Note: this interview was scheduled for Independence Day before the untimely news of Del Wilkes' passing, and left it unedited following that
"Medal" was an iconic theme for Kurt Angle, but it didn't start with him.
Many think that the song started with "The Patriot" Del Wilkes in 1997 WWF. Long before the "you suck" chants dominated the beat and Angle, Wilkes walked to the ring to the fitting tune. Wilkes readily admits that he wasn't the first person to rock the theme, either.
"Well, he got it the same way I did, I’m sure. I’ve never talked to Kurt [Angle] about that particular subject, but I was given a list of songs to listen to. I didn’t know at the time that [Sgt.] Slaughter had used it on one occasion to go to the ring or maybe more than one. But, I do know one occasion he had. It was the one I had picked out of the list of songs they gave me. I liked it the best. I thought it was fitting. Then he ended up using it as well. More power to him," Wilkes told Fightful in an exclusive interview.
The Sgt. Slaughter would actually use the theme shortly after Wilkes departed WWF, at In Your House: D-Generation X for a match with Triple H. The clip was recently referenced on an edition of The R-Truth Game Show.
The Jim Johnston-produced theme continues to be used today when Kurt Angle makes appearances, and was even re-mixed and covered multiple times to cater to Angle's character. The version in which Patriot used was remastered and altered by the time Angle ended up with it as well.
You can see our full interview with "The Patriot" Del Wilkes above. Wilkes passed away last week at the age of 59. We send our condolences to his friends, family and fans.