WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson has died of cancer, he was 79 years old.
The former wrestler was an icon in professional wrestling, accomplishing so much within and outside of the ring.
His career as a wrestler lasted six decades, he was the first-ever Intercontinental Champion and his legacy helped that prize become known as the ‘workhorse title’ in WWE.
‘Killer’ also had runs with the Hardcore title and the North American Heavyweight Championship in WWF before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.
Patterson also made an impact behind the curtain too and is credited with creating the original format for the Royal Rumble match.
But his legacy runs far deeper than just that.
Patterson was one of the first-ever openly gay wrestlers who fought to make the locker room and the industry more accepting of homosexuality.
He was a man who made so much history both in and out of the ring and helped to change the face of professional wrestling for the better.
A number of fellow WWE legends have been paying tribute to Pat following his death.
“No words can describe what he gave to us. His body as an in-ring performer, his mind as a storyteller, and his spirit as a beloved member of our large WWE family,” Triple H wrote.
“I will miss him for so many reasons… it’s never goodbye, it’s see ya down the road. Love you, Pat. Abooze.”
Jim Ross added: “Just heard of the passing this morning if the great Pat Patterson. A true legend of the pro wrestling business. A wonderful mentor who taught me so much. RIP old friend.”
Ric Flair also shared a tribute, tweeting: “A great wrestler, he and ray were second to none, a fabulous mind, caring and thoughtful, always had a smile on his face.
“Just to list a few of many! The last thing I can remember him saying to me is ‘she is so damn good Ricky, are you sure she is your daughter?’ RIP Pat!
Absolutely heartbreaking. Rest in peace, Pat.