- Name: Tatanka
- Real Name: Chris Chavis
- Date of Birth: June 8, 1961
- Hometown: Pembroke, North Carolina, United States of America
- Height: 6'2
- Weight: 285 pounds
- WWE Debut: February 1, 1992
- Finishers: Wykea, Indian Death Drop / End of the Trail
Tatanka may have never held any gold in WWE but he is still a respected veteran. Hailing from a Native American background and belonging to the Lumbee tribe, Tatanka is dressed in a Lumbee attire. He has carried on the Native American tradition of Wahoo McDaniel and Chief Jay Strongbow in sports entertainment and has made a name of himself by battling the top superstars of the industry. Debuting with a Native American ancestry and a Lumbee war dance, Tatanka has possessed an undefeated streak upon his WWE debut that lasted nearly two years. He joined Million Dollar Corporation after getting rid of being held back of a main event push until departing the company in 1996 before making a comeback in 2006. Nevertheless, Tatanka is a determined Native American warrior and has brought his cultures and traditions along with himself to the WWE.
World Wrestling Federation (1992 - 1996)
After competing in small promotions, Chris Chavis joined World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1991. On February 1, 1992 edition of Superstars, Chavis debuted on WWF television as a babyface under the ring name Tatanka and defeated Pat Tanaka in his first WWF match. Following his debut, the Native American Tatanka made a huge impact by beginning an undefeated streak. He began his first rivalry with Rick Martel. At WrestleMania VIII, Tatanka made his pay-per-view debut and WrestleMania debut, defeating Martel. Tatanka defeated Skinner at UK Rampage.
On May 18, Tatanka participated in the Bashed in the USA Battle Royal. He last eliminated Irwin R. Schyster and Blake Beverly to win the Battle Royal. On July 6 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, Tatanka participated in a Battle Royal. He was eliminated by Skinner. The Berzerker won the Battle Royal. Tatanka's rivalry with Rick Martel intensified after Martel stole Tatanka's eagle feathers. At SummerSlam Spectacular, Tatanka defeated Kato. Tatanka began a rivalry wtih The Berzerker, which culminated in a match between the two at SummerSlam, which Tatanka won.
Tatanka defeated Repo Man at Survivor Series Showdown. At Survivor Series, Tatanka defeated Rick Martel to reclaim his stolen eagle feathers and end the rivalry. Entering 1993, Tatanka participated in his first Royal Rumble match as the #19 participant at Royal Rumble. He lasted seventeen minutes until he was eliminated by eventual winner Yokozuna. On February 15 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka participated in a Battle Royal. He was eliminated by Giant Gonzales. Razor Ramon won the Battle Royal.
Tatanka defeated George South at March to WrestleMania IX. At WrestleMania IX, Tatanka received his first championship match as he competed against Shawn Michaels for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Michaels retained the championship through count-out after Michaels missed an outside dive and got injured. On May 15 edition of Superstars, Tatanka defeated Giant Gonzales by disqualification in a King of the Ring qualifying match after Gonzales attacked the referee. Tatanka began feuding with Bam Bam Bigelow after rescuing Sensational Sherri from Bigelow during an interview, resulting in Bigelow attacking Tatanka and insulting his Native American heritage by cutting his dyed hair.
Tatanka participated in the 1993 King of the Ring Tournament at King of the Ring. He fought The Narcissist to a fifteen-minute time limit draw in the quarter-final round. At Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge, Tatanka participated in the Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge, in which wrestlers would attempt to bodyslam Yokozuna but Tatanka failed. Lex Luger won the competition. At SummerSlam, Tatanka and Smoking Gunns defeated Bam Bam Bigelow and The Headshrinkers.
