Reliving A Feud #3: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Papa Shango In The WWF ’92
At WrestleMania VIII the Ultimate Warrior made his long awaited return to the World Wrestling Federation when he returned at the end of the show to help Hulk Hogan fight off Sid Justice and Papa Shango. It was clear that Warrior was scheduled to feud with Sid after the event, but when Sid left the company, Warrior was put into a feud with Papa Shango. What ended up happening would one of the funnier angles in WWF history, although that wasn’t the intent.
The feud started on the May 9th edition of WWF Superstars. During the program, Shango put a curse on the Ultimate Warrior. It was essentially Shango trying to ruin Warrior’s career and gain possession of Warrior’s soul. The next week, Warrior defeated Brian Knobbs in a singles match but Shango came out and put another curse, or spell on Warrior. Shango was clearly having an impact on Warrior as Warrior would clutch his stomach and later vomit backstage.
On the May 23rd, 1992 edition of Superstars, the feud between Papa Shango and Ultimate Warrior continued. Warrior was being interviewed by Mean Gene when a black substance started to drip from his head. Shango primary form of attack was through playing mind games. In one of the more shocking examples of his voodoo, Shango lit an opponent on fire on May 30th of Superstars.
The following week, Shango did something to Mean Gene that caused a black substance to come out of his sleeve. Shango continued to light his jobber opponents on fire, as well.
By June 1992 the Undertaker started to team up with the Ultimate Warrior to go to battle against Papa Shango and the Berzerker. Yes, the Undertaker had been feuding with the Berzerker so the feuds came together.
The Ultimate Warrior dominated matches against Papa Shango, whether they be singles matches or tag team matches. Papa Shango never stood chance.
Warrior’s return in 1992 was short lived as he would be fired by November 1992 for steroids. Papa Shango stayed around until the summer of 1993 and would return a couple of years later as Kama and is better known as the Godfather.
As for my personal opinion on the feud. I thought it was an interesting feud and kind of entertaining. Yeah, it was silly with what they were doing, but the WWF during that era was full of cartoon like characters. It was a different attempt to make an angle interesting and you’ve got to give them credit for that.
Personally, I always enjoyed the Papa Shango character. I suppose the character is a guilty pleasure of mine. The character was portrayed very well and the spookiness of the character kept me interested in Shango as a child. Obviously, looking back at the feud and the wrestler, Shango wasn’t exactly the best wrestler.
In the long run, this angle hurt Papa Shango. Yeah, he was able to frighten the audience but when you get so easily dismantled against Warrior for a few months, it damages him. Especially since he had a spell over the guy, you’d think he would have been able to win a match or two.
It would have been interesting if Shango had actually gained possession of Warrior somehow and had Warrior do what he wanted him to do. That could have lasted a while and the blow off between Warrior and Shango at Survivor Series or something along those lines would have been fun to see. But, that was never going to happen. The feud was just a way to keep Warrior busy before his feud with Randy Savage.
Shockingly, there wasn’t a final showdown between Warrior and Shango on television. Instead, they had a match or two on Coliseum Video releases. Of course, Warrior was victorious over Shango each time and the feud lost it spark rather quickly.
What are your memories of the Ultimate Warrior/Papa Shango feud? Feel free to share them or anything regarding either character!
Thanks for reading.