superstars throughout the years, including The Rock, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels.
Triple H goes on to credit Patterson for being one of the driving forces in the “explosion of the business”:
“WWE becoming the global brand and everything else, his creative contributions, people talk about the Rumble all the time, but just that alone. But all the way through to the end, there isn’t a day that goes by for me in the performance centre when I’m talking to talent or I’m producing television or that I’m writing something or I’m doing anything that has to do with WWE, that there isn’t some piece of Pat that’s attached to it.”
Triple H would praise Patterson for being such huge influence on his career, from his WWE debut in 1995 to his current role as Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development, as well as his work as Executive Producer for NXT.
‘The Game’, who lead the NXT roster in tribute to Patterson on the December 3rd taping of the show, recalls what he said to everybody backstage before heading out:
“As we were all lining up to get on the stage for the tribute to him, I said ‘Everybody that wants to be a part of this, from crew to across the board should come up here’ and they all ran up there. And I said ‘I know there’s a lot of you that maybe never even met him, but trust me, this could be the most influential guy to your career that you will have an opportunity to make a tribute for. Because, even if you never met him and you believe that – ‘Ah, I never met Pat he didn’t really have anything to do with me.’, he does. Because everybody that came before you that’s teaching you on any level, something that they had came from Pat’s learning tree.”
Watch WWE’s tribute to Pat Patterson here.