The Royal Rumble, first run by the WWE in 1988, was the brainchild of legendary wrestler and backstage personality Pat Patterson. Patterson is considered one of the finest wrestling minds in the business and helped shape the WWE to be the global phenomenon it is today alongside Vince McMahon.
During his in-ring career, Patterson wrestled with several promotions across Canada and the United States. However, his greatest run came as a competitor for the Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation. It was there he was crowned as the promotions inaugural Intercontinental Champion in 1979. He would also feud with Bob Backlund, Ted DiBiase, and Sgt Slaughter during his time with the promotion before retiring from in-ring action in 1984 and take up a role backstage. Despite his retirement, Patterson would occasionally wrestle a one-off match for the promotion every so often over the years.
It was as this backstage role that Patterson created and pitched the concept of the Royal Rumble match to Vince McMahon. Patterson would also work in talent relations for the company, alongside his job as a booker and writer. However, Patterson was fired after he was accused of sexual harassment by a former ring announcer.
Patterson would be rehired in the late 90s after the charges were dropped and mainly played an on-screen stooge for Vince McMahon alongside Gerald Brisco. Patterson would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the class of 1996.
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