While Charles Wright might be most famous for being ‘The Godfather’ it was a stint as Papa Shango which first brought him into the WWE spotlight.
Wright performed as Papa Shango from January 1992 until July 1993, casting spells and practicing voodoo as he went. Under the guise, Wright cast spells which caused opponents to vomit or suffer sharp bouts of pain while also having an Undertaker-esque ability to dim the arena lights.
Despite feuding with the like of the Ultimate Warrior, the gimmick was short-lived and largely poorly received, leading to Wright departing WWE for a short time.
However, speaking on Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Wright revealed that the character was nearly brought back. In fact, the plans were only dropped the day that Wright was due to return to television. Earlier that day, Wright had even had phots taken as the revamped character.
“This was going to be less comical, a lot more serious — Jerry Lawler painted that face,” Godfather said while looking at photos of the newer Papa Shango presentation. “I show up to TV, ready to go. I’m in really good shape here. I worked out hard, I’m like, ‘We going to have some fun now, I’m going to be a lot more serious this time.’ I was probably 285, I was in really good shape.”
Wright explained that he was then given word that Vince McMahon wanted to see him. It was only then that he was told that the plans had been scrapped, and he would be joining the Nation of Domination instead.
“I show up to TV, took these pictures, and they say, ‘Vince wants to talk with you.’
“I was like, ‘Cool! I want to talk with Vince!’ I go in there, right, and Vince was like, ‘Charles, change of plans. We’re going to put you in the Nation of Domination. You and Faarooq are going to wrestle Undertaker, and you’re going to go over.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ And he goes, ‘We have this outfit made for you.’ [Laughs] Okay, I don’t know how most people would take it. I said, ‘You’re the boss, you’re paying me. Let’s do it.’”
During his multiple stints with WWE Charles Wright played a range of different characters, sometimes more than once. Reflecting on these characters, Wright said that he “hated” being The Goodfather, describing it as “the only time I didn’t like what I was doing.”
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.