Del Wilkes is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The Patriot. Over the course of his nine year career, Wilkes wrestled for the American Wrestling Association, the Global Wrestling Federation, All Japan Pro Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation. On June 30, 1997 he defeated Rockabilly at a Raw is War event in Des Moines, Iowa. His TV debut came two weeks later on the July 14, 1997 episode of Raw and feuded with Bret Hart. The premise of this feud was that Hart had just started his anti-American Hart Foundation, and the Patriot was, as the name implied, a man who stood up for America. He wore a mask with American stars and stripes and carried the American flag. He defeated Hart on television in a match on July 28, 1997 after interference from Shawn Michaels. Wilkes went on to challenge Hart for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at Ground Zero: In Your House where Hart forced him to submit with the Sharpshooter. At Badd Blood: In Your House, Wilkes teamed with Vader against the Hart Foundation's Bret Hart and The British Bulldog, but lost the match. Following Badd Blood, Patriot was scheduled to team with Vader, Goldust, and Marc Mero as part of Team USA at Survivor Series 1997 but suffered a torn triceps weeks earlier, he was replaced by Steve Blackman. He was released in early 1998. Persoal life After leaving the WWF, Wilkes retired due to a torn triceps. Since leaving the business, Wilkes admitted that he had used anabolic steroids and cocaine during his career, starting with his college football days. He spent nine months in prison in 2002 for forging a prescription due to his addiction to painkillers. Wilkes has since quit drugs and as of July 2007, Wilkes resides in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Cathy and works at Dick Smith Nissan as a car salesman. In a July 25, 2007 interview with WACH reporter Justin Kier, Wilkes discussed his career, steroid use, the Chris Benoit tragedy, and various other topics. Kier's last two questions involved saying goodbye to the fans and giving advice to youngsters in the wrestling business. Wilkes urged young wrestlers to "learn from our mistakes." He said that fifty people who he once worked with in the wrestling business are now dead. Wilkes has appeared on episodes #232 and #278 of The Steve Austin Show podcast. In 2015, his documentary Behind The Mask was released on DVD.
|Also Known As||Del Wilkes, The Patriot, The Trooper|
|IMDB||Del Wilkes profile on IMDB|
|Place of Birth||Columbia, South Carolina, USA|