HOF Roundup: The Godfather

Next up in the 2016 HOF series is The Godfather, aka Papa Shango, aka Kama the Supreme Fighting Machine, aka Kama Mustafa, aka The Goodfather. That’s a lot of gimmicks played by Mr. Charles Wright and we saw most of them in the Royal Rumble series. Here’s a look at the man’s career:

One Man’s Opinion: In the Royal Rumble series I started listing future WWE HOFers to try and project, and I included the Godfather in that list with the knowledge that he was a “team player” for a very long time and sometimes that’s enough. Behind the scenes he was a member of Undertaker’s Bone Street Krew which included two other HOFers (Yokozuna and Rikishi). His WWF start in 1992 as Papa Shango was embarrassing in just about every regard but it’s a credit to him that he recovered and got into the Kama gimmick in 1995. The generic midcard big guy heel archetype might not be something to strive for, but it pays the bills. The Godfather will be remembered forever though for the parade of women that would accompany him, usually from the local strip club establishment. (Funny enough, Wright is very connected in those circles)

For as long as the adult-oriented gimmick would be tolerated, it would be a great opening act at shows forever. By 2000 there were complaints and he was turned into the Goodfather in Right to Censor, which more or less killed him off. He came back as Godfather later but it just wasn’t the same.

Most Famous Moment: While he won the IC title at one point, going to go with his 2002 Royal Rumble entrance which was incredibly epic at two minutes long and with a dozen women.

Most Infamous Moment: This is a tie because there is so much Papa Shango hilarity to go around. On one hand, you have him using voodoo to cause the Ultimate Warrior to vomit green stuff on the interview platform. On the other hand, he’s screwing up a run-in at the main event of Wrestlemania 8. At the end of the Hulk Hogan-Sid Justice match, Shango ambles down the long aisle to the ring but is so slow he misses being able to break up the Hogan pin of Sid via the leg drop. This forced Sid to KICK OUT, Harvey Whippleman to improvise a schmoz finish, then he finally got there. I really want insight into what Vince McMahon was feeling at the Gorilla position at that moment.

Best Match: Truth be told, I can’t think of a truly great match of his under any gimmick, so I will pick the six man match from Over The Edge 1998 with Kama, D-Lo and Owen Hart taking on the DX of HHH, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg. Memorable match because it ends with Owen pinning Triple H using The Pedigree.

Legacy: Was he a great wrestler? No. Was he a great character? Really only as Godfather, and that’s enough. It’s a memorable character in the hottest time for pro wrestling in the United States. That’s why I thought he would make the HOF and is why he’s deserving. The WWE HOF isn’t as much about being great, it is about being remembered.

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