Nick Patrick
Nick Patrick during his time as a referee for WWE's SmackDown brand
Birth nameJoseph Nicholas Patrick Hamilton Jr.
Born (1959-11-09) November 9, 1959 (age 64)
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
FamilyJody Hamilton (father)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Nick Patrick
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Retired1985 (as a wrestler)
2010 (as a referee)

Joseph Nicholas Patrick Hamilton Jr.[1] (born November 9, 1959), better known by his ring name Nick Patrick, is a retired American professional wrestling referee. He is a former referee for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He has also served as head referee for former WWE developmental territory Deep South Wrestling (DSW) until that company's closing, and is former head referee for Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).

Early life

Hamilton is the son of wrestling legend Jody Hamilton, who wrestled as The Assassin.[2]


Georgia Championship Wrestling (1980–1984)

He was a referee in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)'s Georgia Championship Wrestling starting in 1980 under the name Nick Patrick, as he wanted to make a name for himself without his father's help.[3]

Brief wrestling career (1984–1985)

In June 1984, Patrick transitioned into a wrestler, teaming with his father and wearing his mask, going by the name Assassin #3 in Jim Crockett Promotions as part of Paul Jones' Army. By August 1984, he was wrestling as Assassin #3 in the Mid-Atlantic, while wrestling as Nick Patrick in Championship Wrestling from Georgia. In CWG, Patrick was in a feud with Bob Roop, which resulted in a series of Lights Out matches, where they traded victories. In 1985, he moved to the Gulf Coast for Continental Championship Wrestling, frequently teaming with Steve Armstrong, feuding with The Nightmares. By October 1985, he moved on to Mid-South Wrestling, where he was used as an enhancement talent. By the end of 1985, Patrick suffered a knee injury that ended his wrestling career.

Deep South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling (1986–2001)

After his wrestling career was cut short due to a knee injury, Patrick would help his father out in his promotion, Deep South Wrestling, as an announcer/color commentator. In 1988, when Turner Broadcasting bought JCP and renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Patrick was brought in as a referee. After Tommy Young retired in November 1989, Patrick became WCW's senior referee.

When the New World Order (nWo) formed in 1996, he joined and became their official referee. He would allow the nWo wrestlers to cheat and he would show a clear bias towards the nWo. Because of this, he was forced into a match against Chris Jericho at the World War 3 pay-per-view on November 24, 1996, in Norfolk, Virginia. Jericho had one arm tied behind his back and still defeated Patrick.

Patrick's biggest night with the nWo was refereeing every single match on the nWo Souled Out pay-per-view on January 25, 1997, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

His nWo tenure came to an end at Spring Stampede 1997. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were scheduled to defend the WCW World Tag Team Championship against The Steiner Brothers. Due to out-of-ring attacks and such, combined with Hall failing to show for the event, the title match eventually became a singles match between Nash and Rick Steiner. Nash was allowed to appoint a referee and he chose Patrick. During the match, Nash removed the padding over the turnbuckle and dropped Steiner's face on it. However, in a turn of events, Patrick was starting to become visibly uncomfortable with how Nash was treating Steiner and would soon have a change of heart. Fellow nWo associate Ted DiBiase also had a change of heart and attempted, with Patrick, to get Nash to stop. When Nash refused, DiBiase left to get help for Steiner. Nash covered an unconscious Steiner and Patrick didn't want to make the 3-count until Nash forced him to, awarding the contest to Nash. Patrick then told Nash to stop as he would also leave to get help for Steiner. After the match, Nash kept performing the maneuver on Steiner. Later that evening, Patrick served as referee for the main event match between nWo member Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page, counting a proper pin for Page. After the match, Nash came out and attacked Patrick, for all intents and purposes, kicking him out of the nWo.[4]

On the April 21, 1997 edition of Nitro, he unexpectedly appeared in the announce booth with Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbyszko. Wearing a green WCW polo shirt, he cut a promo explaining that he was sick of Eric Bischoff and the way the nWo did business. He explained that he never wanted to fight fellow referee Randy Anderson and asked for his job back.[5] Both Schiavone and Zbyszko were skeptical, especially Zbyszko, who was intensely critical. They went to a commercial break with Patrick and Zbyszko arguing. The next week on Nitro, WCW executive J. J. Dillon announced that Patrick was being re-hired on a probationary basis. Patrick was a neutral referee from that point on and never sided with the nWo again.

Patrick created massive controversy over the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade 1997 when he made a "fast count" in the Sting-Hollywood Hogan match; although that was the planned finish to the match, Patrick botched it by counting three at normal speed.[6] Bret Hart stopped Patrick from giving Hogan the title, claiming the fast-count, and restarted the match claiming that he didn't want to see Sting get screwed like he was by Vince McMahon.[7] After a rematch, the title was declared vacant. Patrick would referee another rematch for the vacant belt, taking over for Charles Robinson (who had been knocked out during the bout). Sting would win that match and WCW management upheld Patrick's ruling.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2001–2008)

When WCW was bought by the WWF, he was one of three WCW referees who had their contracts purchased, along with Charles Robinson and Billy Silverman.[8] He became a referee for The Alliance of WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) wrestlers trying to take over the WWF. He even had a match against Earl Hebner at the WWF Invasion pay-per-view on July 22, 2001, in Cleveland, Ohio. Patrick lost to Hebner and Mick Foley, the special guest referee, gave him "Mr. Socko" after the match.

