The Hulkster paid his respects (Credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
WWE legend Hulk Hogan has mourned the death of Pat Patterson.
The wrestling icon paid tribute to his fellow Hall of Famer after the sad news he had died aged 79, and he revealed how the pioneer impacted his early career.
He tweeted: ‘Tough morning hearing the news about Pat, shocked, RIP my brother,
‘Pat and Buddy Colt let me ride with them when I had my first match, the ribbing started that day and went on until now, love you my brother, tabernac HH (sic)’
Hogan is the latest big name to offer kind words for Patterson, who left his mark on the wrestling world as the first ever Intercontinental Champion, the inventor of the Royal Rumble and the industry’s first openly gay star.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed Pat was responsible for getting the future world champion his first ever match with Vince McMahon’s company.
Sharing a sweet snap of them together on Instagram, he wrote: ‘Rough phone calls to get this morning to tell me, our dear family member, Pat Patterson who was my pro wrestling mentor and father figure has passed away.
‘A @wwe hall of famer, TRUE trailblazer and one of the most brilliantly creative wrestling minds the industry has ever known.
‘He was also responsible for calling Vince McMahon when I was training to become a pro wrestler (my $7 bucks days) and said, “Vince you gotta see this kid work in the ring”.
‘Vince flew me to RAW a few weeks later and I had my first match EVER in Corpus Christie, Texas. The rest is history and years later, here I am writing this post.’
John Cena – who has followed in The Rock’s footsteps by moving from the world of WWE into Hollywood – also shared his own thoughts on the sad passing.
He tweeted: ‘Loss is incredibly difficult. Those we love are only truly gone if we stop caring.
‘Pat Patterson lived life as it should be lived with passion, love and purpose. He helped so many and always entertained with a story or joke. He will live on in my life always. Love you Patrick.’