This documentary is kind of unusual in that even though it's an official WWE production, it's available to watch for free from the link above. This isn't a pirated version, either. It's the legit, official documentary, and I'm scratching my head as to why it wouldn't air as original content for the WWE Network.
My only guess is that it was released early to promote Pat Patterson's autobiography Accepted, which I've heard great things about but haven't yet had the opportunity to read. Perhaps this will be released later on with match footage as a DVD release?
The footage is fairly recent, as well, with the focus of the documentary revolving around a Pat Patterson Appreciation Night celebration that happened on May 4, 2015 in Montreal following an episode of Monday Night Raw. With the event as a backdrop, Patterson travels home to Montreal and relives his childhood.
Patterson's story is a surprising one. One of 11 children, he grew up in poverty, with his family's two-bedroom apartment not even having a washroom or hot water. Attempting to make ends meet, the man then known as Pierre Clermont attempted to work in a nearby cigarette factory before determining he wanted to do something special with his life.
After a brief introduction to the local wrestling scene, Patterson explained to his parents that he was gay and was promptly kicked out of the house. To chase his wrestling dream, Patterson took a Greyhound bus and began working in Boston. This led him to other opportunities throughout the Portland and San Francisco territories, where he first became a main event star. It was really once Patterson was established as a star that his parents obtained an appreciation for what he was doing.
After San Francisco, Patterson moved to "New York" (the WWWF), where he became the first Intercontinental Champion and had a legendary feud with Sgt. Slaughter before retiring from the ring. As Vince McMahon's right hand man for decades, Patterson was first placed as a commentator, then a booker, and finally the man who determined finishes for numerous top stars and WrestleMania main events.
A wide of variety of voices weigh in on Patterson's career, including WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart, Bob Backlund, Edge, Mean Gene Okerlund, Gerald Brisco, Jake The Snake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kevin Nash, Larry Zbyszko, Rocky Johnson, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Sgt. Slaughter, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Ted DiBiase (as well as the likes of Hillbilly Jim, John Cena, Road Dogg and The Rock). Most quickly come to the conclusion that Patterson's ring psychology was unparalelled and a huge asset to WWE.
One aspect that is made clear is that Patterson's wrestling fraternity was by and large much more accepting of his lifestyle than one may imagine during the territorial wrestling system of the 60s and 70s. Even when he ran into complaints from the likes of promoter Roy Shire, Patterson is quick to respond that his ring work was enough to silence his critics.
At one point, Patterson's long-time tag team partner, legendary tough guy Ray Stevens, poked fun at him during a live interview with Okerlund, talking about hitting the town and finding some "nice-lookin' ladies" to party with. Patterson laughs during the interview and takes things in stride.
After retiring from WWE in 2004 (although, as Michaels points out, Patterson is one of the onlypeople within management to come and go as he sees fit), he returned to the public spotlight in the form of WWE's Legends House "reality" show. Patterson admits it wasn't something he really wanted to do, although the series did attempt to gain some mainstream publicity for him coming out of the closet on air.
Obviously, Patterson's coming out was engineered as part of the show, as wrestlers and wrestling fans alike had known for decades, but it still made for emotional television and, as it turned out, a turning point for this documentary.
After the Pat Patterson Appreciation Night ceremony is shown (with Vince McMahon calling Patterson his "family" and owing him a debt of gratitude - words I'm sure Vinnie Mac doesn't thrown around freely), the conclusion of the documentary features a number of outtakes from the interview segments, mostly wrestlers mocking his broken English and Patterson bickering with the producer. Again, this isn't something that is often aired on WWE-produced documentaries.
Overall, this was a fun presentation and a worthwhile documentary. Long-time wrestling fans may be aware of a lot of the content, but it's a great introduction to his new autobiography -- which is probably why this is available on YouTube for free.