Chris Chavis (born June 8, 1961), aka Tatanka, is an American professional wrestler, who rose to prominence in the early 1990s on the strength of his on-screen persona, which heavily played up his Native American heritage; in fact, he is actually descended from the Lumbee Native American tribe. He was a popular upper midcarder in WWE, and held a famous undefeated streak for a year and a half. After it ended, he had a Face–Heel Turn in 1994 and spent time as a Mook for Ted DiBiase before departing the company.
Chavis spent time on the independent circuit after having turned down a contract from WCW, preferring the lighter schedule. In the mid-2000s, he had a short-lived comeback in the WWE.
While he never held a title in WWE, he has held gold all over the world. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion, a 2x iGeneration Wrestling Australasian Heavyweight Champion and a former IPWA (Israel) Heavyweight Champion.
Tropes associated with THE UNDEFEATED NATIVE AMERICAN, TATANKA~! include:
- Animal Theme Naming: Being that Tatanka is a Lakota word that literally means "bull buffalo."
- Captain Ethnic: Unlike many pro wrestlers with a Noble Savage gimmick, though, he was actually an American Indian.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Had an undefeated streak for over a year and a half before losing to Foreign Wrestling Heel Ludvig Borga, of all people. note
- '80s Hair: Still rocking a mullet these days.
- Finishing Move: During his peak years he preferred the Samoan Drop (sometimes called the Papoose To Go or the End Of The Trail, or as Gorilla Monsoon called it derisively after his heel turn the "End of the Money Trail"). He switched to a swinging side slam during his brief 2000s comeback.
- Magical Native American: It's one way to look at his ability to gain a Heroic Second Wind, a la Hulk Hogan, by doing a Native American war dance.
- Noble Savage: Zig-zagged depending on his current face or heel status. One questions if a truly "noble" figure would sell out to Ted DiBiase.
- Power Stable:
- (in SAPW): Jones' Rangers
- (in WWE): The Million Dollar Corporation
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Screaming Warrior: "AYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI, YI, YI, YI, YI, YI, YI!!!"
- The Stoic: Tatanka was intensely serious at all times.
- Traumatic Haircut: Bam Bam Bigelow jumped him backstage and cut a huge chunk out of his hair, kicking off a 1993 feud.