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By Mike Johnson on 2008-12-04 13:21:38

Tom Brandi, who uses the Patriot gimmick on the Northeastern independent scene, issued the following statement in response to Del Wilkes (who portrayed the original Patriot in GWF, WCW and WWF) being upset over Brandi using the persona:

With all due respect to Del Wilkes, please let him know that I did nothing but respect this character. I train hard and keep my body in tip top shape, unlike the other 12 guys throughout the country that parade around as "The Patriot"

This is between Del, myself, and a dozen other pot belly Patriots across the country, not the internet. Did you know The Honky Tonk Man dresses his son up as The Patriot now and sits him at the table with him and sells Del's picture, most recently in California for Kirk White on numerous occasions.

It took Del Wilkes all these years to contact someone to contact me? All because he has one NJ appearance coming up? Then you won't hear from him again for another few years. If he wants to get back into wrestling, wrestle in front of every packed house of 50 people all over the NJ, PA, & Delaware area, well, he can have it. I don't tell people that I'm Del Wilkes, I could go as The Eagle, The Freedom Fighter, Mr. America, or any red, white, & blue themed character.

I get my response from Rey Mysterio being a popular masked wrestler on Monday Night Raw, not what Del Wilkes did 12 years ago. I always liked Del and respected him, but he has to realize this is the wrestling business, and unless he plans on going after a dozen different guys (or more), it is what it is. There are a million Doink The Clowns, a dozen Patriots, and 3 Nature Boys, and what a business it is.

Tom Brandi

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