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411’s WWE Broken Skull Sessions Report: The Godfather on Nearly Signing with WCW, Papa Shango in The Attitude Era, More

May 30, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Broken Skull Sessions The Godfather WWE

411’s WWE Broken Skull Sessions Report: The Godfather

-Air Date: 05.30.21
-Run Time: 1:28:55

-Austin welcomes us to the show as today his guest is Charles Wright, better known as The Godfather.

-They shake hands to start and Godfather says he has been enjoying life and having fun. He says he is still being The Godfather, though he doesn’t have the strip club anymore. He does have his own CBD line coming out soon. He says cannabis has been a really good thing for him. He will be 60 later this year and it has gotten him off prescription drugs and he doesn’t drink as much. It makes him more creative and just a better person. He usually goes to bed around 8-8:30 PM and gets up at 3 AM where he checks his social media. He gets a work out in and then spends the rest of the day with his wife and dogs. He loves getting up early in the morning now which shocks Austin.

-Austin knows Godfather says he doesn’t drink as much but he has to do this and breaks out The Jack Daniels. Godfather says he never said he doesn’t drink anymore. He just can’t drink an entire bottle. They take a shot and talk about gargling Jack Daniels which apparently came from Curt Hennig. It was a honor to do a shot with Curt and you just did what he wanted you to do. They both mention they miss Curt and wish he was still here.

-Austin mentions Godfather was Northern California Basketball Player of The Year. GF says in 1979 he was Player of the Year in High School Basketball. He wanted to play football, but his parents wouldn’t sign the release. He was 175lbs and could jump out of the gym as he was on the track team as a high jumper. He took to basketball and played it like he was playing football. He admits his grades weren’t the best so he had to go to Junior College. He hung out with football players and hit the weights and go up to 240 lbs. He lost interest in basketball and started power lifting. He was given a full scholarship to play college football in Nevada just based off his size and athleticism. He was made an offensive tackle and did well with pass blocking due to his power. He couldn’t run block though. He blew his knee out and that led to him working in topless clubs as a bouncer. They have a picture of GF from back in his biker days and he is just massive. He says no drugs as it was all beer and whiskey. The picture was when he was 26 years old and about 2 years from being Papa Shango. He studied Business Administration and admits he never got his degree. He seems to regret that and says he was kicked out of school for fighting.

-Austin mentions he spoke to Taker for stories about Charles. He was told by Taker that Charles could handle his own. GF brings up how he hates anyone using the N word and won’t let anyone call him that whether a friend, rapper, or whatever. He used to tell anyone if they called him that he would knock them out. That led to a lot of bar room fights.

-They talk about biker lifestyle and GF brings up wanting tattoos and he got way into it. He got heavily tattooed in 1985. Austin brings up that they filmed Over The Top at near GF’s club. He was making good money and says he still has friends from that time. He says most of the guys from the picture became Hell’s Angels and are either dead or in jail. He survived it because he got into pro-wrestling.

-Back to Over The Top discussion (loved that movie as a kid and still awesome. Goosebumps anytime I hear “Meet me half way”) as GF says they were filming the movie at the MGM and he worked as a bouncer at a club called Crazy Horse. Scott Norton was a shoot arm wrestler and he saw GF bouncing in the club and told him he should be a wrestler. GF admits he didn’t watch wrestling, but he was a roller derby fan. He said he didn’t want to do that crap and someone mentioned Bam Bam Bigelow made a million dollars last year and that got his attention. Bigelow went to Monster Factory and GF made a call and he flew out to Jersey. He trained for a short time and Jerry Lawler saw him and immediately wanted him in Memphis. He says his first match of any kind was in Memphis against Lawler and Lawler put him over clean in the middle of the ring. The only thing he knew was to listen to Jerry and Lawler took care of him in the match. He was the Unified World Champion in Memphis after his first match and says he was in the moment as it was just another episode in his wild and crazy life.

-Now he did fall out of the money as working in USWA didn’t pay all that much. He was making $50-100 per show and Austin says better than him as he was getting $15-25. They flash a picture of GF early in his career as he is sporting a red mohawk which was the idea of Dutch Mantell. GF says Dutch fired him and Lawler came back and told him they were keeping him. Jerry Jarrett also wouldn’t let Dutch fire him.

-Austin wants to know where The Soultaker name came from and GF says he has a tattoo on his arm of a guy that takes women’s souls. Austin heard it was from the tattoo on his chest and GF says that tattoo is a patch from the biker group he was in and Vince told him he couldn’t have that tattoo on TV so it was covered. The group was called The Thugs and it was all about drinking. Others came in and started dealing with explosives and drugs. He and the original guys said they were leaving The Club and dared anyone to stop them as they were the toughest dudes in the club.

