I have been a huge fan of the Professional Westling business for a majority of my life and one of my favorite times watching was during the Black and Gold Era of NXT. This was the time when Triple H was running the promotion and it had a large alumni of great wrestlers. Some of that notable Alumni was Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Auska, Big E, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Seth Rollins, Baron Corbin (When he was a lone wolf. Again, please let him go back to that gimmick WWE). Adam Cole, Kyle O’Riley, The Wyatt Family, Keith Lee, Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, Ember Moon, Pete Dunne (I will never call him Butch, please change his name back to Pete Dunne), American Alpha, and the list goes on and on. However, there was one wrestler who many, including myself thought was going to be the next big wrestler in the WWE. That wrestler is of course the Velveteen Dream who was one of my favorite performers in that Era of NXT. Unfortunately that never came to be and as he is currently out of professional wrestling, probably forever. So I thought why not go into his career and detail the rise and fall of his career.
Patrick Clark Jr. started in professional wrestling in a promotion called Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW). He actually trained for around four months before making his debut and he was solid for a wrestler with little experience. At MCW his career highlight was winning the tag team championships with Lio Rush. But throughout his first year of wrestling he was on the independent scene and wrestled for other companies including CZW and WXW, until he got an opportunity that he could not refuse.
WWE would actually give Patrick Clark a look as they casted him in there 6th season of Tough Enough. If you don’t know Tough Enough is basically a reality competition show where participants compete for a WWE contract. Clark really shined and showed his potential, especially on the mic the guy really had a ton of charisma. He would not win the show and in fact get 9th place in the competition. While he did not win, Clark was offered a WWE contract and of course he accepted the deal. He would start making apperances in NXT doing jobs to make the others wrestler look good. That changed when WWE gave him a gimmick that would be one of the most popular ones ever.
The Birth of The Velveteen Dream
Vignettes were starting to air of Patrick Clark’s new gimmick of The Velveteen Dream. If you want to know what this gimmick was all about, it was actually an inspiration of the musician Prince. It was a gimmick many thought would flop, but Patrick Clark made it work. He had the charisma, promo skills and in ring work to get himself over. The best part is that he was very young at the time at the age of 22 years old. Which if he is only good now imagine how great he would become later in his career.
Feud with Aleister Black
The Velveteen would go on and have a lot of memorable feud’s with the company. I think the best from the bunch is easily his feud with Aleister Black. Now a quick summery is that with what made Aleister Black creepy gimmick work was that he did not say much on the mic and he showed up to beat people up and leaves. He does not care for the attention where in the care of Velveteen Dream he did. Dream wanted to get Black to acknowledge Dream and say his name. So Dream kept stalking him to get black to doit and Black refused. They had a match at NXT Takeover: War Games and It is one of my favorite matches I have ever seen. Black would win the match, but my favorite part was in once the match was over Black said in the mic “Enjoy Infamy…. Velveteen Dream”. Basically giving Dream respect for a good match, which got Dream over and made him a threat. It was perfect storytelling. Unfortunately this feud would really be the peak of his career.
NXT North American Champion
The Velveteen Dream would have great feuds in NXT, but it was time for him to hold Gold. Well he tried going after the NXT Championship, but he failed to win it against Tomasso Ciampa. Luckily there was a midcard title that was brought in called the NXT North American Championship. Well, Dream was a part of a tournament, where if anyone who won it can challenge for any title on the NXT brand. Velveteen Dream would win that tournament at the 2019 Worlds Collide PPV. He would later challenge for the NXT North American Championship and defeat Johnny Gargano to become the new champ. He would go on to have a long 209 day reign. Technically the run was 231 days as NXT was at the time a taped show. But he would eventually drop the title to Rodrick Strong at the time where every member of The Undisputed Era was getting gold in NXT. Dream was also dealing with an injury as well and needed time off, so dropping the title made sense. He was expected to return from his injuries and immediately pick of where he left off. However that did not happen.
The Allegations of Underage Sexual Harassment
As he was out due to an injury there was a very serious allegations that was placed against him. In around April of 2020 a few younger fans came out revealing that Velveteen Dream was sending disgraceful and indecent messages including dm’s, photo’s, and audio clips. In the photos they included a nude photo of Dream and in regards to the audio clip he asks a young fan “What school do you go too?” Which I have heard the clip and I got to say it sounds very similar to his actual voice. Few months go by, but more and more allegations were placed on him and the amount of evidence on him was growing. In responding to these allegations, Dream denies them. However he did admit that the photo was him and that it was sent without his consent.
