Del Wilkes - better known to the professional wrestling world as The Patriot, a masked wrestler who was an American hero, passed away yesterday at the age of fifty-nine years old.
When I learnt of Wilkes' passing, a few things came to mind about his career. The main thought of all was how short his time in the profession was.
Starting his career in 1988, Wilkes had runs in the AWA, GWF, All Japan, WCW and the World Wrestling Federation.
He departed the WWF in 1998 after suffering a torn triceps and more or less retired from the industry.
After that, I rarely heard anything about Wilkes other than he was alleged to have sold The Patriot gimmick to somebody else (I believe it was to Tom Brandi, but I am not 100%) and there was a dispute over it (another one I am not 100% on, but I know there was some controversy over who owned the right to the gimmick).
With all that said, a ten-year career is not long when you consider the average pro wrestler's longevity.
As for my knowledge of The Patriot - I would have first read about him during his run in Global. I first watched him wrestle on TV when he arrived in World Championship Wrestling as a teammate of Marcus Alexander Bagwell as the team of Stars and Stripes.