Growing up in the 80's and early 90's if there was two wrestlers I latched on to, it was Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. As I got older and understood wrestling one guy I truly latched on with was Del Wilkes or The Patriot.
Recently Del has appeared on many podcasts and shows and its great to hear him now a days telling his story. From 1992-97 The Patriot dominated my television. From his days to Global Wrestling Federation on ESPN to WCW where he tagged with Buff Bagwell to his WWF days which were my favorite when he faced Bret Hart for the WWF title.
Del has overcome many obstacles since his wrestling days with painkillers and unemployment. Del though like the Patroit rose from the ashes and now gives testimonials and does different shows to discuss what he has overcome.
I grew up a Patriot fan because of how patriotic he was. On top of that he was an incredible wrestler who had an amazing move set. To me the Patriot could do no wrong, as he stood for America, he was an All American in football and he had some of the coolest moves such as the Uncle Slam and The Patriot Missile.
I recently have gotten the chance to message Del Wilkes and to me it has meant so much. To me he is a hero he takes time out of his day to talk to his fans, he cares still about the business and he still loves football.
I always thought he should of won a title in the WWF. He came close vs Bret Hart, and perhaps maybe he would have had a collarbone injury and various other injuries forced him to retire. Del did win 2 tag title championships in WCW with Buff Bagwell and won a few titles in GWF.
I am so grateful for what Del gave to the business and I will always consider him to be my favorite wrestler of all time. I hope one day to meet him and thank him personally in person. But for now this is the best way to thank the man. If you get a chance take a look at his shirts on Pro Wrestling Tee's and follow him on twitter. I honestly don't think we will ever have a wrestler like the Patriot again and I am ok with that because to me there will always only be one Del Wilkes.
I love looking back wrestling's past. I view my job as bring new life to the part of wrestling some people thought was gone.