After ‘The Greatest’ comes the thunder.

Two days after Muhammad Ali was announced as an inductee, Claude ‘Thunderbolt’ Patterson has been announced as the latest addition to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2024.

Patterson was known as one of the best wrestlers to work the microphone. Fans would love him for his charisma in the ring, alongside his great mic work.

Wrestlers such as Blackjack Mulligan and Dusty Rhodes would imitate the style of the Iowa native. Thunderbolt worked in promotions such as the Continental Wrestling in Florida, Continental Wrestling Association, Maple Leaf Wrestling, NWA Big Time Wrestling and many more. He is no stranger to being in the hall of fame either as he is part of the NWA Wrestling Legends Hall of Heroes and the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame.

Born in Iowa, Patterson moved to Texas to train with Dory Funk Sr. and captured many titles. In his career, he had beaten many big-name wrestlers, such as Bruiser Brody and The Sheik. He captured both individual titles and tag team titles. His tag team partners are Ole Anderson, Jerry Brisco, Mr. Wrestling, Tommy Rich, Tony Atlas, Johnny Valentine and Toru Tanaka. He captured tag team titles twice with Wahoo McDaniel.

The WWE stated this about Thunderbolt Patterson: “A hugely influential, although often overlooked, figure in sports-entertainment history, Patterson’s captivating abilities on the microphone inspired a generation of talkers that followed in his footsteps.”

Patterson had a 30-year-long career, debuting in 1964 and ending in 1994.

During his career, Patterson advocated strongly against racial discrimination and poor working conditions. He credits Funk Sr. with stepping up for him.

In an interview with Mike Mooneyham, Patterson said that he would use All-South Wrestling as a platform to speak on racial discrimination. He was blackballed by NWA promoters and continued to work within the industry, not letting barriers get in the way.

Paul Levesque tweeted, “He was a champion in the ring, and championed the health and well-being of his peers outside of it. Thunderbolt Patterson’s influence is still felt today, and will receive the recognition it deserves when he joins the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024.”

Patterson will join Paul Heyman, Bull Nakano, the tag team U.S Express and ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali on April 5’s WWE Hall of Fame induction at the Wells Fargo Center.

TOP PHOTO: Left: Thunderbolt Patterson in his prime. Photo courtesy Pete Lederberg, Right: Thunderbolt Patterson in Waterloo, Iowa, for the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame induction in July 2022. Photo by Joyce Paustian