Throwback Thursday: The Patriot versus Bret Hart

The wrestling world has been talking about Kurt Angle for the last few weeks (and with good reason) but what about that other guy who once used his theme song?

Yes, today we're talking about The Patriot.

If there was ever a reason to chant "YOU SUCK" when "Medal" was played, this was it.

In 1997, Bret Hart was in the middle of the hot Hart Foundation versus America storyline and was also WWF Champion so, of course, he ended up in a feud with someone that no one has ever heard of.

I mean, maybe someone had heard of him, but I'm not including people like his parents or the one diehard Patriot fan that I'm sure exists.

Here's what happened.

The Patriot's TV debut in the WWF was on July 14, 1997. On July 28, he defeated then WWF Champion Bret Hart on Raw. Yes, two weeks after his debut, he had defeated the reigning WWF Champion. Sure, Shawn Michaels interfered, but the fact remains.

Oh yeah, the week before, The Patriot defeated some guy named Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Yes, it was by disqualification after the Hart Foundation interfered, but the fact remains.

The Patriot holds victories over Bret Hart and Triple H.

It's not like The Patriot was some world-renowned talent that had finally made it to WWF. This wasn't the 1997 version of AJ Styles coming to the company. This was a guy who had teamed with Marcus "Buff" Bagwell in a WCW tag team named "Stars N Stripes."

I loved the Hart Foundation in 1997. As a Canadian, I was actually contractually-bound to do so. That gimmick was incredible. The feud between the Harts and America (often represented by Stone Cold Steve Austin and/or Shawn Michaels) was what made me love wrestling again. And yet Bret Hart - one of the greatest technical wrestlers ever, who was in the middle of an incredible angle - was forced to face The Patriot. Repeatedly.

The Patriot received a shot at the WWF Title at In Your House: Ground Zero. Thankfully he lost. The Patriot was released from the WWF in early 1998.

Why do we live in a world where Bret Hart had a pay per view match against The Patriot and not Kurt Angle? Why did a nobody get a (short) main event run because he wore a mask with stars and stripes on it? Why is life so cruel? Why does pain exist?

Oh, and apparently, Tom "Salvatore Sincere" Brandi "sometimes wrestles or does autograph signings under a mask as The Patriot, although without the permission of the original Patriot, Del Wilkes." (Thanks, Wikipedia)

What the hell is going on!?

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