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bret-hart-vs-papa-shangoWe are continuing to pay tribute here at Mr. X’s Punch Out to all the amazing African Americans that have stepped foot into the squared circle for Black History Month. For today, we are covering a man who is best known to the world as The Godfather, but when he first started in the WWE he was known as Papa Shango. Papa Shango was a voodoo practitioner that could cast spells on his opponents whether it was making them puke from a distance or render them useless. On October 27, 1992 Papa Shango would challenge then WWF Champion Bret Hart on Saturday Night’s Main Event at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The match was an example of how Shango was thrust into the spotlight almost immediately. Papa would start off the match fast as instead of engaging in a collar & elbow tie up, he chose to hit Bret with clenched fists, but it wouldn’t last long as Bret went on the offensive with a monkey flip and a crossbody. Before we went into commercial break, Bret had clotheslined Papa Shango out of the ring and launched himself out of the ring into a flying crossbody.

36When we came back from commercial break, it looked like Bret was still in firm control of the match, but it would change when Shango launched Bret sternum first into the turnbuckle. Papa Shango would use his size and power to his advantage as he picked apart the Hitman. After beating Bret up a little, he would lock in a Vulkan deathlock like grip on Bret’s shoulder. After a while, Bret was able to get himself out of the move, but Shango was there to cut him off from taking the momentum. Shango would drop a couple of big elbows on to Bret, but instead of covering him, he chose to climb to the second rope and he would attempt a elbow from there. When he launched himself, Bret would move right out of the way. After some offensive maneuvers like a side Russian leg sweep and a backbody drop, Bret decided to lock in the sharpshooter. Shango had no choice, but to give up because he wasn’t going anywhere. Papa Shango was honestly one of my favorite “Gimmicks” that I wish the WWE had done more with back in the day which they sort of have with Bray Wyatt (You’ll understand later).