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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Next Big Thing: Elijah Burke
March 26, 2007 by Joe W.


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!


It flows so beautifully: The Elijah Experience. Simple alliteration that tells everything a viewer needs to know. His name is Elijah and you are ready for a show. Self-indulgent slogans like this are soaked with arrogance, something the leader of the New Breed has plenty of.

Since the WWE canned tag team partner Sylvester Terkay, Elijah Burke has flourished and shown that he has what it takes to be the next great menacing heel. It all began when he got the ultimate heel rub when he was introduced by one Vincent Kennedy McMahon as the future of the company. Doesn't get much better than that. What followed proved Burke's potential.

He stood alongside the biggest, most powerful name in the industry (not Hogan), and candidly cut a promo with McMahon. He was still a new face. Not many viewers knew much about him. But we were sold. He didn't look at all out of place. Without missing a beat, Burke has established himself as one of the most important pieces of the ECW product. Hardly an "Extremist," Burke is a throw-back with an up-to-date flair.

Don't think that I just used that word accidentally.

He has perfected the pompous jerk promo. He knows how to pull at the crowd and his timing is impeccable. His smug, good looks and stylish braids portray his character perfectly. His physique is hardly juiced. Instead, he looks like a pure athlete, one that has busted his butt in the weight room to prove to the world why he is better than everybody else.

I believe it was Taz that described Burke has having a silver tongue. When he opens his mouth, the crowd listens. He has a commanding presence despite his lack of size, standing about 6-foot-1.

As the leader of the New Breed, he is the centerpiece of ECW's only hot angle. (I do not count Lashley against Umaga as an ECW angle.) This feud was a necessity to the show. Everybody knew it was coming. Anybody could write the storyline. New Skool vs. Old School. It's simple. The question mark was whether or not there were the proper characters in place to carry out the mission.

The Originals have been less than impressive. Dreamer has never appealed to me. Sandman, while he may have had the character earlier, is a poor-man's Stone Cold. Van Dam and Sabu are great in ring performers but when asked to cut a promo they fall short.

The New Breed has all the mic skills needed between Burke and Matt Striker, but Burke has taken the lead. Striker is destined to be an awesome manager, which is a shame, but standing at 5 foot nothing, he'll never make it. Burke's recent interactions with C.M. Punk have been fantastic. These two, if given the opportunity, have the potential to be exactly what WWE needs. They are young and talented in the ring with great charisma. Punk will surely align himself with the Originals, sparking a feud between himself and Burke through the summer, which could be the first of a lineage of great battles between the pair.

Cor Von (Monty Brown) and Kevin Thorne also have great potential to become stars in the 'E' if allowed to break away from the hell-hole that is ECW. Cor Von needs to improve his work in the ring and ability to cut a promo longer then screaming "the POUNCE." He's got the look and the in ring charisma to make a career for himself. With Thorne, I have my questions, but he definitely has the skills. He's got a distinct look and talent in the ring. I don't know if he can cut a promo or not. But he should be a solid mid-carder for half dozen years.

by Joe W. (View/Submit your feedback here)..




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