On October 4 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka participated in a Battle Royal for the vacated WWF Intercontinental Championship. He was eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow. Rick Martel and Razor Ramon won the Battle Royal. Tatanka's undefeated streak ended on October 30 edition of Superstars against Ludvig Borga, when Borga pinned Tatanka after hitting him with a steel chair after a distraction by Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji. After the match, Yokozuna injured Tatanka by delivering him a Banzai Drop. Tatanka was out of action for six weeks due to his injury. He was scheduled to compete on Lex Luger's All-Americans team at Survivor Series but he missed out due to injury and was replaced by Undertaker.
Tatanka returned to WWF television after recovering from his injury on December 11 edition of Superstars. Following his return, Tatanka began a rivalry with Ludvig Borga for ending his undefeated streak and injuring him. Entering 1994, Tatanka was scheduled to compete against Borga in a match at Royal Rumble but Borga left WWF before the match could take place and was replaced by Tatanka's former rival Bam Bam Bigelow. Tatanka defeated Bigelow. Later that night, Tatanka participated in the 1994 Royal Rumble match as the #21 entrant. He lasted twenty minutes until he was eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow. Lex Luger and Bret Hart won the 1994 Royal Rumble.
On March 7 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka was honored by former Native American wrestlers Chief Jay Strongbow and Wahoo McDaniel and Ray Littleturtle of Tatanka's own Lumbee tribe by being presented with a sacred feather headdress. However, Irwin R. Schyster demanded that Tatanka pay a gift tax on the feather headdress. As a result, Tatanka began a feud with IRS. On May 30 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka competed against Crush in a King of the Ring qualification match. The match resulted in a double count-out. As a result, the following week, on June 6 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka defeated Crush in a Lumberjack match to qualify for the King of the Ring Tournament after Lex Luger delivered a Forearm Smash to Crush.
At King of the Ring, Tatanka participated in the 1994 King of the Ring Tournament. He lost to eventual winner Owen Hart in the quarter-final round. Tatanka began accusing his friend Lex Luger of having sold out to Ted DiBiase in greed of money and a championship match and caught Luger on numerous occasions. It resulted in a rivalry between the two. At SummerSlam, Tatanka defeated Luger after DiBiase distracted Luger with a bag full of money. After the match, Luger revealed that Tatanka's accusations were wrong by kicking the bag out of DiBiase's hands until Tatanka turned heel by turning on Luger by attacking him and delivering him an Indian Death Drop twice. It was revealed that it was Tatanka the whole time who had been sold out to DiBiase. As a result, Tatanka joined DiBiase's group Million Dollar Corporation.
After joining Million Dollar Corporation, Tatanka formed a tag team with former rival Bam Bam Bigelow, a member of Corporation himself. Tatanka was on Million Dollar Team, consisting of King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow and Heavenly Bodies against Lex Luger's Guts and Glory, consisting of Mabel, Adam Bomb and Smoking Gunns in a Survivor Series match. Tatanka was eliminated by Luger. Million Dollar Team won. Bundy and Bigelow survived the match.
On December 17 edition of Superstars, Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka represented Million Dollar Corporation in the WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament for the vacated WWF Tag Team Championship, defeating Men on a Mission in the quarter-final round. Entering 1995, Bigelow and Tatanka defeated New Headshrinkers in the semi-final round on January 14 edition of Superstars. At Royal Rumble, Bigelow and Tatanka lost to 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly in the final round.
Tensions arose between Bam Bam Bigelow and Million Dollar Corporation over Bigelow's repeated losses including his loss to footballer Lawrence Taylor. This ultimately ended in Tatanka turning on Bigelow during a WWF Championship match against Diesel, during which Tatanka cost Bigelow, the championship opportunity. Tatanka formed an allegiance with Million Dollar Corporation's newest recruit Sycho Sid. At In Your House 1: Premiere, Tatanka attacked Diesel during Sid's WWF Championship title shot against Diesel, resulting in Sid getting disqualified. After the match, Tatanka and Ted DiBiase attacked DiBiase until Bam Bam Bigelow chased them away.
