Carlos Edwin “Carlito” Colón Jr.
Best known for his quick ring ability and spitting apples in the face of those he deems “Not Cool.”
But what most fans are unaware of is that there is a truly great wrestler under the in-ring persona Carlito has to offer.
For those who don’t know, Carlito is the son of the Legendary Puerto Rican Wrestler Carlos Colón Sr.
I feel brief history lesson on Carlito’s father is in order.
Carlos Colón Sr. was a very famous and successful wrestler from the World Wrestling Council (WWC) based on the island of Puerto Rico . The WWC was founded by Carlos himself, along with Victor Jovica and the late great Gorilla Monsoon.
Colón Sr. has won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship an astounding 26 times.
He is also an 11 time WWC North American Tag team Champion and he was 2 time WWC Hardcore Champion.
In the WWC, “Hardcore” had the meaning it was born with.
Hard to the very Core.
Not the lame version of hardcore with paper thin tables, aluminum instead of steel chairs, cheap, thin garbage cans, etc etc.
Hardcore fights were evolving and growing in popularity in America through the 60s, 70s and 80s and WWC in Puerto Rico was the first to experiment with setting things on fire at this time when Hardcore was just making a name for itself.
Colón Sr. was well known for extending challenges to American Professional Wrestlers and having them come to Puerto Rico to fight with his promotion.
His most famous feud was with the fork wielding madman known as Abdullah the Butcher.
Their battles were legendary gore fests filled with wince inducing carnage and a ton of top notch wrestling. Colon Sr. has even gone on record to state “Eighty percent of the blood I've shed in the ring I've shed because of Abdullah."
Colón has over 70 scars on just his forehead where he wears them with pride, stating that they are the awards given to him for having such amazingly bloody and brutal matches over the years. He was known for biting his opponents on the forehead and opening them up.
Other pro wrestlers that took Colón’s Challenges were names such as the legendary Ric Flair, The one and only Macho Man Randy Savage, Bruiser Brody, Dory Funk Jr., George the Animal Steele, The Road Warriors, The Iron Sheik, even Andre the Giant made an appearance.
From what I have seen via YouTube and VHS videos as well as what I’ve heard from my own family members who have first hand knowledge of the fights during these times, those Americans were in for a surprise.
They got to Puerto Rico as these larger than life Superstars with flashy struts and a lot of talk. But when it came right down to business, the Puerto Rican wrestlers were just really tough. Their knife edge chops left welts on wrestler’s chests, super kicks knocked out teeth, and finishers brought actual concussions and black outs.
WWC wrestling is more brutal than the WWF or WWE ever really was. I would even venture to say that it rivaled the original ECW in sheer brutality and harshness.
There no better proof than one of the most epic fights between Abdullah the Butcher and Carlos Colón Sr. where Colon finally got his revenge as The Butcher had him in a standing bear hug and Colón took out his own fork and began rapidly stabbing the Butcher in the forehead with it over and over until blood was literally gushing out of his cranium.
My father was actually at the fight in the 80’s and said he literally got blood on his t-shirt.
But not all the matches were hardcore in this era. There were a lot of high flyers and risk takers as well as solid technical wrestlers as well in the WWC.
Carlos Colón Sr. epitomized what a well rounded wrestler should be and raised the bar in expectations. He was strong yet fast, technical yet was known for climbing the ropes and taking risks, hardcore yet played by the rules, tough as nails yet an emotionally sentimental guy.
His two sons are the guys you see today as your WWE Tag Team Champions.
Even though “Primo” in Spanish means cousin, Carlito and Primo are actually brothers. Sort of like the Puerto Rican Hardy Boys.
They were trained by none other than the man himself, their father Carlos Colón.
Carlito began fighting in the WWC in 1999 and still makes his guest appearances from time to time. When he travels back to his homeland, Carlito is a very serious contender unlike his WWE persona.
One example is when Carlito had a minor feud with former WWE Superstar Scott Hall better known as Razor Ramon.
Before the match Razor Ramon claimed that Carlito’s character in WWE was an imitation of Ramon’s character and began to refer to him as Mini Razor. This culminated into a great match in which Carlito was the victor using his patented move the Back Stabber to put the toothpick flicking Razor down and out.
Carlito's most famous moment in the WWC is the feud he had with his own brother. After having much success in the WWC, and winning the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship an impressive 11 times, Carlito Colón signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2003.
He had some great matches and rivalries in the WWC and his role was much more pivotal there than it ever has been in the WWE.
Ever since he joined the WWE, Vince and his staff had made him a sort of jokey guy/ladies man.
He was introduced to us on October 7, 2004 as Carlito Caribbean Cool and immediately began spitting apples at people. At times, in my opinion, it was a little over the top and demeaning not just to the person getting spit and apple juice all over them, but to Carlito himself.
Puerto Ricans were not happy since the moment he left the WWC for the WWE, calling him a sellout and saying that he is basically a chump for going to the states.
I say Carlito is a business man and an intelligent one at that. Wrestling is his business. It’s not all about the money and about the fame. But how many of you know more than two or three Puerto Rican wrestlers?
This is America, where great wrestlers go to become successful and famous worldwide. In Puerto Rico, they fight and wrestle for pride and for entertainmentbut Not really for the money. A match in WWC brings in a fouth of Carlito’s current WWE paycheck.
Plus, most of those same guys that talk smack and make jokes about him, have actually DREAMED of becoming WWE stars since they were little kids. Just like Carlito and his brother did when they were just boys trying to be “Cool” like their father. The difference was that Carlito had the talent as well as the charisma to make it and most of them do not.
So they can laugh and make jokes about him being a punk and acting like a chump spitting apples at people but at the end of the day, the last one laughing is Carlito. He is laughing all the way to the bank and into the living rooms of millions each week.
In hindsight, that’s what the WWE was going for with his character and the American Version of Carlito Colon was born.
That being said, Carlito wasn’t exactly happy with his wrestling persona. He wanted to be taken a bit more seriously and in late 2007 Carlito requested his release from the WWE. But Vince believed in him and didn’t want him to quit, so after a positive meeting with Carlito, he was thankfully convinced to stay on as a WWE superstar.
I have nothing personal against the WWE for giving him the gimmick he has, but I do wish they would utilize his true talent more. Eddie “Primo” Colon has some work to do on the mic as well as in the ring but he too is a great wrestler in his own right.
Carlito Colon hasn’t been a disappointment in the WWE by any means. Yes he is funny and Yes the WWE uses him in a lot of promos and backstage skits, and he does have Carlito Cabana, but they also have given him a fair enough push.
He has won both the United States Title and the WWE Intercontinental Title and is part of the Current Tag Champs. So its not like the WWE is making a mockery out of a truly great wrestler, they just could stand to use him a little more seriously.
Lastly, this article was meant only to enlighten those who may not know Carlito’s origins and those who may not know about the WWC.
Carlito is part of another legacy. One that does not get the respect or attention it deserves and I encourage those who have never heard of him or seen him wrestle to check the links I have provided as well as do some of your own research and find out what i mean.
If you don’t like this article, then you better dodge the apple mess that’s coming because you’re definitely Not Cool.
Thanks for reading.