We have some sad news to report as Del Wilkes, who was known to WWE fans as The Patriot, has passed away at the age of 59.
Before making a name for himself in the squared circle, Wilkes was a standout on the football field for the University of South Carolina, where he earned the distinction of being voted a consensus All-American. After making the switch to sports-entertainment, Wilkes competed all over the world before arriving in WWE in 1997 as The Patriot.
A Superstar quickly on the rise, The Patriot proudly donned the red, white and blue of America in the midst of a rivalry with The Hart Foundation, leading to a memorable match against Bret Hart for the WWE Championship at In Your House: Ground Zero just two months after his WWE debut.
We at Wrestling Rumors extend our deepest condolences to the Wilkes family during this difficult time.
I still remember losing a bet to my brother when we were kids, over a technicality of the posted results of a match between The Patriot and Bret “The Hitman” Hart. I can’t remember the exact circumstances, but I do remember losing some money. In all seriousness, The Patriot was the first to use the theme music that would eventually be passed on to Kurt Angle and he undoubtedly left his legacy on the words of sports entertainment.
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