Tatanka and Sycho Sid began a rivalry with Diesel and Bam Bam Bigelow, which culminated in a match between the two teams at King of the Ring, which Diesel and Bigelow won after Sid abandoned Tatanka. Tatanka briefly teamed with Million Dollar Corporation teammate Kama until disappearing from WWF television. Entering 1996, Tatanka made a surprise return to WWF television as a surprise participant in the 1996 Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble. He was the #20 entrant. He lasted four minutes until he was eliminated by Diesel. Shawn Michaels won the 1996 Royal Rumble.
Upon his return, Tatanka began a losing streak in contrast to his highly famed undefeated streak from 1992 to 1993. On March 9 edition of Superstars, 1-2-3 Kid and Tatanka represented Million Dollar Corporation in the WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament for the vacated WWF Tag Team Championship. They lost to Razor Ramon and Savio Vega in the quarter-final round. On March 18 edition of Monday Night Raw, Tatanka competed in his last WWF match, losing to Bret Hart. Following a failed return, Tatanka left WWF, thus ending the Native American Lumbee son's four-year tenure in the company.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2005 - 2007)
Tatanka made a surprise return to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (WWF was renamed WWE in 2002) on August 1 edition of Raw. He answered the Eugene Invitational Challenge with Kurt Angle's Olympic gold medals on the line. Tatanka lost to Eugene by disqualification when Angle attacked Eugene. After the match, Eugene and Tatanka attacked Angle. It was Tatanka's first appearance and first match in WWE in nine years.
SmackDown! (2006 - 2007)
Tatanka made a surprise return to WWE television as a babyface in the 2006 Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble. He was the #15 entrant. He lasted fourteen minutes until he was eliminated by MNM. Tatanka joined the SmackDown! brand upon his return. At No Way Out, Tatanka served as Matt Hardy's mystery partner as they answered an open challenge by MNM for a non-title match, in which they would earn a WWE Tag Team Championship match if they won. Hardy and Tatanka defeated MNM. On February 21 edition of SmackDown!, Matt Hardy and Tatanka received their opportunity for the WWE Tag Team Championship. They unsuccessfully challenged MNM for the championship after interference by Melina.
On March 24 edition of SmackDown!, Tatanka participated in a Money in the Bank qualifying Battle Royal. He was eliminated by Joey Mercury. Bobby Lashley won the Battle Royal. Tatanka disappeared from WWE television but his vignettes began airing on editions of SmackDown!, promoting the birth of a new warrior forged in Tatanka. He was adopted by the Native American Lakota tribe. Tatanka returned to WWE television on May 23 edition of SmackDown! and debuted his new finisher, Wykea to defeat Simon Dean. At WWE vs. ECW, Tatanka represented WWE in a Battle Royal. He was eliminated by Tommy Dreamer. ECW representative Big Show won the Battle Royal.
Tatanka began a rivalry with Sylvan, in which the two exchanged victories after Sylvan insulted Tatanka's heritage by throwing his headdress. Tatanka began a losing streak, in which he would blame referees for unfair officiating of his matches. On October 27 edition of SmackDown!, Tatanka finally got rid of the situation by turning on Bobby Lashley after losing a tag team match. He turned heel by attacking Lashley. Following his betrayal of Lashley, Tatanka debuted a new black and white paint on his face and claimed that he did not owe any explanation to Lashley or the WWE audience but he and his Native American fellows needed an explanation on their sufferings throughout the years.
Tatanka disappeared from WWE television in November 2006 and was out of action for two months. Entering 2007, Tatanka made a surprise return to WWE television on January 5 edition of SmackDown!. He competed against Jimmy Wang Yang in a Beat the Clock Challenge. The match ended in a time limit draw after both men failed to beat King Booker's time. After the match, Tatanka delivered an Indian Death Drop to Yang. The following week, on January 12 edition of SmackDown!, Tatanka ended his losing streak by defeating Yang. It turned out to be Tatanka's last match in WWE as he was released from his WWE contract on January 18, thus ending the adopted Lakota Native American's career. He maintained his honor and dignity before his departure by ending his losing streak.
Tatanka's WWE Photo Gallery: