Charles Wright is best known as The Godfather to WWE fans for the legendary gimmick he portrayed during the Attitude Era. But The Godfather was just one of many gimmicks for Wright in WWE as he originally debuted as Papa Shango in the early 1990s.
Going from Papa Shango to Kama to The Godfather was a drastic character change for Wright but there was a reason he debuted as a voodoo practitioner with a painted face. He joined our WINCLY podcast where he revealed why Vince McMahon had him dressed as a voodoo master at the very beginning.
“My problem when Vince hired me is that Vince said, ‘You have the body of a monster, but you have a baby face. So we’re gonna send you home. We’re gonna put you on payroll until we come up with something.’ And that’s when they came up with Papa Shango,” said Wright.
Wright was 30 years old at the time he debuted but looked much younger. As a result, WWE used white and black facepaint on him while also shaving his head to appear more menacing as Papa Shango.
The Papa Shango character lasted for about a year-and-a-half with his most notable moment coming when he missed his run-in cue during the WrestleMania VIII main event. That caused Sid to kick out of Hulk Hogan’s leg drop on his own and the Shango gimmick was relegated to wrestling enhancement talent shortly thereafter.
After another failed gimmick as Kama, a legit shoot fighter, when he joined the Nation of Domination, Wright then became The Godfather. Wright says The Godfather isn’t as much a character as it is an extension of himself.
“It was pretty good being [Papa Shango] but it was finally good to just be myself,” admitted Wright. “Not be a monster. Not be a supreme fighting machine. Not be whatever else I was. But to just be myself and have fun, and that’s why I think The Godfather gimmick got over so well because it was just me being me.”
Wright would also say that he doesn’t know “if Charles Wright is The Godfather, or the other way around. It’s the same person.”
Wright, as The Godfather, will be hosting a Survivor Series viewing party that Wrestling Inc will co-present. The Godfather’s Chicago WWE Survivor Series Viewing Party will take place at Duffy’s Bar & Grille on November 18. More information and tickets for the event can be purchased here.