Although it was one of the worst kept secrets in all of professional wrestling over the past 30+ years, many casual fans -- and likely even plenty of hardcore fans who choose not to follow backstage goings on -- did not know that Pat Patterson was gay.
That's why it's still a big deal that he came out publicly for the first time on the season one finale of Legends' House that aired last night on the WWE Network.
It's disappointing, to say the least, that many have chosen to go the route of reacting by touting previous knowledge of it, as though others shared it, or downplaying it due to that knowledge, as though it was widespread. Even if everyone in the world knew it save for 10 people on an island somewhere with an Internet connection who love watching Legends' House -- and those people might exist considering the show is consistently one of the most watched programs on the Network every week -- it's still a big deal because it's still a personal triumph for the individual in question.
To their credit, the crew at Legends' House handled this very well, with no one at the table acting surprised by a revelation all of them were surely already aware of. Instead, the focus was on the gravity of the moment. The fact that it was recognized for as much is victory enough.
Here's what he said:
"From where I come from, when I had nothing -- no family, no money -- and I ended up with Vince working in the office... to me, that was the biggest achievement of my life. But there's more to that, guys; there's more to that. Sitting here tonight, I'm going to say something I would never want to say publicly. But being here with you guys, for once in my life I'm going to be me now.
"I survived all this being gay.
"I lived with that for 50 some years. I had a friend with me for 40 years and I lost him because he had a heart attack and I ended up alone. I survived in this business, I did. I'm so proud of it. It's been tough, guys; it was tough."
For as cringe-worthy as Legends' House has been during this first season, this was a genuinely touching moment, whether you had prior knowledge of it or not.