-Austin wants to talk about surviving Memphis when you aren’t making a lot of money. GF says that when he and Taker talk about wrestling (which isn’t often) it is about those days in Memphis. The road stories with Taker, and Dirty White Boy in a Ford Taurus and GF being the guy to know for topless dancers. Fantastic!

-Austin brings up a tag match in Evansville, IN with him and Dutch on one side and Taker and GF on the other side. Austin was only a few weeks into the business and Dutch told him to pick up and slam SoulTaker. After the match GF had a meeting with Austin about letting him know if he was going to slam him before just snatching him up. GF continues with another story about Austin and him working a singles program. It seems Austin didn’t want to do the job and he told GF it was nothing against him, but he didn’t come here to lose on his first night in the company.

-They talk about working with Dundee who GF calls The Giant Killer. Austin says no matter the size Dundee was also going to get his shit in. GF didn’t go to Memphis thinking he was a bad ass. Austin says before he got there, GF and Taker had a match in Memphis. He let Taker tell the story when he was on the show and now he wants GF’s side. Taker puts it that they didn’t get a chance to talk and GF started beating the crap out of him. GF says remember he was a biker and he understands it is a work. He calls it the worst match in the history of wrestling and takes most of the blame. Taker wore him out with a chair and said we can do it the hard way or easy way and GF opted for easy way. They became best friends after that match. GF mentions he is big into classic country music and told Taker he was too big and white not to have tattoos and too big not to ride a Harley. There you have it!

-Before getting to WWE there is a story about driving back from Memphis after a show was cancelled due to a snow storm. It was GF, Taker, Dirty White Boy and Girl in the car. For some reason GF wanted to drive and he had never driven in the snow. Taker has said GF has only gotten 10 feet and he says he got them 10 yards at least until they got into a spin and slide. He jokes he and Taker have beaten on each other more as friends than anyone. Austin brings up how the two of them would chop the crap out of each other. GF says they woke up one day and mentioned they should stop it as their chests were beat red.

-GF brings up working in Japan and how he learned to work a little more and learned to listen to the crowd. From there he went to Germany and on tour with him was Owen Hart, Fit Finlay, Dave Taylor, Scott Hall, Rambo and he learned so much in that 8 months. When he came back Taker had moved from WCW to WWE and they told GF they were giving him a tryout. Vince hired him and told him he had the body of a monster, but a baby face. He told GF to rent the movie ‘Live and Let Die’ and GF already knew the movie. That’s were Papa Shango came from as they wanted a voodoo character.

-They take another shot before getting to Papa Shango. They cheer to Undertaker and GF laughs that they put away a lot of Jack in the day. GF says he had nothing to do with the character and he was just happy to be in the WWE. He did a lot of research and spent time in New Orleans and what he was saying was legit. He needed the background to be as authentic as he could. He is a country boy at heart and the character was a stretch. He says the problem with Papa Shango was he had a match with Kamala. Austin and GF both say they love Kamala. GF says the problem was Kamala was so much better at his gimmick than he was and it showed as Kamala was terried of him and that led to him not being able to really wrestle him. Austin thinks the gimmick would have worked better a few years later.

-They show footage from Superstars in May 1992 as Papa Shango puts a curse on The Ultimate Warrior. GF says he was all in with the character and once he put on the paint he stopped talking to people. Warrior spits up pea green soup in the back as Austin and GF laugh about it. GF says the black ooze was from a hose that ran up their jacket. They would have a ball to squeeze the ooze out. He did work hard and admits he was going through a divorce at the time. He has been married 3 times and this current one is going on 23 years. He was a mean person then and only cared about getting drunk and getting into fights. Taker told him they were going to let him go as he was on guard babysitting him. He takes the blame for a lot of those problems. Austin understands as he has also been on the road and going through those types of trials.

-GF goes back to never being a wrestling fan, so when he would get released he told Vince he could go back to Vegas and make $3000 a night. Wrestling has always been his second job as the clubs were his first job. When he wasn’t making enough money he would go home to make more. They called him a few time and he didn’t want to do it until UFC hit. They had Kimo in UFC and pitched that character to GF. Kama stood for Kick Any Man’s Ass and he was sold when they told him they would let him ride a Harley.

-We see a KAMA vignette as he hits harder than Tyson and is faster than Van Damme. All he cared about was that he got to ride a Harley. He doesn’t know what happened with the character, but it didn’t click.

-Austin talks about the allure of the business and while he had money at home, he always came back. GF says that wrestling was a way to have fun and be around people just like him. They jump to Casket Match with Taker at SummerSlam in Pittsburgh (I was not there for it sadly as I was only 14 and my parents weren’t going to the show with me). They show highlights of the match and this part of Austin’s show is always great as he has a blast watching matches. GF laughs and marks out over the fact he came off the top rope with a move. He is stunned he even did something like that. He tells us that he hated going inside the casket and the boys would put dead fish and ICY Hot in the casket. Nice! Taker wins the match as GF says that he loved working with Taker.

