During the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about the passing of Pat Patterson. Pat passed away on December 2nd at the age of 79. Ross recalled a funny story regarding Pat and his partner Louie Dondero when he first started with WWE. He also talked about how they taught him valuable lessons about not judging someone based on their sexuality.
“Vince hired me and I don’t know if he knew what exactly to do with me at that time, so I hung out at Pat’s house with Louie. We were smoking weed. Louie liked weed, and his 2 other cronies liked it, and I kind of liked it. So I said, ‘man, if only the Cowboy [Bill Watts] could see me now.’
“I learned a lot of good lessons from Pat and Louie. One was to be tolerant of other people’s lifestyle. If someone is living an alternative lifestyle, that is their right. It’s not my job to judge them.”
Ross continued to mention how well the stories Pat would tell as an agent producing matches. He also talked about his constant ribbing, and how Pat would play jokes on him and other talent that would last hours.
“He had such brilliance about how he approached the wrestling business,” Ross said. “The simpler, the better in telling a good story. Quite frankly, the matches Pat laid out more often than not were the best matches on the card, and withstanding, the fact that they were the best stories to tell for me [on commentary].
“He did piss me off sometimes because I didn’t have the tolerance for ribbing when your briefcase is chained up to a ceiling in a building or somebody takes your car keys. He did that one time in Maine, and it took me hours to locate my car keys. It could be frustrating.”
Ross continued on to mention how much Pat influenced his career and how much he meant to him. He said Pat and Bill Watts were the ones who influenced his career the most.
“He was a lovable guy,” Ross said. “He loved to laugh, loved to sing, loved to drink, loved to tell his stories. He’ll really be missed. He was a big big part of how I look at wrestling. Pat was a big part of how I perceived the business should be bell to bell. I had two great mentors in the business, Cowboy Bill Watts and Pat Patterson. I’ve had a lot of people help me, don’t get me wrong. But those two were strong influences.”
Patterson spent almost 50 years with the WWE, and did so for 20 years in a backstage capacity. Ross mentioned the people in WWE he feels most sorry for based on Patterson’s passing. He also said he heard from so many people during the past few weeks that he hadn’t talked to in years because he isn’t with WWE anymore.
“I know it was really tough for Bruce [Prichard],” Ross said. “He and Pat, at one time, were very, very close. I felt bad for Bruce. I heard Vince [McMahon] took it real hard, too. It reminds us that we’ve got to keep in contact with people. If somebody is your buddy or your friend, just because you don’t work with him on a regular basis certainly doesn’t mean you should cut off all contact with that individual. Pat’s death had me on the telephone with a lot of people I hadn’t talked to in a long time, so maybe there’s some good that comes out of it for some of us.
“So many guys could say how much Pat has helped them. He was a hell of a guy, he really was. We had very little in common except wrestling. I felt like I lost a family member, I really did. Bruce and Vince were a lot closer to Pat than me because they worked hand and hand. I especially felt bad for those guys. Just hard to believe I can’t pick up the telephone and call him. I wasn’t ready for Pat to go in 2020.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.