Name: Ray Stevens & Pat Patterson
Year Inducted: 2006
Induction Category: Tag Team

Ray Stevens & Pat Patterson

To many wrestlers, the single greatest tag team of all team was Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens during their 1960s heyday in San Francisco under promoter Roy Shire. They each brought their specialties to the Blond Bombers. "They got heat. They got natural heat. They could work with anybody," said Red Bastien. "They could take the lowest guy on the totem pole and they'd have a great match with him. It was really an art, two guys working together."

According to Patterson, they were great because Stevens always wanted to have a good time. "We had fun, it didn't matter, we had fun. We had fun going to the town, we had fun being in the ring, we had fun in the dressing room, we had fun coming back from the show. It was great," said Patterson. "Ray [was] always fun, always happy, nothing bothered him. ... In the ring, he was a master, no question about it. I learned a lot from him."

"Pretty Boy" Patterson was in Oregon as a singles wrestler, and because of the natural tie-in with the San Francisco promotion, the wrestlers were familiar with Stevens. Again and again, Patterson was told that he was similar to Stevens and would be a great partner for him. Patterson wrote a pitch to Shire. "Of course, I mentioned that all the guys suggested I would be a good partner for Ray Stevens," Patterson said. "When the time came, he called me, 'I can get you started on a certain date.' ... I said, 'A lot of guys suggest that I could be a good partner for Ray Stevens.' He said, 'The boys don't make the decisions here, I make the decisions.' Roy Shire was very hard to work for."

In 1965, Patterson arrived in San Francisco, and three months later Shire told Patterson to dye his hair and become a Blond Bomber.

Patterson and Stevens would have two reigns as NWA World tag champ out of San Francisco, and one run in the AWA with the World titles. "Work-wise, we basically had the same style," said Patterson. "In the day, guys didn't take as many bumps as they do today. We were known for taking big bumps." According to Bill Watts, Patterson is being modest. "Pat could do bumps, and Ray was off the charts," The Cowboy said.

Patterson, born Pierre Clermont in Montreal in 1941, would use his new knowledge to become one of the most respected minds in the business, helping to book in San Francisco and Florida, and, after his in-ring retirement in 1984, the go-to guy backstage for the WWF for match finishes and advice.

Once he felt their run in San Francisco was done, Shire sent Patterson to Amarillo and turned Stevens babyface. Upon Patterson's return six months later, the two former partners would feud for close to two years. In 1978, the chance came to be on the same side of the ring again. Patterson had finished a run in Florida and was in limbo. Stevens suggested he join him in the AWA.

Their run ended when Patterson got the chance to go to New York. He was billed as the promotion's first Intercontinental champion and had a storied run against Sgt. Slaughter. A heftier Stevens would venture to the Carolinas again, and school rising stars like Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat further. He too would end up in the WWF, feuding with Superfly Snuka, and would work occasionally until 1991.

Patterson continued working for the WWF/WWE up until October 2004, retiring to his Florida home.

- Steven Johnson and Greg Oliver

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