Ryan Michael's Exclusive Bleacher Report Interview with Elijah Burke

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIJuly 20, 2009

In my ever-growing mission to reach out to those in the professional wrestling community, I was once again fortunate enough to get the opportunity to interview another great talent. The following interview was conducted between former WWE Superstar, Elijah Burke and myself.

Elijah was always one of my favorite ECW Superstars.

I remember watching the feud between the ECW Originals and the New Breed and I always thought to myself that Burke was the kind of talent who was more than capable of holding his own against any of the guys he competed against.

Besides, I’ve always been a fan of a good heel.

I had a number of questions that I wanted to ask Elijah and I feel that he did a fantastic job answering them.

Without any further ad0, this is what he had to say...

What was it that first inspired you to become a professional wrestler?

Watching the NWA, mainly Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen.

Just seeing how much joy it brought to me and my family, especially my dad. It made me want to return the favor, and bless others with what I felt as a child.

2. What would you consider to be your greatest match to date and why?

That's a hard one.

I believe the greatest achievement match would be Mania 23 because of obvious reasons, but my greatest would probably be the triple-threat against Punk and Dreamer.

I was the lone bad guy against the top two good guys and after holding my own against the two, I came out of the match with a ton of respect from peers and fans alike who gave me a standing ovation after the hard-fought contest.

3. What can you tell us about your amateur boxing background?

While preparing for my first Guns 'n Hoses amateur fight, myself and another officer enrolled in a tough man competition to test our skills.

After competing and winning, the adrenaline rush and my need to entertain kept me going back for more. Three-years later, I was 102-1.

4. Due to your training and experience in amateur boxing, did it ever give you an added feeling of confidence knowing that you could perhaps defeat many of the guys you competed against in the ring if it really came down to a brawl?

Actually it initially scared me as I didn’t want to hurt someone because of my background. So therefore, I really never threw punches in the ring. To this day, I only throw one (4-UP) or two (Corner Combos) a match.

5. How would you compare your experience in the WWE to other promotions you have worked for?

Uhm, well, being that WWE was my first and only promotion I worked for, it would have to be the best. It was fun, very educational and rewarding.

6. You competed against Chris Benoit in his final match. What can you tell us about how you felt in light of the events that occurred shortly thereafter, and have you had a lot of people ask you about that match?

Yeah, I get questioned a lot about it.

I have no problem talking about Chris because he had (as evidenced by testing his brain) a disease that was undetected at the time.

I remember talking to him, and he would tell me that he forgets a lot of things, and how he would like for me not to be afraid to communicate with him.

Chris was a great guy, and regardless what happened (and I’m still not sold on how everything went down, nor the operation in which it was handled) he loved his family too much to ever knowingly commit such an act.

However, he had a condition that I've witnessed older people deal with all the time, being that my mother's a nurse. And let me tell you, one minute they're (Alzheimer Patient) telling you to help them, and the next minute they're screaming, "Help, there's a stranger in my room". So by Chris’ brain being worse than a 80-year-old Alzheimer patient’s, then who knows.

But I loved Chris, and was devastated as he had handpicked me to help elevate to the next level. He called me the day before they say the first "incident" happened to check on me following my back injury when he crashed into my knees during our first and last televised match. Does that sound like a monster to you?

7. What has been the most satisfying moment of your career thus far and what do you aspire to do in the future to top it?

Stepping in the ring and wrestling one of my childhood idols, Ric Flair (Dusty being the other).

[I] Don't think it can be topped unless I can meet Dusty on the Indy scene somewhere, but what would mean more on a personal respect level and could come close and maybe even top that moment (being that Flair was not near his peak, but hey, it's still RIC FLAIR!) would be to get in the ring with the "Icon", Sting!

8. If you could deliver one final message for all of your fans, what would it be?

I have heard your cry and I've felt your yearning. Keep your eyes posted as your Pope will be returning soon!

Join YOUR Pope, Elijah Burke this coming Wed, July 22 at 12pm for the relaunch of TheElijahExpress.com. Those who visit within the first 5 min will witness a BLOCKBUSTER ANNOUNCEMENT!

And so brought a close to my interview with Elijah Burke. I would like to personally thank Elijah for taking the time to do this interview with me. From the moment I contacted him, Elijah was nothing but a class act, and was very helpful in making sure that this interview happened.

If you were a fan of Elijah during his ECW days, I would highly recommend that you follow his plug and keep track of all the latest developments in his career.

Be sure to keep a close eye on my articles to come as I hope to continue to be able to land interviews with Professional Wrestlers and NFL players alike.


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