Original RAW Plans for Elijah Burke, More Details on Cuts

– It’s interesting to note that Elijah Burke was originally slated to be moved to the Raw brand when Shelton Benjamin moved to ECW late last year, but head Raw writer Brian Gewirtz had no interest in using him and the plan was nixed. Around the same time, WWE had plans for Kofi Kingston to be called up to the main roster, but Gewirtz had no interest in him as well. Also, SmackDown head writer Michael Hayes didn’t want him either, hence his move to ECW upon his debut.

In another interesting trivia note, Elijah Burke was originally tapped to be part of the Spirit Squad, but turned the spot down. He believed the gimmick would kill his career, so he decided to wait longer to be called up to WWE. As it turned out, considering what happened with pretty much everyone on the team, he lasted longer than everyone sans Nic Nemeth (a.k.a. Dolph Ziggler) and Kenny Dykstra, who was ironically cut the same day. Burke was called up to the SmackDown roster in a pairing with Sylvester Terkay in the summer of 2006 and with the exception of Kenny Dykstra, the Spirit Squad members were sent back down to developmental by the end of the year. Around the same time, Burke really started to get noticed in WWE and he soon became the leader of the “New Breed.”

Some believed Burke had small attitude issues, but several people felt he was great with promos, and as a result, had potential to be a money star in the future. Hence, he became the lead heel of the “New Breed.” However, the angle eventually ran its course and the company apparently gave up on him. Even though he was considered to be a success in his role with the “New Breed,” nobody could give a good reason as to why he wasn’t being used anymore, even those directly involved in the creative process.

All of the recent cuts were part of WWE’s decision to release talent not being used as a result of the company’s cost cutting directive. Burke had not been used since May and there were obviously no plans to use him anytime soon, hence his dismissal from the company.

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