This is an opinion.
- The WWE is at the moment mourning the dying of Pat Patterson, a wrestling legend.
- In addition to being the first-ever Intercontinental Champion, Patterson created the Royal Rumble.
- Patterson was additionally the corporate’s first overtly homosexual wrestler — and he helped change the corporate tradition.
Another WWE legend has died.
Pat Patterson, the first-ever Intercontinental Champion, died on December 2, 2020, of most cancers in Miami, Florida, on the age of 79.
Once known as Vince McMahon’s “right-hand man,” and the architect of lots of the issues we see immediately within the WWE, Patterson helped change the best way the corporate does enterprise — and the best way it depicted many marginalized teams. However, so far as the corporate got here, it nonetheless has an extended option to go.
The WWE Owes A Lot To Pat Patterson
The WWE was a fledgling firm — actually not the juggernaut it’s immediately — when Pat Patterson pitched the thought of the Royal Rumble. As he defined in his autobiography (by way of TMZ):
The first Royal Rumble was on January 24, 1988, in Hamilton, Ontario. The distinction between WWE’s Royal Rumble and a standard over-the-top rope battle royal is that the members come into the match at two-minute intervals — not all on the identical time originally of the match. I needed to create one thing particular.
And particular, it actually was.
While Patterson (born Pierre Clermont) made clear that he was overtly homosexual, he didn’t formally come out till 2014, in an episode of “Legends House” you can see within the video under.
Though 2014 marked the “official” coming-out of Patterson, Jim Ross — a longtime WWE commentator — made jokes about Patterson’s sexuality all the best way again within the 1970s. Granted, it was “a different time,” however many credit score Pat Patterson with serving to to shift the main focus away from his sexuality (particularly when used because the butt of a joke) and in the direction of his accomplishments.
The Company Still Has A Long Way To Go
These days, nobody in WWE would even dream of constructing enjoyable of a wrestler’s sexuality. As right-leaning as Vince McMahon appears to be, even he realizes that crossing that threshold would go a step too far. (A small miracle.)
But that doesn’t imply that the corporate could be thought-about “progressive” of their depiction of “others.”
From Koko B. Ware to Jinder Mahal, from The Iron Sheik to Kai En Tai, the WWE isn’t precisely progressive in its depiction of cultures that aren’t “all-American.” And lest you suppose that it is a remnant of a less-enlightened time, let’s recall that Cryme Tyme was a tag-team of Black wrestlers that have been “thugs”…and so they remained a part of the lineup till May of 2020.
So whereas they might have come a great distance due to Pat Patterson and the like, they actually have an extended option to go.