7540 the pope  d angelo dinero elijah burke smiling tna
D'Angelo Dinero
Elijah Samuel Burke
  • Birthdate: 05/24/1978 (age 38)
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Weight: 220 Ib

Best known for his time in World Wrestling Ente...

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Elijah Burke recently spoke with Kayfabe Wrestling Radio about the Pope character and more. Check out the highlights:

On the Pope character as it was planned in WWE: "When the Pope idea originally surfaced in the WWE, that's what they wanted; you know, the plan was to have the Pope in a big hat and a staff and all that other stuff but much like with everything in today's world, you have to modernize it and you can't stay where you once were. You just kind of have to move forward, you kind of have to tweak things and that's what I wanted to do with the Pope character; I wanted to make it something different and something unique. I didn't want to come out in a big hat and I didn't want to come out with a staff. But Daddy, if the Pope was selected today to be the official bishop of Rome, then a lot of things would change and the first thing I'd do to the Popemobile is put some spinners on it, put some tinted windows on there and put two chicks on each side of me."

On who creatively came up with the character of in TNA: "Everything that you saw about the Pope, and notice I said the Pope and not D'Angelo Dinero; everything you saw about the Pope was Elijah Burke. It was Elijah Burke turned up, it was something I wanted to bring to the table during my last days with the WWE and it just didn't pan out so when I got into TNA and we had our creative talks and whatnot, they were going to debut me as Elijah Burke. They were going to bring me in under my regular name of Elijah Burke and I told Russo ‘Hey Russo, I want to do… here's my Pope character and if you guys like it, it's what I want to do'. So, basically it was me and Russo and I showed Russo this 5-minute vignette that I can't for the life of me figure out what I did with it, maybe they kept it. But I did that; I showed Russo, he went into the office, came back out and was like ‘Holy crap, bro, I'm telling you; forget Elijah Burke. You have to do this character. You have to do it; I already have the perfect name for it: D'Angelo Dinero, Money man. Cause that's what the Pope is, Money.' And that's what we went with."

On who he liked working with most in TNA: "The most fun I had in the ring in TNA was with AJ Styles. But, on a scientific wrestling level, I loved working with Wolfie (Nigel McGuinness aka Desmond Wolfe in TNA); I call him Wolfie. By Desmond was very unique and so I really did enjoy working with him, and personally and professionally I just enjoyed him; we didn't have much time outside of the ring together or anything like that but, man, when I found out that I was working him, it was essentially a night. It was fun and it was a learning experience because he was so crafty and his background and what he did; where he came from and his unique wrestling ability, and bringing in the English style, it was something I didn't get a lot of coming up in this business. I didn't work a lot of people who had that style, so for me to blend in my in-your-face boxing style, you know the brawling/boxing style with what he does; it was great. I enjoyed it. I was sad when his time was up; I thought me and him should have had a lot more great matches and feuds, but that didn't happen. But I enjoyed the time I had with him."

On Hogan and Bischoff coming into TNA: "Well, you don't have to use other folks to explain my comments because I'm going to give you what I feel regardless. I do think Bischoff and Hogan coming into the company did what it was supposed to do, and that was to, whether it was negative or positive, it was to bring more attention to the product and when you look at the overall issue, the underlying issue and overall factor, the matter is they did just that. If people are talking about TNA, and regardless of how negatively they talk about the company or how positively they talk about it, they're still talking about it and in order to bash, and I'm not with TNA so I could care less about trying to be political, but in order to bash TNA, you have to watch TNA. So, as long as you are watching, I guess that's all that really matters. I mean,...