April 22, 2014
UNION — An upcoming event will offer an exciting night for fans of both Gamecock football and pro wrestling.
Trans-South Wrestling will present its next card — which will feature a “Salute to Gamecock Football” — at 8 p.m Saturday, May 3, at the Union County Fairgrounds.
TSW holds monthly pro wrestling events at the Union County Fairgrounds, but this month’s event will include a portion of the show geared especially toward Gamecock fans and feature a special guest speaker who ties together pro wrestling and Gamecock football.
The guest of honor at this month’s wrestling event will be Del Wilkes, former Gamecock offensive lineman, who is one of only four Gamecock consensus All-Americans [the only others being George Rogers (1980), Melvin Ingram (2011) and Jadeveon Clowney (2012)]. Wilkes was a Gamecock offensive lineman and a standout as part of South Carolina’s famous “Black Magic” team of 1984 — which was the first team to win 10 games in a season in school history.
Following his college football career, Wilkes became a professional wrestler, travelling the world and wrestling on a nightly basis in front of thousands as a masked character known as “The Patriot.” He headlined events in both the WWE and then-WCW. Wilkes is known worldwide as The Patriot, but in South Carolina, he’s most known for being the Gamecocks’ 1984 MVP.
“I can’t wait,” said TSW Senior Referee Tracy Rash. “Gamecocks and pro wrestling are two of my favorite things, so this is going to be quite an exciting night in Union.”
Aside from TSW’s matches that evening, Wilkes will speak, as well as meet and greet fans.
Fans will also be able to meet several other Gamecock alumni who will join Wilkes in the football/wrestling festivities. Another Gamecock alumnus who has expressed interest in attending is Union County Yellow Jackets Head Coach and former Gamecock star quarterback Steve Taneyhill. There are also several Union County natives who had successful college football careers as Gamecocks who plan to attend the event, including Monty Means, Darrell Austin, Tommy Simmons, and Don Bobo. More former players who will attend the event are to be named later. All former Gamecock players are invited.
Rash mentioned that TSW is already working on a Clemson-themed celebration for the future, to ensure that no fans feel left out.
The upcoming May 3 event will also feature a full wrestling card including the first title defense of new TSW Heavyweight Champion The Stro “The Maestro of Wrestling,” Deon Johnson, Dirty, Tessa Blanchard (daughter of Tully Blanchard, original member of the Four Horsemen), Cauliflower Brown, and many more.
Look for an in-depth interview with Wilkes in an upcoming edition of The Union Daily Times and at www.uniondailytimes.com.