-He says it was difficult working that style, but had some good matches with Shamrock. He wasn’t having fun anymore and felt it was time to go home after the Million Dollar Corporation run. Austin mentions WCW sent an offer, but ended up hiring Virgil for the spot which GF says ended up being the best thing that happened to him. Oh man, Kama in the nWo as their head of security? Sign me up for that! GF mentions he always had contact with WWE as there was never bad blood anytime he left. He accepted the offer from WCW and Ron Simmons told him not to take it. He asked why and Ron told him he wasn’t ready for the boys in the south because they would be calling him the N word. GF shot back “then I will be fighting everyone there.” That was the issue and Ron told him it wasn’t a good place for him. Jim Herd called him back and Virgil did it for a 1/3 of what they offered GF. Austin says Ron is a god in the south and GF says anytime he needed advice in wrestling he went to Ron.

-Next up they discuss WWE bringing Papa Shango back in the Attitude Era. They show a photo of the new look and it’s pretty sweet. He mentions Lawler painted the face and it was going to be less comical and more serious. He showed up to TV and took pictures with the new look and was told Vince wanted to talk to him. “Charles there is a change of plans. We are putting you in the Nation and you are going over Taker tonight.” He went to Ron who said he didn’t know anything that was happening. They laid everything out for them the next week. He wasn’t mad because to him it was a job and he would do what they paid him to do. Austin says that is valuable information and young guys need to learn that.

-We see the initial Nation with Rock, Ron, GF, and D-Lo and then with Mark Henry added. They pulled GF and Ron in and told them they were putting Rock in the Nation. Vince told them when he got people to hate the kid and he turned, he would be the biggest star in the business. The Rock apparently didn’t want to wear any of the Nation gear so the best they could get was get his tights trimmed with Nation gear.

-Austin says Ron Simmons is the only guy that could pull off the blue leather helmet and GF calls him a bad mofo. Austin says The Nation was a holding pattern that set every member off on great runs. It’s true if you think about it as Ron, GF, Henry are all in the HOF and we know is going there eventually and D-Lo had a heck of a career. GF mentions that “know your role” and those catchphrases came from Ron and Austin says that he heard that as well. The group started for Ron to be the leader and then The Rock took over. GF says that Ron had no problem with Rock using any of his stuff. He helped The Rock and all of them. Ron was into lounges, D-Lo was into video games, and GF was into strip clubs. Austin says he wasn’t a strip club guy, but he would go at times. He would never shell stuff out at first as he didn’t have the money and one day a girl was dancing in front of him. He fumbled for a 10 and Taker but his hand on him as the lap dance was on him. GF says it was a great time and they often paid for dances for other people more than they would pay for their own.

-Bone Street Krew! Bones is another name for dominoes as that is what they always played. Yoko was a rapper and always was ready to play. GF says he never had a problem with The Kliq and was friends with them as well. Austin asks for a Yokozuna story and GF tells a story of a road trip with him driving, Yoko in the passenger and Taker in the backseat. Austin says rare for Taker to be in the back seat and GF says because he had respect for Yoko who was pushing 500 lbs at that point. They are listening to Hank Williams and GF is chewing his tobacco. The music is not resonating with Yoko who is all about hardcore West Coast rap. Yoko ejects the cassette tape and tosses it out the window. Yoko looked at GF and said, “hey man, did anyone ever tell you that you are black?” Awesome! GF puts over how great of a person Yoko is and they do a shot to Yoko. Nice!

-They put up a recent photo of what is left of BSK at a bar the night before Taker retired. GF mentions they were all COVID tested and drank the bar dry that night. GF laughs at how big his arm looks in the picture and Austin tells him they are here to put him over and right now it’s the largest arm in the world.

-Back to The Nation as Austin wants to talk about the character of The Godfather. Austin brings up that the character couldn’t be done today. GF says he was in The Nation but his contract was getting near the end and he needed to think of something. He mentions he and D-Lo were there to jump in for The Rock and eat everyone’s finisher. His wife brought up the idea of becoming a pimp baby face and GF wanted to be a mean pimp. She convinced him a babyface pimp was a better idea as it would let him show his natural side. She designed all the vests and the jewelry as GF continues that none of it was the WWE’s idea. Vince came to him when it got over and told him the character had legs. They show the Rock calling Kama, The Godfather for the first time as he planted that seed in Rock’s head. He would run the gimmick on house shows with JBL during the popcorn match after intermission. He didn’t have the girls and just said they were in the back if JBL would take them instead of the match and the crowd would chant, “take the girls.” They used to do 10-12 minute hard hitting matches with no reaction and then did all this pimp stuff and get monster reactions. It was Vince’s idea to get girls involved.

