As I was reading the book “Accepted” by Pat Patterson last month, I got more than halfway through and wondered if he had left out the first WrestleMania or something. Fortunately, he went back in the timeline later to discuss that and inventing the Royal Rumble.
I have all the respect in the world for Muhammad Ali, but when he showed up to be the referee for that match between Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, I realized right away that he would not be able to perform a normal referee’s duties in the ring.
Muhammad Ali was promoted as the special referee for the first WrestleMania main event, but was bumped to the outside at the very last minute as Patterson took over those duties. Ali had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the prior year so it was not clear how many people knew what that meant. Patterson being in the ring was helpful to get Mr. T through the match as well since Pat had a role in training him. With so much on the line, things needed to go smoothly. Continue reading Highlights of “Accepted” by Pat Patterson Part 5 (Royal Rumble/WrestleMania Edition)