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R.I.P. The Patriot (Del Wilkes)

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The GWF's biggest accomplishment as a promotion. I really liked the gimmick and thought he was a pretty good worker. Some of his All Japan stuff was a lot of fun. 

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Damn, this sucks. Wasn't particularly a big Patriot fan but still enjoyed his short stint with WWF.

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It used to be hilarious when he would come out in foreign countries and would try to not get booed by saying that actually, he is a patriot for every country. It would never work, he would still get booed, but props for trying.

Rest in peace. That flag match with Bret wasn't half bad  

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I've been watching some Global recently, and Del was certainly over at the "Global Dome!"

Always enjoyed the Dark Patriot feud, his team with Bagwell, and his WWF run. Never saw the Japan stuff, but may have to look for it.

RIP Mr. Wilkes

 

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Man, that sucks.  59.  Reports say massive heart attack.  I thought he was in the news semi-recently, but I don't remember what about

I also was a fan from the Global days, liked him in WCW teaming with Bagwell (not as good a team as with Scorpio, but definitely better than American Males), then was psyched when he came into WWF during the Canada vs. USA feud.  That one PPV match with Bret felt so un-WWE for the time, way more of an ECW way of booking, that alone made it cool to me

RIP

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1 minute ago, cm funk said:

Man, that sucks.  59.  Reports say massive heart attack.  I thought he was in the news semi-recently, but I don't remember what about

He had done an interview with Sean Ross Sapp that was going to run on the 4th of July (and still will), where he talked among other things about how much he'd like to punch Tom Brandi in the face.

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I 100% bought into Patriot as a star thanks to Global, and I think Wilkes came along at the wrong time. Had he broken in a few years earlier, when the domestic scene wasn't on its ass and the money was better in All-Japan, I think Vince would have had great success with him.

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This does make me sad, I was there for Global and the Bagwell days. The moment he debuted on RAW next to Michaels, Shamrock and Sid was maybe the highlight of his career sadly along with the Bret matches of course. Thanks to PWO I discovered his All Japan run and that amazing tag match with Sabu and Kobashi. 

Never considered how strong he could have been in the mid 90’s as a face for Vince, but now I can’t unsee the fantasy booking of Del coming out to slam Yokozuna instead of Lex and it’s absolutely triumphant in my mind. Looking forward to the interview at least. RIP

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On 7/1/2021 at 11:11 PM, PeteF3 said:

He had done an interview with Sean Ross Sapp that was going to run on the 4th of July (and still will), where he talked among other things about how much he'd like to punch Tom Brandi in the face.

Apparently all these years where Brandi was telling promoters he bought the gimmick from Wilkes was bullshit, and he just straight up stole it.

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21 hours ago, peachchaos said:

This does make me sad, I was there for Global and the Bagwell days. The moment he debuted on RAW next to Michaels, Shamrock and Sid was maybe the highlight of his career sadly along with the Bret matches of course. Thanks to PWO I discovered his All Japan run and that amazing tag match with Sabu and Kobashi. 

Never considered how strong he could have been in the mid 90’s as a face for Vince, but now I can’t unsee the fantasy booking of Del coming out to slam Yokozuna instead of Lex and it’s absolutely triumphant in my mind. Looking forward to the interview at least. RIP

Honestly, I think it could've worked. I don't know exactly how or why Luger transferred from the Narcissist to the All-American (admiteddly, at the time, I barely watched from mid-91 to summer of 93 because I didn't have cable until then) but I can't help but think that Vince could've done something substantial with The Patriot in a program with Yoko.

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The problem with that scenario is that the WWF was actually serious about steroid testing in 1993 (or at least more serious than they had ever been before or since) and Patriot wouldn't have looked nearly as impressive off the gas. Also, I can't see Vince at that time giving a significant push to a masked wrestler. I mean, he wanted El Hijo del Santo to unmask, for chrissakes.

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The point stands but I think that's an inversion--my understanding is that when Super Astros started they wanted everyone except Santo to unmask.

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Kobashi also talks in his book about Patriot being set to get a big push as Kobashi's tag partner before jumping ship to WWF. Thought he did a pretty good job of stepping up when they tagged together in the 1996 RWTL. Sucks how his career turned out with him having to retire when he was really hitting his stride as a worker and being seen as a potential main event by promotors. Pretty shocked he died so young. Guess the steroids did a number on him.

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