September 11, 2009
Carlito dealing with family matters
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Family is on the mind of Carlito these days. For one, he's spit in the face of his brother, Primo, in the storylines, ending their successful partnership. But in the more heart-warming vein, getting up to Toronto for Raw on Monday means getting to see his grandparents and cousins.
His famous father, Carlos Colon, was wrestling as Carlos Belafonte in Montreal when he met his future wife, Nancy, Her family still resides in Toronto, while the Colon clan calls Puerto Rico home.
"It's always good to come back there. My mom's Canadian, and I have grandparents and cousins there, so I try to go visit them whenever I get to that area," Carlito told SLAM! Wrestling, while enjoying a few days off.
He doesn't see his battles with his younger brother Primo continuing, however.
"It's always been a competitive thing between him and I," Carlito explained. "We can bring the best out of each other. It's fun for me. We haven't really wrestled much. I mean, we've had a couple of matches here or there. I think he's headed in his own direction, and I'm headed in my own direction."
A brotherly battle where one forces the other to say "Uncle" would have made sense for this Sunday's Breaking Point pay-per-view, where all the matches are to end with submission stipulations. But the brothers aren't on the card.
Without saying it explicitly, the frustration was evident from the 30-year-old Carlito. "Whatever spot I can get, you know what I mean? I do what I can. If it happens, it happens. If not, there's always the next pay-per-view."
He likes the idea of the submission matches: "It's a new concept. I like that they change pay-per-views around. With them on a monthly basis, it's always good to bring in new ideas, I think."
In conversation, Carlito is, like his character, pretty relaxed and cool. He claimed to be a bit of a loner in the locker room, getting along with everyone, but not really getting involved with things.
Having had success on his own as Carly Colon in Puerto Rico before heading to the WWE, he has put a lot of thought into who he wanted to be and how he wanted to be portrayed upon his arrival in 2004.
The key, he said, was not to capitalize on his father's fame.
"I always tried to have a different style. I would never live off my father's name. I always tried to have my own name and my own persona," he said, adding that it was his call to play down the Colon name. "That was my main thing. The same thing happened with Superfly Snuka's son. At first, he didn't want to be known as Superfly Snuka's son. A lot of second-generation guys go through that; they want to separate themselves from that. They appreciate everything they did, but they want to be seen as their own person, and not a shadow of what their father or their uncle was."
"What was good about Puerto Rico was it was always a melting pot of wrestling, because they always had wrestlers coming in from Mexico, Japan, the States," he said. "I got to see all styles. Mexican style is more high flying, Japanese style is more strong-style. Puerto Rico has its own style too. They want to see more blood, more violence. Then there's American style, which is more showmanship."
Certainly Carlito has proven he can excel at any aspect of WWE action.
"The thing about me is I always wanted to be my own person. I've been influenced by others, but I always wanted to do my own thing," he said. "Especially when I came to WWE, I wanted to have my own style, and not be the cookie-cutter type doing the stuff that everybody else does."
He feels he has his mojo back now that he is a heel again. Working as a babyface was always a little awkward. "I always hated being a babyface. To me, I feel more, I guess, freedom as a heel. I like antagonizing people, and just getting on their nerves. That's more my style."
Greg Oliver enjoyed spending some time in Carlito's Cabana ... without leaving his basement. Greg can be emailed at email@example.com.