Interview: Dinero "Far More Known" Than Burke

Source: Rob McNichol of The Sun (UK)

“The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero recently spoke with Rob McNichol of the United Kingdom’s Sun newspaper. During the interview, Dinero suggested that no one would even remember his time in WWE. He said, “Who remembers Elijah Burke but a diehard fan? Pope has become far more known than Elijah Burke ever was in the three years he was with WWE. What does that say about self-promoting? What does that say about TNA’s promoting?”

Copied below for your reading pleasure is the entire interview. Enjoy!


TNA superstar The Pope D’Angelo Dinero has taken a pop at WWE – saying nobody would even remember his three years there as Elijah Burke.

The grappler claims that, due to the freedom he enjoys in TNA and the way they’ve promoted his character, he has achieved much greater success than when working under the constraints put on stars by WWE.

In an exclusive interview to celebrate TNA’s move to Challenge TV in the UK, Pope told SunSport: “Some characters are indeed most successful when one’s personality is turned up. I don’t think that’s a cliché. I think it’s the truth. It’s legit.

“Then again, you do have some characters that are out there and the person is the total opposite of it, but they get over as well.

“It all comes down to the promoting of one’s character. That doesn’t just involve the person themselves, but it involves the company, as well, that the individual is wrestling for.

“That plays a big part in what works and what doesn’t work.

“You watch the company up north and they will take a character and shove it down your throat. They tell you ‘this is what we want to work so you’re going to cheer or you’re going to boo’.

“Who remembers Elijah Burke but a diehard fan?

“Pope has become far more known than Elijah Burke ever was in the three years he was with WWE.

“What does that say about self-promoting? What does that say about TNA’s promoting?”

To say Dinero lives his character is an understatement. On meeting him for the first time in Glasgow on TNA’s European Tour, he walked like ‘The Pope’, he dressed like ‘The Pope’ and he even says ‘The Pope’ while referring to himself in the third person.

However, when talking about the difference between the two major American wrestling companies – he becomes more serious.

Dinero added: “When it comes to coming overseas with the WWE, there’s a big difference.

“The main one for me right now, with TNA, is the atmosphere. The locker room, the family-like vibe that you have.

“Our boss Dixie Carter, she is traveling with us. She’s still doing the same things she does in the States.

“If she’s in a bad mood you’d never know it. That’s the kind of thing that separates TNA from any other wrestling organisation.

“We have a personal boss, who is very personable with each and every one of her employees, she’s always making the rounds to be just as personable with the fans as she is with the employees. Kudos to Dixie.”

TNA pitched up in Glasgow having already performed in France, Ireland and Germany on a whistle stop tour of North West Europe.


By this time, though most of the crew were enjoying themselves, the pattern of almost constant travel was taking its toll.

Not on your Pope, you understand, but he shared a story about another crew member suffering until the tour’s strain.

He teased: “Here’s a little tidbit for you. Earl Hebner comes up to Pope and he goes ‘Pope Daddy, that flight this morning really killed me. I’m wore out’.

“I said ‘Earl, what are you talking about?’ He said ‘The flight, the flight over here this morning.’

“I said ‘Earl, we’ve been here two days already’. He said ‘We didn’t get in this morning?’ I go ‘No, Earl.’

“He said ‘Pope, I don’t know what’s going on’.

“He’d probably screw me like he screwed Bret if he knew I was telling you this.”

On Impact – shown every Tuesday night on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media channel Challenge – Dinero is currently embroiled in a feud with TNA mainstay Samoa Joe, whose no-nonsense style is in contrast to Pope’s brash persona.

The leader of the Congregation, though, is untroubled by the disparity between the two.

He said: “I want you to keep a close eye on this situation. I’m going to show how it’s going to be THE feud to watch in all of wrestling.

“You got Pope – I mean, you got POPE – then you got Joe. You got the Samoan Submission Machine, the guy is a monster in the ring, with his aggression and everything.

“Pope will handle all the juckin’ and jivin’, pimpin’ and the ridin’. Pope will handle all the talking, the charismatic features and abilities that should be applied in the ring. Pope is going to handle all the showboating.

“Joe’s going to handle the rest.

“I think it’s going to be a great complement to each other, being that we’re both so different.

“When we get in the ring, magic is going to happen.”

YOU can listen to the full interview on the latest episode of Rob McNichol’s One Sided Ring Podcast, which also features a chat with referee Brian Hebner. It is available for download here or via iTunes.