Elijah Burke, also known as Da Pope, has his sights set on the Ten Pounds of Gold.
Heading into NWA‘s “By Any Means Necessary” event on October 24, Da Pope is focused on challenging for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, which is currently held by Trevor Murdoch. Pope’s previous run as the NWA World Televison Championship gives him a solid case for a title shot, and he’s made it no secret that he intends to challenge Murdoch sooner rather than later.
During a recent appearance on the Battleground Podcast, Da Pope explained that he has directly made this intent clear to Murdoch because he respects the champion, and he’s not the kind of guy who would go behind someone’s back.
“You watch your back for Tyrus, you watch your back for the Jax Danes and people of that nature. A stand-up guy like Pope, someone who has the values, has the morals, man, I’m just coming straight to him and the key word like you said is, he needs to be prepared.
“You know what, because you know we go way back, there’s that part of us, that connection, brothers in the bond, I talked about it man, how happy that Pope was when Trevor won that title. Pope was there to embrace him, to tell him that I love him. Same with his son, man. His son was crying on my shoulder. So I just want Trevor to enjoy the moment right now. Don’t worry about Pope. Just enjoy your moment.”
Though Pope noted that he wants Murdoch to enjoy this grace period following his triumph at NWA 73, he emphasized his mission to make NWA history by becoming just the second black world champion in the promotion’s remarkable history.
“The next goal is real simple, and that’s to become the second black man in the history of the NWA in 73 years to become World Champion,” said Pope. “That would, again, it makes me emotional just to think about it. A little boy from Jacksonville, Afro-headed black kid that had no black heroes in the National Wrestling Alliance, the closest thing we had to a black champion was ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes.”
Da Pope also described how NWA continues to grow and return to the spotlight, and he wants to lead this charge back to “the promised land.”
“NWA now has grown, it’s come back to the forefront,” said Pope. “It’s getting the attention that it deserves, and we’re gradually growing and ascending back to a place of prominence in professional wrestling. And to spearhead, be one of the guys that spearheads that movement and lead NWA back to that place of prominence, to the promised land, if you will, that’s what your boy wants to do. That’s what I will do.”
The full episode is available here: