Friday, February 9, 2007

WCW: The Patriot

WCW: The Patriot
One of the coolest masks this side of Lucha Libre......

Ring name(s) Dream Weaver, The Trooper, The Patriot
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Billed weight 275 lb (125 kg)
Born December 21, 1961, Columbia, South Carolina
Trained by Brad Rheingans, The Fabulous Moolah
Professional Wrestling Debut 1988
Retired 2002

Del Wilkes was born December 21, 1961 in Columbia, South Carolina. He was a masked pro wrestler best known as The Patriot.

Del Wilkes began his athletic career as an offensive guard for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team. He started wrestling in 1988 in the American Wrestling Association as The Trooper, where he wrote out tickets for his opponents after defeating them. He formed a tag team with D.J. Peterson and they won the World Tag Team Titles in a feud with Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom. Wilkes went to the Global Wrestling Federation as The Patriot after the AWA folded in 1991 and quickly became the top face there by winning both the North American Title and the Television Title. He feuded with Al Perez, Eddie Gilbert and The Dark Patriot while there. In early 1993, Wilkes went to wrestle in All Japan Pro Wrestling after the GWF folded and he had success with Jackie Fulton who wrestled as "The Eagle" to Wilkes' Patriot gimmick.

WCW: The Patriot

In 1994, Wilkes went to World Championship Wrestling to form a team with Marcus Bagwell called Stars N Stripes. They feuded with Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma and won the World Tag Team Titles twice. In 1997, Wilkes wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation 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 defeated Hart on television in a non-title match on July 28, 1997 (after interference from Shawn Michaels), but never won the WWF Title from Hart when it was on the line (at IYH: Ground Zero). His WWF theme music was the same theme music later used by the more popular Kurt Angle, who was also portrayed as someone who stood up for America.

After leaving the WWF, Wilkes wrestled in the independent circuit until 2002, at which time he retired. Since his retirement, Wilkes admitted that he had used steroids and cocaine during his career starting with his college football days. He spent 9 months in prison in 2002 for forging a prescription due to his addiction to pain killers. He is now cleaned up and off drugs. As of 2002, Wilkes was a used car salesman in Columbia, South Carolina.

WCW: The Patriot

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