Throwback Thursday: Hall of Fame Showcase: The Godfather
Charles Wright, best known for his character The Godfather, wasn’t always performing under this moniker/ characterization. He went through a variety of characters before he became popular with the fans and it stand to reason that, given his induction into the Hall of Fame this year that he won’t ever truly be forgotten.
In 1991 We first saw Wright in WWF under the name “Sir Charles”, an underdeveloped and barely remembered character that wore long robes to the ring. Wright himself has admitted this was brief and forgettable as he himself only recalls the robes.
In January of 1992 WWF tried to give Wright a more substantial character in Papa Shango. While a bit more effort was put into the character it bombed completed. A voodoo practitioner that carried a skull to the ring and cast spells during a match to gain the advantage. Fans reacted poorly to the character, voting it Worst Gimmick and Most Embarrassing Wrestler in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 1992. The character was dropped and forgotten about.
Wright worked outside WWF for a few years but returned in 1994 under the ring name Kama. Kama was booked as the “Supreme Fighting Machine” and joined up with Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. While in that stable he took the Undertaker’s urn and interfered on the Stables behalf for some time before leaving WWF in 1996 once more as there was nothing for him and the character had again failed to take off.
He would return in 1997 as Kama Mustafa as part of the Nation of Domination which put him into an instant feud with the Disciples of the Apocalypse and Los Boricuas. This was a “gang warfare” angle that did well but soon all parties within the angle were moving on to other characters and angles. Wright, for his part, became known as “The Godfather” of the Nation, which lead to the name being popular and becoming his new character gimmick thereafter.
Wright as The Godfather, Kama and Papa Shango.
In 1998 The Godfather debuted his “Hoes” during a tag match with fellow Nation of Domination member Mark Henry. When the Nation of Domination disbanded Wright moved on to his well known gimmick.
The Godfather character was surrounded by “hoes” every time he entered the ring. The “hoes” were usually women from the local strip clubs or, in some cases, young Diva talent that was not yet debuting on the roster (Lita and Victoria among them). The Godfather offered his girls to his opponents if they forfeited the matches to him. The Godfather often used his girls ot his advantage and this was a very popular portion of his gimmick. Opponents, tag team partners and even referees were often seduced by the girls, leaving Wright to do as he pleased.
Lita as one of the Godfather’s hoes.
When Smackdown! moved to UPN the Parents Television Council took notice of the WWF programming and proclaimed that it was severely inappropriate. The Godfather character was targeted throughout this time period and, as a result of the censorship he went through, the character’s popularity suffered. The WWF decided to take the controversy and mock it by creating the group Right to Censor. Steven Richards led this group of conservative wrestlers. These wrestlers often challenged others and, if they lost, they would have to stop their inappropriate behavior. The Godfather lost to Bull Buchanan and, as a result, had to give up his pimp lifestyle. He changed his name to The Goodfather and won the World Tag Team Championship with Buchanan.
When the Invasion story line began the stable, and gimmick, was dropped in favor of the focus being on the Invasion story line. In 2002 the Godfather returned, claiming to have formed a legitimate escort service. When the brand split took place he was on Smackdown! but his time there was short lived. He retired from wrestling in 2002. Since then we have seen The Godfather a few times, interrupting Viscera’s marriage proposal to Lilian Garcia, entered the 2013 Royal Rumble and, on the 15th Anniversary of Raw he allowed Hornswoggle to join his Ho Train.
On February 22, 2916 it was announced that The Godfather would be inducted into the Hall of Fame by John Bradshaw Layfield and Ron Simmons.
Tags: 2016 WWE Hall of Fame, Bull Buchanan, Ho Train, Hornswoggle, Kama, Lilian Garcia, Lita, Mark Henry, Nation of Domination, Papa Shango, Right To Censor, Stevie Richards, Ted DiBiase, The Godfather, The Goodfather, Victoria, Viscera, WWF