7 Most Patriotic WWE Superstars: Hulk Hogan, Madusa & More (PHOTOS)
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Angle became an American hero when he won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics for freestyle wrestling. He went on to have a Hall of Fame career in WWE, winning numerous championships. And even today, he remains a staple on television as the Raw general manager.
Whether he was a heel or babyface, Angle’s signature ring attire contained the three colors of the United States flag — a nod to the Pittsburgh native’s accomplishments for his country.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Hacksaw could regularly be found waving the American flag to the delight of crowds at WWE and WCW events. Duggan often got people behind him with a thumbs up, followed by a U-S-A chant, all while wielding a 2x4. After Sgt. Slaughter finished his heelish run, he teamed with Duggan to form an American super power team.
These days, Duggan appears at independent shows eliciting the same sense of American pride.
“Made in the USA” — known as Alundra Blayze in WWE — would often face off against foreign rivals like longtime foe Bull Nakano. They traded the women’s championship back and forth in WWE and later in WCW. Madusa also had a series of matches against Akira Hokuto.
When her in-ring career came to a close, she took that USA vibe to the motorsports world by driving a trademark monster truck.
Every time Hulk Hogan entered an arena filled with Hulkamaniacs, his iconic “I Am A Real American” theme played him to the ring. The way the larger-than-life figure overcame unbelievable odds to defeat evil made him a patriotic symbol all his own. He would often be paired against a foreign villain. Whether it was toppling the Iron Sheik in 1984 before a packed Madison Square Garden or stopping an “Iraqi sympathizer” in Sgt. Slaughter at WrestleMania 7, Hogan stood for truth, justice and the American way. More than a decade later, Hogan would also take on the identity of Mr. America.
Luger entered the WWE a "narcissist," but that all changed in July 4, 1993, when the powerhouse executed a body slam on the more than 500-pound Yokozuna aboard the USS Intrepid. With Hulk Hogan pretty much out of the picture by this time, the company was in search of the next big thing. They saw it in Luger, building on the slam’s momentum with a bus tour crossing the United States called the Lex Express.
Luger never won the WWE championship from Yoko, but kept the patriotic persona going until his controversial defection back to WCW in 1995.
Del Wilkes embodied America under the masked persona known as The Patriot. He drew a following, not only in the U.S. but in Japan, too. His biggest opportunity came in 1997 when he stood up to Canadian Bret Hart, the WWE champion at the time who often badmouthed America.
Unfortunately, The Patriot’s time in the company was short and unsuccessful toward the end. Still, Wilkes is remembered by longtime fans for his efforts in rallying America.
Decked in army fatigues with the strong-jawed look of a demanding drill instructor, Sgt. Slaughter may be the ultimate patriotic superstar. The Hall of Famer proved he transcended WWE and pro wrestling in general when his likeness inspired a G.I. Joe character.
At one point, Slaughter took a controversial turn as an Iraqi sympathizer, and his character overhaul was met with fan anger and even death threats. But the 1991 run, coinciding with the Gulf War, did earn him a run with the WWE championship and a main event match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 7. Shortly after losing the title to Hogan, Slaughter transitioned back into a babyface role and teamed with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.
Over the years, many WWE superstars have proudly worn the red, white, and blue on their proverbial sleeve.
Of course, fans have gotten behind these performers as they battled adversaries, all while representing the good ol' US of A. And ahead of Independence Day, we're taking a look at those who have really taken their patriotism to the next level.
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There are others that didn't quite make the cut but still deserve a mention — among them, The Marine star John Cena and The Miz, a known supporter of men and women in uniform. Also worth mentioning is John “Bradshaw” Layfield, whose initial idea to honor the U.S. military became the Tribute to the Troops, an annual event held during the holidays. And don't forget two-time Olympian turned WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry, a former “World’s Strongest Man."
Click through the gallery above to see who made the official list, and let us know your favorites in the comments below.
Historic matches and moments of these patriotic superstars are available on WWE Network