Former WWE Star Elijah Burke Says He Turned Down Membership In The Spirit Squad

It's not often that cheerleading and pro wrestling go hand-in-hand, but that was the case in 2006 when WWE debuted The Spirit Squad, a group of male cheerleaders featuring the likes of the future Dolph Ziggler, Kenny Dykstra, and others. Originally however, the group was supposed to be a bit different, with members Johnny Jeter (Johnny) and Mike Mondo (Mikey) on the outs, and Elijah Burke, future NWA Television Champion, in the lineup. Burke discussed how he was originally planned for the stable during an appearance on "Developmentally Speaking."

"I was supposed to be in the Spirit Squad," Burke said. "That was my first foray into WWE. That was when I was supposed to be doing the Spirit Squad. And I went to the office with Johnny Ace, then went back to Vince McMahon and politely declined." Burke ultimately has no regrets about not being a Spirit Squad member, and in particular is happy Jeter and Mondo got spots in the group that would've gone to him initially. He also revealed that WWE's Chairman wasn't offended by Burke declining the proposed idea.

"Vince respected the hell out of me saying no," Burke said. "Other people didn't. Other people thought 'Oh my god, you said no to Vince. How could you? How are you turning down opportunities?'  So I got some heat for that, for whatever reason, because I said no to Vince McMahon ... Vince said, 'I respect that. We'll send you back down, and we'll bring you back up when we have something for you.' And that's what he did."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Developmentally Speaking" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription