TNA star D’Angelo Dinero’s contract expired at the start of the new year.
He told everyone via Twitter that he has decided not to re-sign with the company (h/t Prowrestling.net):
Pope's Contract expired with TNA on Jan 1, I will not be resigning. Thanks to Dixie and the whole TNA Family for a wonderful 3+ Years.~PHS— Da Black Pope (@DaBlackPope) January 8, 2013
Dinero then tweeted at the smart marks, letting them know it was for real:
And for the SM's out there, THIS is not a storyline. ~PHS— Da Black Pope (@DaBlackPope) January 8, 2013
Dinero was introduced to wrestling fans as Elijah Burke, part of the ECW brand. He was a member of the stable New Breed with Marcus Cor Von (TNA’s Monty Brown), Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker and CM Punk.
After the stable disbanded, he went on to singles competition, but found no success. He feuded with Batista and teamed with Shelton Benjamin. He debuted in 2008 with the “Black Pope” gimmick but was released in May.
He debuted with TNA in the Steel Asylum match at the 2009 Hard Justice event.
In 2010, Dinero won the 8 Card Stud Tournament, earning himself a world title shot against AJ Styles at Lockdown. Despite a good showing, he came up unsuccessful.
Throughout the rest of his time with the company, Dinero bounced around from feud to feud. From the Immortal and Fortune alliance to Mexican America, Dinero was never able to reach the popularity he once had when he debuted.
Dinero was taken off of TV when he was attacked by Aces & Eights at the 2012 Hard Justice, three years after his debut.
Now that Dinero is no longer with TNA, is a return to WWE a possibility?
I honestly hope so because Dinero is entertaining in the ring. As Elijah Burke in WWE, he wasn’t anything to write home about, but as “The Pope” he was able to cut good promos for TNA.
There is certainly room within WWE for Dinero to return, especially with all of the programming they have available.
If the rumors are true and Shelton Benjamin does return, they can come back together as a team.
Regardless, it will be worth keeping an eye out to see where Dinero signs in a couple of months.