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Wrestling / Elijah Burke

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Da Pope
"Don't time..."

Elijah Samuel Burke (born May 24, 1981) is a former amateur boxer turned professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in Impact Wrestling (then known as TNA) under the ring name "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero and later on as Da Pope, and his time in WWE under his real name, wrestling on their revived ECW brand. Currently, he is signed to the N.W.A, wrestling under the name "Da Pope" Elijah Burke.

He is a one-time NWA Television Champion, a one-time OVW Heavyweight Champion, a one-time OVW Television Champion, and a two-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion (once with Private Anthony, and once with Big Jon).


  • Accidental Misnaming: Calls Jeff "Cheff", and Wolfe "Roofe", among others.
  • Alliterative Name: As D'Angelo Dinero.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • In WWE, CM Punk. Burke tried to recruit Punk for the New Breed on WWECW and temporarily succeeded only for their egos to clash immediately, causing Punk to ditch them within two weeks. He later served as Punk's most consistent rival after John Morrison and The Miz during Punk's pursuit of the ECW Championship.
    • In TNA, Samoa Joe. Joe saw right through his facade as a Mr. Vice Guy and the two of them ended up hating each other.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wore a long black one occasionally adorned with cross symbols.
  • Badass Preacher: He's a Harlem street preacher.
  • Big Applesauce: D'Angelo Dinero is billed from Harlem, even though Elijah Burke is from Florida, because god forbid you have a street preacher or a pimp that isn't from New York.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: As a heel.
  • Catchphrase:
    "Pope has spoken!"
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • He was positioned as one of the potential future stars cutting their teeth in WWECW, but his prominence gradually decreased until he was little more than a glorified jobber before being released in late 2008 after months of inactivity.
    • As a microcosm of that, just look at the New Breed vs. ECW Originals feud — the entire thing started as Burke spearheading a youthful movement against the old ECW faithful. After WrestleMania 23, it eventually became more about getting CM Punk over.
    • Thanks to the erratic nature of TNA's booking during the Hogan/Bischoff era, he gradually slid down the card and by the time of his first release was stuck in midcard hell. When he returned to TNA, it was as a commentator.
  • Expy:
    • For awhile, TNA seemed to be booking him how Sting was booked in WCW. His promo style contains a good deal of Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, and the Rock mixed in also.
    • He also inspired one notable Expy of his own, in the form of none other than Kazuchika Okada—who, upon his return to New Japan, adopted a similarly cocky, obscenely-rich persona, complete with fake money falling from the ceiling during his entrance.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Courtesy of AJ Styles.
  • He's Back!:
    • After disappearing from TV for several months, he made his return to television on the 6/14/12 edition of Impact as a participant in the Bound For Glory Series. Unfortunately, he was eliminated early from the Series, due to injury.
    • After being released from the company following his injury and doing his own thing as an independent, he returned in 2015 to fill in at commentary when Taz left and Josh Mathews needed a partner. He was later made Mathews' permanent partner.
  • Inspector Javert: He really, really didn't trust Mr. Anderson. Anderson proved him wrong. Conversely, Samoa Joe really, really didn't trust him. He proved Joe right; they hated each other.
  • Intergenerational Rivalry: As the leader of the New Breed against the ECW Originals. He had a particular enmity with Rob Van Dam, who was the Originals' nominal leader as their biggest star and best wrestler.
  • Irony: Remember the 2011-2012 feud where he tried to corrupt Devon's sons? Bet he was wishing he could take that back when someone's new crew beat him down about 8-9 months later in what turned out to be his final appearance as a wrestler in TNA.
  • Jerk Jock: In WWE, this was his initial gimmick. Really prevalent during his time as leader of the New Breed, where he was basically leading the brand's biggest pack of bullies.
  • Large Ham: He's taken his preacher background to heart.
  • Money Song: A cross between a rap song and a gospel revival number. It's pretty awesome.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He's implied to be a bit of a womanizer and can be a bit of a jerk, but when he's an honest face he's one of the purer folks TNA has. It helps that his real personality veers more toward the "honest face" bit.
  • The Nicknamer: As a commentator, is pretty fond of testing out Red Barons on certain talents. So far the two that have stuck are the Bearded Terror for Eric Young (though World Class Maniac is still more prevalent) and the Tenth Wonder of the World for Awesome Kong.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He was the Younger Villain in almost all his feuds, particularly during the New Breed vs ECW Originals feud.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: This was Elijah Burke's problem in WWECW. He was talented enough to be acknowledged by Vince McMahon himself, but had to live in the shadows of far more talented young wrestlers and could never make it far with them on top. This includes Bobby Lashley (future WWE Champion and TNA/Impact World Champion), John Morrison (also a future TNA/Impact World Champion and a highly-decorated wrestler both in and out of WWE), and CM Punk (one of the greatest and most successful professional wrestlers of all time).
  • Power Stable: The New Breed on WWECW, of which he was the Centerpiece of.
  • Put on a Bus: His contract in TNA expired while he was still injured.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: As a former boxer, when the Pope punches you, he punches you really, really fast.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: As part as his gimmick as the Pope in TNA, part of his ring entrance was being showered with money. It was also a pun on his name, as "Dinero" means "money" in Spanish.
  • Red Baron: "The Pope", before being later restyled as "Da Pope".
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Not just a pope, but a pimp, too.
  • Sinister Minister: Whenever he played heel.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Almost all the time during his tenure on WWECW. He was unquestionably talented but couldn't quite measure up against the actual top talent there.
    • As a Heel, the Pope will go into the ring and forgive you for all your transgressions with one of the biggest, phoniest grins ever.
  • Third-Person Person: As the Pope, he has a tendency to speak in this manner during his promos.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In WWE, Elijah Burke is barely above enhancement talent and never made it out of C-Show ECW. In TNA, the Pope is positioned as a major player from the beginning and nearly claimed the world title a few times.
  • Verbal Tic: Daddy, oddly enough.
  • We Can Rule Together: This was his pitch to CM Punk in order to get him to join the New Breed, after it became clear that Punk was the second best wrestler on the brand behind ECW Champion Bobby Lashley.

Alternative Title(s): D Angelo Dinero, Da Pope