Published on January 9, 2012 by Amy
Christopher “Chris” Chavis (born June 8, 1961), is a Native American professional wrestler best known for his work with World Wrestling Entertainment as Tatanka from 1991 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2007. His ring name is a Lakota word that literally means “bull buffalo.” He is descended from the Lumbee Native American tribe.
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Chavis divorced his first wife Dawn.
Chavis is married to his wife Michelle, and together they have two daughters, Christiana and Rhea, and a son, Joseph Tatanka Chavis.
Tatanka appears briefly in the movie Natural Born Killers, as Rodney Dangerfield’s character is watching wrestling on television.
Tatanka now is a head trainer and works for West Virginia based promotion, Covey Pro Wrestling.
Chavis started competing in powerlifting, he competed in his first bodybuilding contest, Mr. Virginia Beach, placing second. He won many competitions during his time in bodybuilding, but decided against competing on the national level and possibly turning pro for personal reasons. From 1985 to 1990 he worked for Bally’s Health and Tennis Corporation, becoming a Divisional Manager.
In 1987 he received many tryouts for the National Football League, from teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and the Los Angeles Raiders. He decided to pursue a career with the Dolphins. Chavis was one of 20 hopefuls offered a deal out of approximately 2,000 tryouts. The Dolphins offered him a free agent contract with the availability to increase after the first year. He declined, however, since his income at Bally’s exceeded the value of the contract.