June 22, 2011
SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Pat Patterson
REAL NAME: Pierre Clermont
Pat Patterson was quite a competitor in the ring. I saw pictures from a chain match vs. Ivan Koloff in the 70's and KOLOFF WAS BLOODY!!!
I recently met Pat for the first time backstage at a Montreal house show. At the urging of Tony Garea, (another former champ who now works as a suit) my friends and I were being asked to show our backstage passes. Then I spoke up and said: "Wow, the first WWF intercontinental champ, right in our presence." He laughed and said, "well, that was a long time ago" and left without caring to see our passes.
I grew up watching Pat Patterson's "brunch," (an interview segment on the French version of WWF superstars) where he would mock his guests in French then ask questions politely in English. He also was involved in some vicious feuds with The Rougeaus while he tagged with Valentine & Beefcake or Dino Bravo all at The Montreal Forum during the days when WWF would come once or twice(!) a month (to that concept: RIP).
I have vivid memories of Pat Patterson indeed. I first saw him on television around 1970, when he was wrestling for a Bay Area promotion announced by Hank Renner. I remember him being one of the greatest heels of all time, and one of the loundest screamers. I'll never forget the first time I saw him live. I was about 8 years old and my mom took me to the Las Vegas Convention Center for my first live wrestling match. This is when that aforementioned Bay Area promotion came to town. I saw him wrestle Earl ``Mr. Universe'' Maynard, and it was an absolute bloodbath. Patterson wore a mask for no other reason than to conceal a foreign object -- pulled from his trunks! -- and headbutt Maynard. Split his noggin wide open. But Maynard, renowned for his exceptionally hard head, ripped Patterson's mask off, grabbed the foreign object and used it against Patterson himself. The blood flowed liberally and made a startling contrast against Pat's platinum blond locks. Another Patterson memory is from TV. In one of his rare turns as a good guy, he ripped the loaded boot off the Great Mephisto's foot and beat him over the head with it. Knocked that no-good Arab bastard out cold.
Watched Pat many many times in Modesto, Ca. Fact is he was going to buy the promotion at one time. Him and Stevens were probably one of the best if not the best tag teams of all times. There was some wild matches at the Uptown Arena in Modesto with Pat Patterson as a top performer of the 70s and 80s.
Pat Patterson wrestled in the Northwest in the 60's, teaming with mad Dog Vachone against the likes of the Texas Outlaws and in singles matches against Tough Tony Borne, Prince Kuhio (King Curtis), Luther Lindsay, and Shag "King Toby" Thomas. His finishing maneuvers were the knee drop off the top rope or the figure-four leglock and he was never afraid of a bump or taking a cut to get over. His ring entrance included puffy chiffon, effiminate ring jackets humorously commented upon by the ring announcers.
Back in the mid-70s, at 7 p.m. every Thursday night at Channel 40 in Sacramento, "Big Time Wrestling" was taped for broadcast the following Saturday and Sunday. I went to almost every thurday night match because I loved professional wrestling and because the event was free of charge. I went so often that the guys who sat up the ring got to know me and eventually they let me in early before the general public. This early admitance allowed me the opportunity to talk with the wrestlers before show time. I remember talking to Pat Patterson countless times (as well as MoonDog Mayne, Peter Mavia, Mr Saito, the VonBruaners, etc.). All the wrestlers (good guys and bad) were so kind to me and my little sister and all took the time to say Hi and sign autographs. Pat Patterson was especailly nice to me. I remember him being a very polite man to me and my younger sister. He even once bought each of us a candy bar from a vending machine in the studio. I once saw him walking to car after a taping, and said to him, "See ya later, Pat Patterson." He looked over to me and my sister and said, "See ya next week, kids." For a 8-year-old boy, that was a very big deal.
When I was growing up in San Francisco during the 60s and 70s Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens were larger than life heroes to a lot of the local kids.
Pat actually lived about 5 blocks from my home when he was on top of this territory. As a kid my friends and I would spot him doing his shopping in the neighborhood and this was always exciting to me because i was a big pro wrestling fan.
I can recall going to the Cow Palace to see Pat wrestle (sometimes heel sometimes babyface) for the US belt against legends like Ray Stevens, Moondog Mayne, Pepper Gomez,and just about all of the big stars of that time.
Those bloody brawls were unforgettable memories of my teen years and I miss the days when the boys made it all seem so real. Thanks for the memories Pat.
