It’s time for a new ‘Spooky Wrestler Of The Day’ for this Halloween season, and who better to cover than the man who struck real fear into the hearts of many fans in just a short time period. You may know Charles Wright by many names. Kama, The Godfather, The Goodfather, and many others. But, in 1992, he was known as none other than Papa Shango.
In January 1992, Charles Wright was repacked by the World Wrestling Federation to be known as Papa Shango, a voodoo practitioner that would use sad voodoo to mess with other superstars and put chills down the spines of many fans. Now, let’s point out the elephant in the room, would this character be scary today? Probably not. But, back in the early 90’s, voodoo was widely feared by the general public and seeing a man with his skull painted face come in and put spells over other competitors to make them feel pain or even vomit. Yes, really, he’d make his opponents throw up. So, seeing this man walking down the ramp in a creepy fashion while wearing a bone filled necklace and wielding a smoking skull, I wouldn’t want to go near him either. On February 8th, 1992 on an episode of superstars, Papa Shango made his official in-ring debut when he defeated Dale Wolfe in easy fashion as children and even adults glared in awe of his presence. Quickly, Papa Shango was thrusted into the spotlight when he started a feud alongside Sid Viscous to take on Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior after Shango interfered in Hogan and Sid’s WrestleMania VIII match.
Quickly after WrestleMania, Sid was let go by the WWF and Shango was thrusted into a singles feud with Warrior. On the May 16th, 1992 edition of WWF Superstars, Papa Shango put his curse on the Ultimate Warrior, having him convulse in pain at ringside as fans screamed and shrieked for the fan favorite Warrior to get up. Later on backstage, Warrior was seen aching in pain and throwing up from the curse. The feud was set to go throughout the summer, but then WWF kind of just… dropped it. The curses and feud ultimately went no where and Warrior moved on to challenge for the world title and before they could get a big blow off match, Warrior was released by the company.
Papa Shango ended up receiving a WWF world championship match against Bret Hart on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event in October of 1992, where he came up short. Shingo just floated around for a while and fans started to get bored of the Shango character. He ended up entering the 1993 Royal Rumble, where he was eliminated in under 30 seconds, which ended up being his last ever Pay-Per-View appearance. Papa Shango would be on television on and off for the next few months before entering in the 1993 King Of The Ring qualifying match and losing to Jim Duggan. Papa Shango wrestled some enhancement talent in June and July of 1993 before the gimmick vanished and we never saw him again. Papa Shango ended up being voted the Most Embarrassing Wrestler and Worst Gimmick in the 1992-93 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards.
Overall, things didn’t work out for Papa Shango. Did he accidentally cast a spell on himself? Or was this just the product of bad booking? In fairness to Shango, the gimmick started out fine and fans were fearing him, but the unlucky circumstances of Sid being released immediately after they started a feud as a team and then Warrior getting released before they got to finish their feud, it was just all bad Voodoo for Papa Shango. Yet, for that short period of time, Papa Django’s vomit creating spells had some fans on the edge of their seats. It’s a shame it didn’t work out. Or, maybe it was a blessing in disguise to get the HOOOO TRAIN! Happy spooky season!
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