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The Patriot on his Kickstarter Documentary, 1997 WWF, WCW, Bret Hart, imposters, more

"The Man Behind The Mask" otherwise known to wrestling fans as Del Wilkes "The Patriot" joins The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast to discuss his new Kickstarter campaign for the Michael Elliot (Ellbow Productions) Directed Documentary on the life of the All American Superstar. This is the story of Del "The Patriot" Wilkes an All-American Collegiate Football star at the University of South Carolina and international wrestling Star. The story of Del's life is one of dreams and hopes that came true and a story of falling from grace due to the life on the road that he chose to live. Del's greatest in ring triumphs and worldwide recognition are spotlighted as we cover his greatest matches and most memorable feuds. We also would like to announce that The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling will serve as the Executive Producers of the Del "The Patriot" Wilkes "The Man Behind The Mask". Please and search The Patriot for more information.

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The Patriot Del Wilkes on signing with the WWF in 1997:

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The Kickstarter campaign for the documentary Del Wilkes "The Man Behind The Mask":

This is the whole story. This isn’t just about The Patriot or Del Wilkes the professional wrestler. This story starts at birth. It starts with my Mom and Dad and goes all the way back to my grandparents. It covers my high school football, college football and my very brief NFL career and transitions right into my wrestling career. Also some of the dark periods that happened after my wrestling career was over it and brings us up to this very day. I think there really is a story here for people. No matter who you are or no matter how successful you’ve been if you make some bad decisions you can put yourself in bad situations and this shows that there can be life after those dark moments. I think it is an inspirational story that people can take from. Especially those who may be struggling in life.

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Time in WCW:

It may not have been the best timing for me to be there but I went in initially to work as a singles wrestler. But then the booking committee had the idea of putting me with (Marcus) Bagwell and teaming us up and making us Stars and Stripe, which I was fine with because tag teams were still an important part of the business back then. The Nasty Boys, Paul Orndorf and Paul Roma, Harlem Heat were all there at the time so we had tremendous tag team matches and those tag team belts still meant something. But what I think hurt most was the timing of everything and I happened to be there when they decided to bring in (Hulk) Hogan from the WWF, they brought in (Randy) Savage from the WWF and (Brutus) Beefcake and it focused all of the attention on those guys and it seemed like everybody else didn't matter as much.

The abrupt end of his angle with Bret Hart in the WWF.

My health issues brought the feud with Bret to an end. I had just major serious injuries. I had totally blown out my right knee, which has since been replaced twice. I literally couldn't work without the help of a big knee brace that I had to wear and that brace limited what I could do in the ring and my movement. I had torn my triceps, it was literally ripped off the bone and rolled up the back of my arm and these injuries were creating big problems for me. Unfortunately it brought an end to my career and to that angle we had going on. I was just physically unable to continue to perform. 

The pulse of the locker room in 1997:

It was obvious things were heating up. The relationship between some of the guys and specifically Bret and Shawn (Michaels) and people were taking sides. There was Bret, Owen, Davey Boy and those guys and then you had Hunter, Shawn and that faction and Bret was very vocal to me about his displeasure with the way things were going. We spent a good bit of time talking to each other and talking about things we wanted to do in matches down the road that we were going to have and he really didn't mind sharing with me his displeasure with the way things were in the company and his relationship with Shawn.

The imitations of The Patriot character on the Independent Circuit:

For a long time there was this rumor that I had sold the gimmick to (Tom) Brandi. I in no way, shape or form did that. I think he took it upon himself to use that character. Recently, I posted on Facebook that I had been receiving messages from fans who were saying how nice it was to meet me at a wrestling event and enjoyed watching me work. I haven't been in a ring in 13/14 years. I have worked one time since 2000. If you see someone in a ring working that is evidence enough that it's not Del Wilkes because I don't do that and I can't do that I am actually unable to do that now. Tom isn't the only one, he's probably the most known but there are several guys out there that are running around pretending to be The Patriot and when you put the mask on your face you hide your identity. The things that chaps me the most about it is fans have told me they were suspicious about the person they saw wrestle so they asked outright, Are you Del Wilkes? The response they get back is Yeah, I'm Del. They sell my pictures, Tom did a shoot interview and the cover of it is a picture of me, not of him. That's just bad. There isn't a lot I can do but if you are going to pretend to be me and dress up like me is one thing, but to outright lie and sell pictures of me and not of you, that just takes it to another level and it's really pathetic. 

In addition to the “Man Behind the Mask” Kickstarter campaign Del also discusses his lengthy career overseas, all of the legends he faced while competing in Japan, his time wrestling for Global, the AWA and his greatest matches.