An Interview With Former Wrestler ‘The Patriot’ Del Wilkes

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It’s time for another interview on http://www.skatronixxx.com ! This one really excited me, this is someone who I grew up watching on tv, when I was younger, so when I offered him the chance of an interview and he said yes, I literally fell off my sofa.

As you know I started a Wrestling & UFC section on the site and reached out to various wrestlers, who I remembered seeing on tv when I was younger. As I thought an interview with someone who’s graced the squared circle would be an awesome launch pad for the section. Plus it would give todays younger fans a chance to learn more about the legends of the golden era of wrestling aka the 1990’s.

Del agreed to an interview and I’ve gotten to know him, and would say he is an awesome guy, who shoots straight from the hip and is not afraid to mince his words. He actually reminds me of myself in a lot of ways.

But that’s enough spoilers from me, let’s find out about the man behind the mask!

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1) How did you get into wrestling?

After college football and two attempts in the NFL,  I decided to give pro-wrestling a shot. A buddy of mine that had graduated from The Citadel went with me to a wrestling school in my hometown of Columbia, S.C. We paid our $1,500 and embarked on our career’s as wrestlers.

2) You are more widely known to wrestling fans as ‘The Patriot’ how did this idea come about?

The Patriot idea came from Joe Pedicino and Bill Edie. They were booking talent for the GWF, which was an upstart company that was on ESPN Monday-Friday at 4p.m. The U.S. Military had gone to war with Iraq, and they thought a patriotic character in wrestling could really get over with the fans, thus the birth of The Patriot.

3) Is it true you were trained by wrestling legends Verne Gagne and Fabulous Moolah? If so what was it like training under such stars and do you have any interesting stories?

Moolah’s school was where I was trained. The school was really geared for women wrestlers, but at least I was able to learn the basics of wrestling. Didn’t actually train under Verne Gagne, but he gave me my first big break in the business by bringing me to the AWA and putting me on ESPN as The Trooper.

4) I remember you watching you on TV when I was young as part of the tag team ‘Stars and Stripes’ in WCW, what was it like being in a tag team with Buff ‘The Stuff’ Bagwell?

I had known Bagwell since our GWF days when he worked as The Handsome Stranger. Marcus is a great guy,and our time in WCW together as Stars and Stripes was very rewarding. On two occasions we were WCW tag team champions. After the arrival of Hulk Hogan in WCW,the focus of the company was now all about Hogan and his buddies. I felt like Marcus and I were just not in the plans, so I left the company and went back to All Japan Pro Wrestling Co.

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5) Later in your career you wrestled in the WWF (now WWE) where when you debuted you were immediately put into a feud with Bret Hart. What was it like being inserted into such a high profile feud upon your arrival?

My entering the WWF couldn’t have been better timing. Bret Hart was now the top heel in the company and was on this anti American campaign, and along comes The Patriot. It fit like a glove. Really enjoyed working with Bret, he is a legend and a true pro in every sense of the word. Great angle between the two of us with some awesome matches that the fans really got behind.

6) You retired from wrestling when you suffered a broken collarbone, how did you find it transitioning from life on the road to a more 9 to 5 lifestyle.

My career actually ended because of a very serious tricep and knee injury. As a result of these devastating injuries, I was unable to continue to wrestle. It was very tough to have my career come to a sudden halt.

7) Do you watch any wrestling shows these days, if so what ones and which wrestler impresses you the most?

I watch some of the current product, but do not like what I see. I very much respect the men and women that are performing today, but not what they are asked to do. They cant even do a heart felt promo. It is all scripted for them and that’s a shame.

8) What can we expect to see from you in the 2016?

The year 2016 is off to a great start. My daughter just gave birth to my first grandchild. A beautiful baby girl born on Feb. 20th. Her name is Abigail, and I am so proud to be her granddaddy. I have a wonderful wife, Cathy, that helps with my bookings and website, which by the way is www.DelThePatriotWilkes.com. Fans can purchase my documentary there along with pictures, mask,shirts and cards. They can also track my appearances at the website.

9) Tell our readers one fun fact about yourself that they may not already know?

Fun fact about me is that I love following politics, history, current events and I am scared to death of roaches, lizards and rodents.

10) Finally what advice would you have for an upcoming wrestler?

My advice for upcoming wrestlers is to take care of and protect your body, it is your money maker!! Treat it well. Also take your career seriously, it is not about the party. Being a pro-wrestler is an honor therefore honor the business.

The Patriot, Del Wilkes.

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There we are readers, Del Wilkes aka The Patriot. Don’t be shy, go say hi and tell him ‘Skatronixxx sent me’. He’s on twitter as http://www.twitter.com/delwilkes .

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