WWE Hall of Famer Charles "Godfather" Wright has gone through several different characters throughout his lengthy career. While he may be best known for his Godfather persona, he is also well-liked for his time as the Vodoo priest, Papa Shango.
As Papa Shango, he wore skull face paint and cast voodoo spells, causing his opponents to convulse and vomit. The character was hugely controversial and disliked by many fans.
In a recent interview with Scheduled for Two Falls, Wright sat down with hosts Ciaran and Niall to talk about his experiences as one of WWE's most polarizing character.
"I wish, looking back, I wish I was not so green in the business because I could probably have been better at being Papa Shango like Kamala was at being Kamala. I probably could have been a better Papa Shango but dude, I had no idea what I was stepping into. Going from a country tobacco chewing, country music listening, old truck driving, biker to a voodoo man. It was a stretch!"
Papa Shango debuted on WWE television in 1992
After his debut, he was instantly thrust into the spotlight and an angle with Hulk Hogan, Sid Justice, and the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 8. However, it nearly ended in disaster as he missed his queue and entered late, almost messing up the finish to the match.
"That night I never heard anything from anybody at all. I was so involved in what I was doing at the time, working with Hogan, Sid, Warrior. The problem is that they knew I was green so they were going "don't go until we tell you to go". And so for whatever reason I got the cue late. I didn't know. I'm there at the curtain like a track star getting ready to run and it was a long way. So then they say "GO GO GO GO" and I went. Once I got there I was like "Oh shit what's going on" because I wasn't watching the monitors. I never heard anything about it for years and I mean years later."
Despite WWE fans not taking to the character, one person was a fan of Wright's work and the Papa Shango character, then-WWE World Champion Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Wright spoke about the time Papa Shango face Hart for the WWE Championship on Saturday Night's Main Event.
"They were so concerned about that match because I was so green and only a few years in the business. So we had to do the match the night before, whatever town we were in, we did that exact same match. Bret was such a cool dude. Good worker, good leader. There was one Agent who just didn't even want to have the match "Oh Papa is going to make Bret look bad and it's going to be the worst thing for his career" and Bret stood up for me and said "Nah, he can work. He's green but he can work". So shout out to Bret for that. Aside from doing it the night before, there was nothing rehearsed."
The title match would spell Papa Shango's last big match for WWE and fan wouldn't see again until 1994 under a new character.
What did you make of the Papa Shango character? Let us know in the comments below.