The WWE has employed many Superstars in the All-American role from Hulk Hogan being "The Real American" to Lex Luger being "Made in the USA." A forgotten All-American babyface was The Patriot who feuded with Bret Hart and Canada during the beginning of the Attitude Era.
The Patriot aka Del Wilkes talked about possibly being groomed to be the next great American babyface when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I think in some ways it turned out to be that way. My initial conversations with Vince – he was open to anything I had to say – but we had different ideas on what I wanted to do and where he saw the character going," revealed Wilkes. "He felt that at that time a masked character couldn't get over so he was focused on something different than The Patriot."
Wilkes said he fought to keep The Patriot gimmick as is because it had gotten over in so many other promotions.
"After seeing the reaction I was getting from the fans night after night, Vince said, 'Del, you're right. It is still a very popular character. This is what we're gonna do – we're gonna pair you up with Bret who's just turned heel and built this anti-American slant.' It worked good but initially Vince wasn't convinced that it would be that way," said Wilkes.
If you ask 100 former WWE Superstars what they think of Vince McMahon, you are likely to get 100 different answers. Wilkes revealed what he thinks of The Chairman.
"I liked working for Vince. He is unbelievable and has an unbelievable mind for the business in the ways he's changed the business. I think a lot of wrestling fans see Vince on TV and get one image of Vince, but Vince is a good guy to work for. He's a creative and loyal guy," stated Wilkes who also worked for WWE in the early 1990s but not in a major role.
"Vince is a great guy to work for. I enjoyed working for him."
Seeing as he is The Patriot and this is the Fourth of July, Wilkes was asked how he's going to celebrate Independence Day.
"I'll probably do what a lot of people will do but this is what the Wilkes family will do. We're gonna get together with some other family members. I'm having some work done in my kitchen…so we're not gonna be able to cook and I just got rid of my grill," said Wilkes. "So we're gonna head to our favoritie BBQ restaurant and eat all of the pulled pork, fried chicken, mac 'n' cheese, creamed corn, coleslaw and have a good time. Then that night we'll shoot some fireworks.
"We're gonna enjoy a wonderful day and be thankful that we live in the greatest country that has ever existed."
There have been various indie wrestlers who do knock-off Patriot gimmicks and Wilkes is clearly not a fan of them as he told our Nick Hausman.
"I don't have a high opinion of them at all. I realize that wrestling is sort of a copycat business, but there's one particular guy who literally claims he is me," revealed Wilkes. "If you wanna call yourself "The American" whatever, but to present yourself as me and sell my pictures and my action figures… The best thing to ever happen to this guy is me.
"I think it's a testament on his lack of creativity and lack of work ethic. I think he's lazy and it's a horribly lazy way of doing things to just ride on somebody's coattails and tell them you are that person. I just think it's just scum bag."
To purchase Del Wilkes DVD "Behind The Mask" please visit https://www.delthepatriotwilkes.com/. Wilkes full interview with Wrestling Inc was included as part of today's special 4th of July episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it he discusses how he spends the 4th of July, his relationship with Vince McMahon, feuding with Bret Hart, the Montreal Screwjob, his issues with drugs, if WWE should offer health insurance, the legacy of The Fabulous Moolah, the current WWE product, his memories of a young Eric Bischoff, AEW, Johnny Ace's creativity and more.