Earlier this week, the wrestling community mourned over the passing of Pat Patterson, a man who created a legacy that is hard to imitate. Of those who paid their condolences, the WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn paid homage by posting several tweets on how important the WWE Hall of Famer was to his career.

In his interview on Talking Smack this week, Zayn took a moment to talk about Patterson and how grateful he was that the chief architect took notice of his potential in the company.

“He would sing my praises to everybody and anybody that would listen,” Sami Zayn mentioned about his relationship with the Hall of Famer. “He was such a fan of mine in the most humbling sort of way. He really genuinely believed my ability at the time when I was still trying to make my name in NXT. He was the first one to really, and I mean, really pushed for me with all the higher-ups and Vince [McMahon] himself. He always said, ‘You gotta use this guy.’ But that’s just from a professional standpoint.”

Zayn continued on by talking about the love and admiration he had for the first-ever Intercontinental Champion from a personal standpoint and the fun stories they shared about their admiration for their native country of Canada.

“From a personal standpoint, there’s so much that could be said about him because he had a real joie de vivre – which is a French term for ‘lust and a love for life.’ He truly, like, he knew how to live,” he added. “We would always talk about how he did the snowbird thing, you know. In summer, he wanted to be in Montreal because Montreal, as you know, [is a] world-class city in the summer. When it got cold, he wanted nothing to do with it. It was off to Florida. He just had a way about him. He would always talk about delicious food and [the] wonderful cities all over America. We had a lot in common.

“I don’t just have this love for him because of how he spoke up for me professionally. He genuinely had this lust for life that was just so admirable that I will definitely take with me as a life lesson for years to come. He knew how to live.”

You can watch Sami Zayn’s full interview on the WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talking Smack with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.