Bruce Prichard recently reflected on his friendship with the late great Pat Patterson during a recent edition of Something to Wrestle.
“It was a little crazy. I got a call bright and early in the morning whatever day that was and just pretty much the facts type thing. It’s shocking. You can prepare for those things all that you want, but still, when it hits you and the reality of it comes in – I pretty much sat in silence for the longest time. You try to rationalize you’re dreaming, and you try to rationalize it’s not true. But it was a fact, and we lost one of my best friends and mentors of my entire life that for the last 33 years had helped me so much – just unselfishly taught me and took the time with me, and along the way, we had a shitload of fun as well. So, it was a little rough."
“I sat there the other day and realized that more than half of my life was spent with Vince and Pat. There were 10 years there I was gone from the company, but I still had a relationship with Vince and Pat. And Pat came to our shows when we did live shows and sang, did his karaoke, was a part of it, and told stories, and opened up. That allowed people to see and hear him in a different way. But Pat Patterson the man was able to help me navigate – think about that, here was a guy who came to the states not understanding the language, lived his dream, was a gay man in a straight man’s business as they always would say, and succeeded and excelled and was the best at what he did.
“He changed and innovated a business some people said he never should’ve been in. Not only should he have been in it, but it wouldn’t be the same if there were not a Pat Patterson. He did things he didn’t have to do. He would make sense of things for me and spell it out. I’m a kid and I reacted a certain way, and I probably reacted immaturely. But here’s a guy that doesn’t have to take the time taking the time to explain to me how I could’ve handled things differently. And the little tweaks in my life that Pat made, much like the little tweaks that Pat made in stories that he told, made all the difference in my life."
“Two words – what if? Instead of telling the boss, ‘Goddamn that idea just sucks, it’s fucking stupid’ – he taught me how to approach it from the viewpoint of if you disagree with it, come up with an alternative and present it as a ‘What if?’ and not, ‘Your idea sucks, mine’s better.’ If your idea has merit, what if we tried this? That applies in every wake of life. Pat taught me to love people for who they are and not stereotypes and what other people think. I have the utmost respect and love for that man that I could only hope that every one of you listening has someone in your life like a Pat Patterson. He was a genius. He was the best friend you could ever ask for. Always there to listen, you always knew where he stood.
“I love him, and he’s gonna be missed. This has been one of the worst weeks of my life. Losing someone in your life is always hard, but losing someone that is a part of your life and a part of you is even harder, and Pat was so much a part of me. Gerald Brisco and I were talking last night, and he was so much more than somebody we worked with. In this business, you have so many acquaintances and so many people you know, but you have very few true friends. Pat Patterson, my friend, I love you…….Vince and I all week, we’d all avoid the subject and just tell stories. And some of those I’ve told today, I’m just sad I won’t have anymore. But I’m thankful and grateful for the years I got to spend and be with him.”
“To anybody that’s a fan of this business, you’ll never know the contributions that man made to this business over the last 50 years. And 50 years from now, when somebody says, ‘Grab a quick one,’ that’s a Pat Patterson quick one. When you’re talking about the 100th Royal Rumble, wouldn’t be if there wasn’t Pat Patterson. When you’re talking about one of the greatest workers and greatest minds in this business, you’re still gonna be talking about Pat Patterson, and the single-best finish man in the business. He’s touched so many people’s lives, and you don’t even know it.”
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