During the time of the Alliance, Patrick would continue to play a heel referee, siding with the Alliance wrestlers over the WWF wrestlers.[9] For example, during a WCW Championship handicap match between The Rock and Booker T and Shane McMahon at Unforgiven, Patrick would refuse to count when the Rock had Booker or Shane pinned down. At Survivor Series, Patrick knocked out Hebner to take over as referee during the "Winner Take All" elimination tag match. After he gave a normal "slow count" for The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin became enraged, knocked Patrick out, and brought Hebner back in as referee. After the Alliance angle ended, Patrick became an official WWF referee. At first he was a heel referee, refusing to count to three for face wrestlers as Austin and Rock, and favoring heel wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle. After WrestleMania X8, Patrick started portraying a down-the-middle, neutral referee once again.[10]

After the brand extension, Patrick was used as the head referee on the SmackDown! brand. Patrick officiated the World Heavyweight Championship match at ECW One Night Stand 2006 between champion Rey Mysterio and Sabu.

Patrick left the SmackDown! brand on February 9, 2007, and Mickie Henson took over as senior referee. Patrick remained with WWE, officiating matches in their new developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).

Patrick returned to the SmackDown brand on February 8, 2008, and refereed a tag team match between Jesse and Festus and Deuce 'n Domino. However, he quickly disappeared again due to his injuries.

Patrick was released from the WWE on August 8, 2008, after seven months of inactivity due to a chronic back injury.[11]

Retirement (2009–2010)

On February 15, 2009, Patrick officially returned to wrestling when he was introduced as the on-camera commissioner of Rampage Pro Wrestling, an independent promotion based out of Warner Robins, Georgia. Patrick portrayed a neutral commissioner. Patrick refereed his first match since his WWE release at RPW's "Showdown" supercard at the Macon City Auditorium on April 10, 2009, officiating a no-holds-barred, hair vs. hair contest between Cru Jones and Doc Gayton.

In April 2009, Patrick became RPW's television show director, replacing his father, Jody Hamilton, after the promotion released Hamilton due to financial cutbacks. The promotion re-hired Hamilton later in the year in October. In September 2009, Patrick became the promotion's legitimate general manager. When Patrick took over, he and Hamilton became the primary forces behind the booking. In June 2010, the promotion was temporarily closed down due to internal disputes he and his father were having with others in RPW. The company decided to move forward, but not before firing everyone involved in the disputes, including Patrick and Hamilton. A few days later, Patrick signed on to become the general manager of Great Championship Wrestling, an independent promotion based out of Phenix City, Alabama. However, Patrick resigned from GCW after only two weeks.

Promoting (2021–present)

In February 2021, Patrick announced that he was reviving his father's old promotion, Deep South Wrestling. He announced the death of his father on August 3, 2021.[12]

Video games

Patrick is featured in the WWE video game series with appearances in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, and WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009.[13]

Job titles



  1. ^ "Nick Patrick". Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  2. ^ "Nick Patrick". Online World of Wrestling.
  3. ^ Courier, Mike Mooneyham Special to The Post and. "Jody Hamilton, pro wrestling's masked 'Assassin,' leaves lasting legacy". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  4. ^ "Induction: nWo Souled Out 1997 - Eric Bischoff's squared circle-jerk". WrestleCrap - The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling!. 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  5. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WCW: 1997". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  6. ^ "Former WCW Ref Nick Patrick Breaks His 20 Year Silence on Hulk Hogan vs Sting at Starrcade 1997". Wrestlezone. 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  7. ^ "Nick Patrick On What He Was Told Regarding Controversial Hulk Hogan Vs. Sting Fast Count". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  8. ^ Reynolds, R. D.; Alvarez, Bryan (2014-10-01). Death of WCW, The: 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bestselling Classic - Revised and Expanded (in Arabic). ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-77090-642-6.
  9. ^ Hamilton, Ian (2006). Wrestling's Sinking Ship: What Happens to an Industry Without Competition. ISBN 978-1-4116-1210-5.
  10. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (2015-09-15). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-0505-0.
  11. ^ "WWE releases six Superstars, referee Nick Patrick". WWE. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  12. ^ "Jody Hamilton, Assassin & trainer, dies". Slam Wrestling. 2021-08-03. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  13. ^ SVRUltimate (2008-08-11), Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008: Referee Brawl [Steel Cage] 1/2, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2018-03-11
Sporting positions Preceded byMike Chioda WWE SmackDown Senior Referee 2003–2007 Succeeded byMickie Henson Preceded byFirst WCW Senior Referee Succeeded bynone