The Godfather didn't come up with The Godfather gimmick.
Speaking with Stone Cold Steve Austin on his Broken Skull Sessions, Charles Wright (The Godfather) discussed how his pimp persona came to be and said that it was all his wife's idea. His contract was set to expire and he wanted to do something besides take other wrestlers' finishers, and from there, the idea to let others see his true, fun-spirited personality took shape. He said the following:
"I was in the Nation. At that time, Faarooq was gone, Rock was doing more singles and D'Lo and Mark Henry kind of hooked up together. My contract was coming up and I'm like, 'Ooh, I got to come up with something because I got lost in the shuffle here.' So, I started growing my hair. Now, at this time, they're building The Rock. He's wrestling you [Steve Austin], and when it's time for the Stone Cold Stunner, we're jumping in there and taking it. That's all me and D'Lo were doing; was taking people's finishes at the end. So, I started letting my hair grow. My hair grows fast. So, I start growing my hair, I dress with a black vest, black pants and these hats. The same hat me and Taker got into a fight over. I always wore these hats. My wife starts saying, 'Instead of being a heel, why don't you just be a babyface and let people like you?' She goes, 'Why don't you become a pimp?' This is all my wife. 'Why don't you become a pimp and wear these colors, and wear these bright colors and hats and jewelry.' I'm like, 'Well if I'm going to be a pimp, I want to be a mean pimp.' She's like, 'No, no, no! You need to do something where people see the real you and let your personality come out instead of pretending to be somebody.'"
The assistance from his wife didn't end there, however. Not only did she pitch the concept, but she also had the costumes made, which means all Wright had to do was perform. The WWE didn't get involved until Vince McMahon noticed it starting to get over with the audience.
"My wife would have the vest made. All this jewelry, she'd have it made. Hats. Glasses. She did everything. All I did was perform," Wright said. "The WWE, really, had nothing to do with it until Vince kind of heard that it was getting over and he came to me and he says, 'Hey, Charles, this might have legs to it.' He says, 'Do you think you can get some girls and put it to it?' Because at that point we were just doing it at the house shows, because me and Bradshaw, we were on the popcorn match. Me and Bradshaw are going 10 minutes, beating the hell out of each other and people are sitting on their hands. We're getting no reaction and we're lacing into each other. So one day I went to Jack Lanza because my wife had talked about it and I said, 'Let's try something different.'"
Wright then explained that he asked The Rock to start calling him The Godfather rather than Kama. As soon as he did, the name stuck.
"In the meantime, how The Godfather came up is one time I told Rock, 'Instead of saying Kama,' because he's the only one that talked, I said, 'Call me The Godfather.' When he called me The Godfather, from that day on people just started calling me The Godfather."
Once they made the decision to start entertaining the crowd with character rather than wrestling, The Godfather starting getting huge reactions at house shows. It also birthed one of his patented sayings.
"At first, in the house shows, there wouldn't even be any girls. I'd say, 'Right now, in the back, in the limo,' and then I'd offer John the girls. Then John would take the girls. People would start chanting, 'Take the Hoes, take the Hoes.' I'd be like, man, they're telling you what to do. So, he would take the girls, he'd start walking away. All of a sudden I'd heel, 'Another dumb redneck.' I'd heel on him. He would turn around, hit the ring, whack, 1-2-3, I'd jump up with my hat and say, 'Man, Pimpin; ain't easy,' and the place went crazy. So we went from beating each other up for 10-12 minutes with no reaction to getting nothing but reaction and doing nothing. Just entertaining them."
Wright was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as The Godfather in 2016.
The full conversation with Stone Cold can be seen now on the WWE Network.
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