"The Pope" D'angelo Dinero, also known as Elijah Burke, has solidified his spot at the commentary table. Ahead of this weekend's Bound For Glory, we talked to Pope for the latest edition of Wikipedia True or False!
WIKI: Burke would become an amateur boxer in Jacksonville's Club 5 and Club Plush where he had a 98–1 win/loss record. According to his WWE.com profile, Burke has a record of 103–1 with 102 knockouts in his amateur career .
Burke: “It is one of those. The thing is, in professional wrestling everything is embellished. If a guy is 5' 9”, he might be listed as six feet. If he's 210 pounds, he might be listed as 225 pounds. The Pope only lost one fight in three and a half years, that is a fact.” True.
WIKI: According to WWE, the only loss he sustained was a disqualification, after he knocked his opponent out and refused to back down to his corner.
Burke: “(Laughs) I did have a loss, and it was not by knockout. The loss, whether it was a split decision, unanimous decision, disqualification, whatever, I did have a loss. It was to a guy that I obliterated in one of our early fights. Broke his nose, it was like a faucet. I know you're a modern day Diane Sawyer and you warm all of us up, not gonna work! I will say this, in that matchup, I was not supposed to fight. Me and my team had a great plan. Every time Guns n' Hoses (the boxing event) came around, I truly began to believe that these people wanted me to be a part because they wanted someone to beat me. It's like (any undefeated fighter), you wanna see them get beat after a while. Me and my team decided I was going to go into the corner, take a punch and do a Ric Flair flop, let the count happen, get up and I can't continue, because I've always been a great actor in my own right. That's what we were going to do, just to piss everybody off some more, then get up smiling, you know. That was my own Dusty finish.” Partially false.
WIKI: Before each of his matches he writes the phrase "4-Up" on his wrist tape, and in an interview with WWE Magazine, Burke stated that this came from the phrase "I'm going to give you five upside your head," used by comedians such as Redd Foxx
Burke: “That statement is absolutely true. It's a dual meaning. If you go back to when I faced Balls Mahoney on ECW television, you'd notice I started changing the “P” to all red instead of black. That meaning is also personal. When I was finding myself as Elijah Burke, Matt Hardy helped me out a great deal with my finisher, The Elijah Express, just gave me some veteran knowledge of how I could make that move more impactful. Undertaker was waiting for me one day in the back, and said I needed to make (the boxing career) a part of his character. Just do something that can pay tribute to your boxing background. That's when I started taping my fists, and I think from that moment I started to write “4-Up.” That's a reference to my boxing and toughman backgroung. When you hit someone across the head, Fred Sanford would say “How would you like a 5 knuckle sandwiched upside your head?” Everybody would say that back in the day, but the truth of the matter is, when you hit someone with a fist, you hit them with four knuckles if you hit them at all.”
WIKI: Burke told hosts Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas that early in his professional wrestling career, he never threw worked punches due to having difficulty pulling his punches.
Burke: “When I got to OVW, I can't remember the name of the dummy they had you practice on, but I practiced on him a lot. If I could move him, I didn't want to throw punches on a guy in the ring, so I worked more on forearms, which I was more comfortable with. Shout out to Shelly Martinez, and everybody that took her forearms, and we called them the five-arms because they would knock the living you-know-what out of you. Jim Cornette would tell a story about somebody who would hang a string and hit with it. If you could hit that string and not move it, and your punch looks good, you could do it. Jim Cornette could throw a hell of a punch. I started using a light fixture in my bathroom. The light stuck out from the wall and had the little switch sticking out, and I would be in my mirror throwing punches at the light. If I could just touch the bottom of that light, and not knock the light bulb out or electrocute myself, I knew I would be okay. As time went on, sometimes the adrenaline rush would get going and I'd really put it in there, but it's not an issue now (laughs). You try to make sure you take care of everybody.” True
Close, but no cigar. The differing boxing records on Pope's wikipedia prevents us from gaining our first perfect page. Make sure to tune in next month for a new Wikipedia True or False!