There is sad news to report today: Del Wilkes aka The Patriot has passed away at the age of 59. Del Wilkes wrestled as The Patriot for many years on WCW TV and then in WWE as well. The news was announced by Del’s mother earlier today.
Here’s what WWE wrote about The Patriot:
WWE is saddened to learn that Del Wilkes, 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.
WWE extends its condolences to Wilkes’ family and friends.
Something that WWE fans may know is that Kurt Angle’s theme song was actually the song that The Patriot used during his WWE run.
On behalf of everybody associated with TJRWrestling, we send our condolences out to the family, friends and fans of Del Wilkes. May he rest in peace.