Ray Stevens R.I.P.
I remember seeing Pat wrestle / commentate at the Hamburg Feild House in Hamburg, PA, back in the early '80s . Ivan Koloff had attacked Pat with a metal pitcher during a interview . Later that evening when they were announcing the matches for the next month Pat came out ranting he wanted Koloff. Pat even offered to do it for free. So it was agreed Pat would get nasty Ivan in the dark match main event. I was lucky to have a front row seat for that one. What a brawl, they wrestled in and outside the squared circle. Then it happened Pat ran Koloff's head into the post, right in front of me. There was blood all over the place including my sneakers. Pat ended up pinning Ivan for the 3 count. That match still ranks in my top ten of all time. Thanks Pat, I enjoyed watching you wrestle,bless ya.......
I remember watching the great Pat Patterson when I was a young boy in the 1970's. He appeared on "BIG TIME WRESTLING" which was televised on channel 36 out of San Jose (they had Carol Doda as their "mascot"). My favorite wrestling matches as a child were when Pat teamed up with Rocky Johnson ("The Soul Man"), another of my very favorite wrestlers as a boy, to beat on the likes of the Masked Interns and the Von Brauner Twins. I saw Pat and Rocky fight the Masked Interns in Santa Rosa, California (I lived about 12 minutes away from there at the time and live there, today) at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building back around 1973 or 1974 or so. It was GREAT! Thanks for being a hero, Pat! And God bless Ray Stevens, another favorite of mine as a kid!
Pat Patterson, Ray Stevens and Pepper Gomez were legendary names in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 70's. Saturday afternoons were spent watching the All Star Wrestling (with either Walt Harris or Hank Renner as the announcer). In those days, televised wrestling consisted of the Main Eventers taking on a host of well known jobbers such as Jerry Monte, Pepper Martin, Art Dominguez etc. However, on occasions you would get a great televised match between two headliners. One of those was when Pat Patterson took on a young Spiro Areon. Patterson was wearing the mask in those days to conceal the infamous foreign object. Areon was new to the promotion and in order to "get him over" Patterson repeated tried to break Areon's bear hug by headbutting him with the foreign object. All of which was to no avail. Not only did Patterson know how to put himself over, he knew the value of putting the other talent over as well.
Some of the best matches I ever saw was Pat Patterson going against Ray Stevens at the Cow Palace. Pat was still a bad guy and they were real donnybrooks. As for Hank Renner I remember Pat ripped his sportcoat and later bought him a new one when he bacame a good guy.
I remember watching WWF wrestling in the late seventies. Pat Paterson and Vince McMahon(with sideburns) hosted the show. Pat was conducting an interview when King Kong Mosca came from the other side of the ring and clobbered Paterson with a metal water pitcher. Pat Patterson was a bloody mess. I was only 7 or 8 at the time and that really freaked me out. Those shows hooked me.
I began watching pro wrestling at the age of 5 thanks in large part to Pat Patterson. He was wrestling in the Bay area in the Roy Shire NWA-sanctioned "Big Time Wrestling". My Mom knew where to find me on Saturday afternoons as I wasn't too far from a television. I knew all the wrestlers by name. My favorite was when he was in a tag-team with Rocky Johnson. In 1984, when the WWF went national and regional wrestling began disappearing, I finally got to see Pat Patterson wrestle live in person. The WWF had come to Oakland for a show in April of that year. Even though he hadn't wrestled in the Bay area in almost a decade and wasn't the star he had been, he got a big pop from the crowd that night. It was nice that the fans remembered him.
Being from the SF bay area, I lived for Big Time Wrestling. The first matches that grabbed my attention were the battles between Hercules Cortez and Ray Stevens. Later, Ray teamed up with Pat Patterson. I got to to see them wrestle at the San Jose Civic on occasion. Once I even gathered up the courage to get Mr. Patterson's autograph. I was shaking in my boots as Pat was one of the baddest dudes around at the time. He signed my program and I was on my way...All smiles. Later that night Ray and Pat won a two out of three fall tag team match that was repeated later that weekend at the SF Cow Palace. I often drove my older sister nuts by running around imitating Ray Stevens or Pat Patterson's then broken English...Believe you me. That was fine with me since she was just a pencil-neck anyhow. I miss not seeing Pat in the WWF these days, even if was just Vince's stooge. Long live Pat Patterson! Long live wrestling!