As noted, last night's WWE NXT episode opened up with a tribute to WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, who passed away earlier in the day at the age of 79 following a battle with cancer. The show opened with Triple H and the rest of the NXT roster standing on the stage for a tribute to the inaugural WWE Intercontinental Champion. NXT then cut to a video package on Patterson's legendary career, which was set to "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. The show then came back to a "thank you Pat!" chant from the Capitol Wrestling Center crowd, while images of Patterson were displayed on the LED boards around the arena.
You can see the tribute video to Patterson above, which is receiving rave reviews from fans and wrestlers on social media.
WWE also released a new episode of WWE Playlist featuring Patterson's greatest matches. You can see that video below.
On a related note, NXT Superstar Jake Atlas dedicated last night's win over Tony Nese to Patterson, noting that Patterson was his idol. Atlas also competes as one of the first openly gay pro wrestlers in WWE. You can see Atlas' post-match tweet below.
You can click here for WWE's statement on Patterson, or click here and here for Patterson tributes from top stars around the pro wrestling world. Another top name who paid tribute to Patterson on Wednesday was former WWE CEO Linda McMahon.
She wrote, "I will really miss our beloved Pat, who truly enjoyed life. He loved to laugh and sing and always brought joy to those around him. Rest In Peace , dear friend. Abooze."
Another great Patterson tribute came from WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, who posted a lengthy message on Instagram yesterday evening.
He wrote, "I'm very sad to learn of the passing of wrestling legend Pat Patterson. Few minds in the profession had the depth that he did. He will stand as being one of the greatest visionaries and for having an incredible imagination that paved wrestling's greatest memories. I can count on one hand the people who had the deepest understanding of great psychology in pro wrestling, and perhaps Pat was the greatest ever. His ultimate contribution can never be properly measured, but to those who know, Pat will always stand the tallest. Pat had so much to do with my success I don't know where to start in thanking him. He had everything to do with the finish of my '96 Wrestlemania 12 Ironman Match with Shawn Michaels. In fact, I'd say it's fair to say that both Shawn and I dedicated that match inspirationally to Pat. That match was our appreciation and gratitude from both of us."
Stay tuned for more on Patterson. You can see the related posts below:
I will really miss our beloved Pat, who truly enjoyed life. He loved to laugh and sing and always brought joy to those around him. Rest In Peace , dear friend. Abooze.— Linda McMahon (@Linda_McMahon) December 2, 2020