-They play video of Godfather on RAW going through his spiel and the crowd is insane. Austin and GF laugh about it and take a shot. It speaks to how fun The Attitude Era was as they could go as far as they want and know they would be reeled in a bit if needed. GF says nothing was scripted and he had as much time as he needed. He told Vince they see enough wrestling and he just wants to entertain them. Austin: “a pimp is not a great human being, but in this world it was a hero.” GF went to Vince and told him there was a large audience out there that was into smoking marijuana and Vince let him touch on that. He thanks Vince for going with it and says he was having the time of his life. Much like Austin, he was being himself and it is much easier to get over being yourself.

-They discuss the music and GF was played what he calls a bit of porno music mixed with ‘Voodoo Child’ and he loved it. They go back to the girls and Vince came to him with, “Charles do you think you can get some girls?” HA! GF just looked at him with “really?” Not shocking the girls instantly got the gimmick over. He felt like he made it and he is just so happy here seeing how happy he looked during this time. He calls it his favorite character even if it really wasn’t a character.

-Austin goes over how GF would offer the women vs having a match and he did it once on Heat in a match with Taker. They show the tape and it’s fantastic as he nearly broke Taker. “I have known you for a long time and you like hoes.” Paul Bearer is losing it and Taker is just stone faced. “You can have your pick of any one of these hoes.” Yeah, this character isn’t happening in 2021. Still awesome though as he sums it up perfectly saying it was entertaining and fun.

-Back to Taker and their friendship. They flash a picture of Taker getting his first arm tattoo and GF and Bearer standing behind him. GF was on him about getting work done and they went to Vegas to get that first one done. Apparently Vince was rather pissed about the tattoo.

-GF talks about being tag champs with Bull and how much fun they had wrestling Ron and JBL. They would beat the crap out of each other and then party all night. He also loved working with Owen Hart because of how great he was. Ron and JBL were drinkers and the relationship worked because he would smoke. He loves both of them and also loves Teddy Long who rode with them as well.

-Austin brings up PTC coming down on The Godfather gimmick and they started toning things down. That leads to The RTC and Godfather becomes The Goodfather. Austin asks about the change and GF mentions it was the only time in wrestling he did not like what he was doing. He mentions Vince fought hard for him, but they were coming after the character hard. He wanted to poke fun at The PTC and would go back to The Godfather later. It was no longer fun and he hinted he was going to go home which got back to Vince, so he gave them the tag belts to keep him around longer. Austin mentions he was fighting for The Godfather and for Goldust as that was the other gimmick they were coming down on hard.

-They tried to bring him back as an escort which was Godfather Lite and it just didn’t work so they released him. GF was cool with that as it wasn’t what he wanted it to be. Austin loves GF’s attitude about the business and how he isn’t bitter or angry.

-Austin asks about any regrets or things he missed out on. GF says that during his Hall of Fame speech he had been hanging out all day with Snoop. His speech was going to be off the cuff and he had a part where he wanted to put his wife over for creating the character. There was also a part where his grandson was there and it was his birthday. That part went so well that he blanked and forget to put his wife over. The second he walked off stage “ah hell, I forgot to mention my wife.” That screw up is one he can’t fix and he apologizes to her again for it and will continue to do so. That’s a wonderful story!

-GF says they have a BSK Facebook chat and he keeps in contact with a lot of guys through social media and when they come through Vegas.

-They take another shot and Austin wants to know what GF is most proud of and what’s next. GF says he is so much behind cannabis, hemp. He has a line coming out with B Real and a CBD line. He does seminars about the health benefits of cannabis. He knows it is isn’t for everyone, but it works for him. GF plugs his IG (TheGodfather) which he uses the most.

-He gets the call from Mark Carano about The Hall of Fame. He had been going to Mania every year for 10 years so told Mark he would be there. Mark asks who he is bringing and he asks why. He told him to bring the whole family because Vince was putting him in The Hall of Fame. The show the Hall of Fame picture of GF getting his ring with HHH and Vince presenting it to him.

-Austin congratulates him on being in The Hall of Fame as they prepare for one last shot. GF sums up his career as a great experience with great people. He has nothing but respect for the business and it is good stories with good friends. With that they take the last shot and gargle it and we are out!

-This was great as Godfather is a wonderful story teller and one of the chilliest people you will ever meet. It was so refreshing to just have someone happy and with no ill will towards anyone. He wasn’t trying to bury anyone and he wasn’t trying to get himself over. As he mentioned he is not a mark for the business or himself. He loved what he did and when it wasn’t fun he would go back home to his other job. That had to have made it so much easier for him not to burn out and then he hit gold with The Godfather. This was great and well worth the watch. I kind of wish it ran longer, but they covered everything you would expect. Some more road stories would have been fun. Thanks for reading!