The Car Accident
Then while these allegations were coming out Velveteen Dream was involved in a serious car accident. The accident made him go to the hospital for a few days. According to a report, the cause of the accident was due to Velveteen Dream failing to stop at a red light and struck another car. By the way, we still have not had a lot of information come out about that car accident since that detail came out. I firmly believe that there is more to this story regarding the car accident, but I can’t assume. What strange about this car accident is that WWE kept referring to that as the main reason why Velveteen Dream was off TV. Which was odd as the accident happend during the #SpeakingOut Movement, where many wrestlers in the industry were being accused of against emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Many notable names were on that list, including the Velveteen Dream.
When these allegations hit it was not a good look for Patrick Clark at all. Then, something weird happened as the accusers suddenly just vanished. They just never responded to any call or spoke out again. It was strange and WWE would later investigate, but they found nothing into these allegations. Many thought Velveteen was in the clear, however one accuser came out and stated that he was never contacted. Which was not a good look from WWE at all. If the company said they investigated and found nothing, yet one accuser was never contacted, then something is fishy is going on.
Velveteen Dream’s Release
This got many to question WWE’s tactics and when Velveteen Dream did return to the ring fans were not happy at all. In fact #FireVelveteenDream was even trending on Twitter at one point. WWE realized that he was too toxic and along with other behavior issues, WWE just decided to cut all ties and release him from his contract. I mean to go from one of the top prospects in WWE, being called “the One” by John Cena, getting praised by Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, The Big Show, and many wrestling legends as the next big wrestler, to out of a job is quite the fall from grace.
Arrests Post WWE
It has been awhile since there was anything reported on The Velveteen Dream aka Patrick Clark. Until a week days ago it was discovered that Patrick Clark was arrested and that there was a criminal history surrounding him. It was around November of 2021 he was arrested for drug charges, destroying evidence, and having no lamp devices in the vehicle. Apparently the drug involved was cocaine, and he was doing the drug in front of police officers. Clark would then be sentenced to 12 month probation of these drug charges. Not even 4 months into that probation, he was arrested again for trespassing and battery. I mean what is there really to say. He was eventually bailed out, but because of violating his probation a warrant was triggered and yet again Clark was arrested. I mean there is no excuses for his actions. If you think this would be it, well you would be wrong.
Allegations of Secretly Filming People
Now we get to more recent allegation, this time made by a professional wrestler. Professional wrestler EC3 would go on an interview and he revealed that at a party he was hosting, Velveteen Dream had purposely left his phone in the bathroom, recording people going to the bathroom of course without consent. Which is a very illegal and disgraceful thing for him to do. Now there are some that don’t believe that this is a true, as many forget Velveteen Dream once concussed EC3 in a match and they had heat with each other. However, I believe EC3’s story as before all of these allegations came out, there were rumors of Dream having a ton of heat backstage. Especially with many behind the scenes and Dream rubbed people the wrong way.
It makes it worse when Sean Ross Sapp, who is a very credible wrestling reporter tweeted this out down below.
Thats not all even David Bixenspan another wrestling reporter came out about and confirmed it.
The rumors and speculation were in fact true regarding this and the reason why it was not reported is due to nobody wanting to come out and speak about this.
Now many fans have been vocal about wanting WWE to bring the Velveteen Dream back. Especially with Triple H taking over creative from WWE. But with his latest arrest and with all the allegations that followed him before, I just don’t see how WWE will bring him back. It is also telling too that since being let go from WWE, that other promotions have not even wanted to touch him including AEW, Impact, CZW, MLW, NJPW, GCW, CYN and etc.
The Velveteen Dream will go down as one of the biggest fall from graces and waste of talents in not only WWE, but the entire Wrestling Industry. There is nobody to blame here except Patrick Clark as the guy flushed all of his potential down the drain. I can only imagine, What if he never had all these controversies surrounding him as he was one of the most talented performers I have ever seen. He could have probably been the face of the WWE if things rolled the right way. But, that will never happen and it is such a shame.
Hello my name is Nicholas and I am a writer for Moore Than Sports. I am a graduate from Farmingdale State College. Currently I am enrolled at Canisius College going for my Masters Degree in Sports Administration. My favorite sports teams are the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Charlotte Hornets, Buffalo Sabers, New York Rangers, and New York Yankees. I enjoy watching sports, analyzing transactions, scouting football players, and of course writing sports articles.