2016 WWE HOF Inductee, The Godfather - Wrestle Newz twitter google

2016 WWE HOF Inductee, The Godfather

WWE Hall of Fame
While he’s wrestled under the names of Papa Shango, Kama Mustafa, and The Goodfather; pro wrestling legend Charles Wright will be inducted into the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame on April 2nd, under the infamous Godfather character.

Wright began thinking about wrestling when he was approached by some superstars who were filming Over the Top. They noticed the larger, tattooed man, who was bartending at a local establishment, and quickly knew that he had all the right stuff needed to make it in the pro wrestling business. Upon their advice, Wright found Monster Factory, and trained with Larry Sharpe to break into the pro wrestling industry. This training led him into the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) promotion with Jerry “The King” Lawler. Known as The Soultaker (a name taken from one of the tattoos Wright donned on his arm), he quickly rose to fame within that organization, capturing the company’s Unified World Heavyweight Championship in October 1989. As such, Wright slowly learnt the ropes of the business, and was even given the opportunity to wrestle with New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1990.

And then he caught the eye of the WWE, then known as the WWF.

Actually, it was thanks to a mutual friend of his and the organization’s that lead to his big break in 1991: The Undertaker. Making his first appearance in May of that year, Wright did a few house shows for the company under the name of Sir Charles; a gimmick which enabled him to use his own name, as well as the nickname of NBA mega-star, Charles Barkely. The character never really caught on, and was rarely used. Perhaps that is why Wright would move on to play Papa Shango.

The voodooing character debuted on Superstars in early February 1992. Walking amidst smoke, and carrying a skull to the ring, Papa Shango could cast weird voodoo spells on opponents causing them to have stomach pains and throw up; without even touching them. He was placed into the WWE spotlight right away, interrupting the main event at Wrestlemania VIII. Shango would move onto feuds with the Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana, as well as getting an opportunity to face (then) WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret Hart, during the WWE’s Saturday’s Main Event prime time television show. However, he failed to win that match or the WWE title, and unfortunately the Papa Shango gimmick overall was ill-received by fans.

During the 1993/1994 period, Wright continued to wrestle in the WWE as Shango, and as the company had a partnership with USWA at that point, he wrestled for that promotion as well. It was at this time that Wright became a two-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion; however, Wright was not happy with the position he had within the company at that time, and thought he was only handed the title to appease the predominantly black audience within the USWA promotion. As such, when he complained to officials about this, the title was dropped to Owen Hart, Wright left the organization, and went back to bartending.

But it was clear that this was not the end to Wright’s professional wrestling career, and he would dust himself off, and move onto create an incredible legacy within the WWE.

In 1995, Wright would return to the organization, with a new gimmick, and new attitude. Wrestling under the name of Kama, Wright joined the Million Dollar Corporation faction, with Ted DiBiase, and was thrusted into a feud with his real-life buddy, The Undertaker. While the stint didn’t last long, as he left the company once again shortly after the 1996 Royal Rumble; that was short-lived too, as Wright was asked to return to the WWE in 1997. He joined the Nation of Domination, and wrestled under the full name of Kama Mustafa.

While with the Nation, traces of what would lead him into his WWE Hall of Fame induction began popping up, as Kama was commonly referred to as ‘The Godfather’ of the stable. Being a part of this well-known WWE faction, Wright’s wrestling career continued to elevate, until the stable broke up in the fall of 1998, when Mark Henry turned on the group’s leader, The Rock.

But this may have been good news for Wright, while he may not have seen it at the time. Post Nation split up, Wright ditched the Mustafa character, and debuted a new gimmick that really caught on with the WWE Universe: The Godfather. So much so, Wright won the Intercontinental Title in April of 1999 by defeating Goldust. At the heightened point of the ‘Attitude Era’ where the WWE celebrated (and exploited) female sexuality, The Godfather persona was always surrounded by his “hoes” (women who were generally rounded up from strip clubs in the areas were the WWE toured); and these women became known has The Godfather’s “Ho Train”.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and after a complaint from the Parents Television Council, The Godfather ended up joining Right to Censor in 2000, and changed his ways. He ditched his hoes, and was then known as The Goodfather, scoring the WWE Tag Team Titles with Bull Buchanan shortly after his switch up. Unfortunately, the stable broke up right before WWE’s Invasion storyline started, and The Goodfather gimmick ended as well.

Still, WWE audiences received a revival of The Godfather character in 2002, when the persona came back and presented a ‘legitimate’ escort agency. Sadly, on so many levels, the new legalized gimmick did not catch on with pro wrestling fans. Later that year, Wright would drop his agency hoes and feud with Val Venis. Still, in April of 2002, Wright would get suspended for coming out during a SmackDown dark match; some say he was frustrated over the recent brand split, and not getting drafted to RAW.

After his fourth-month suspension, the WWE Universe was treated to some Godfather appearances, now and again; and over the years, until the present time, thanks to the legendary character Wright has built, The Godfather still graces the WWE Universe with his presence when opportunity knocks.

On behalf of the entire staff here at WrestleNewz, we would like to congratulate The Godfather on his 2016 WWE Hall of Fame induction, as he takes his rightful spot in WWE Hall of Fame history.

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  • AlohaState

    I don’t understand why you didn’t just post the link to his Wiki page since you basically plagiarized the whole thing, just changing up some of the wording.

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