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   September 01, 2014



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Carlito Cool

REAL NAME: Carly Colon, Jr.
5' 10", 234 pounds
BORN: San Turce, Puerto Rico
NICKNAMES: Carly Colon, Carlito, Carlito Caribbean Cool

Being perhaps the only wrestler in the history of WWE Smackdown to win a title on his first night, and then repeat the feat during his first night on Raw: that's Cool!

The name Colon was synonymous with wrestling in Puerto Rico, even before the Carlito's debut in WWE. His father, Carlos Colon, has wrestled in Puerto Rico since 1965, holding more than 50 titles during his career, including the World Wrestling Council (WWC) Universal Championship, which Colon has held at least 26 times. In addition the elder Colon is the head promoter of WWC, which he formed in 1973.

After his son, Carly Colon, Jr. graduated from college, Carlos began training him for the ring, with some help from Isaac Rosario and Ricky Santana. In November 1999, at the age of 20, Carly Colon Jr. made his debut, against the Exotic One.

From January 29, 2000 to December 1, 2001, in other words, his first two full years in the professional ranks, Colon Jr. would win the WWC Universal Championship four times. Three of those championships would start with victories over Ray Gonzales, with one more (his third reign) coming in November 2000, when the title was declared vacant following a bout between Colon and Curt Hennig.

In 2002, Colon would branch out a bit, taking part in the tag team ranks in addition to holding or trying to regain the Universal Championship. Colon would team with both his brother Eddie Colon and Konnan to defeat Thunder and Lightning for the WWC Tag Team titles. Meanwhile, Colon would defeat Vampiro, Sabu, El Bronco and even his former partner Konnan to win a total of ten WWC Universal Championships in 2002 and 2003.

0n June 2, 2003, Colon signed a developmental deal with WWE and was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling. Despite this, Colon returne to Puerto Rico and defeated El Bronco to win the held up Universal Championship and begin his ninth and expected to be final reign as champion. (That reign would end nearly two weeks later when the Universal title was once again declared vacant due to Colon's departure to Ohio Valley.)

Colon would spend nearly a year in Ohio Valley, working quite a bit in tag action with Mike Mondo. On December 15th, he would travel to Tampa, Florida to take part in a dark match before WWE's Raw was broadcast. He teamed with Brent Dail and lost to Mike Barton & Jim Steele.

Five days later, Colon would return once more to Puerto Rico to battle Dominican Boy and begin his tenth reign as Universal Champion, a reign that would continue into January 2004 before Colon lost the title to one of his father's greatest adversaries, Abdullah the Butcher.

After some more work with Ohio Valley, Carly Colon was ready to be promoted to the Smackdown roster in August 2004. However, he would not make his debut until October, when he emerged as Carlito Caribbean Cool who boasted that he "spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool." His initial appearance on Smackdown paid huge dividends as he defeated John Cena for the United States Championship.

However, things soon became "not cool" as Carlito suffered a shoulder injury at a November live event against Hardcore Holly and lost the U.S. title back to Cena soon afterwards.

Although he could not wrestle, Carlito kept up his appearances by being in the corner of his bodyguard, Jesus (Aguilera), who feuded with Cena. After Jesus suffered a legitimate injury, Carlito was shunted into a storyline where he attempted to have Smackdown General Manager, Teddy Long, replaced. Instead, Linda McMahon gave Long her stamp of approval, forcing Carlito to do demeaning things (shovel snow, dress as Elvis) in order to stay in Long's good graces.

Even after Carlito's return to the ring as an active competitor, he would still be noted more for his mic work than his in-ring skills. He appeared during Wrestlemania XXI, interrupting Roddy Piper's Piper's Pit segment with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin only to get beaten up by both host and guest. A week later, Carlito's own interview segment, The Cabana, premiered on Smackdown.

Not unlike Piper, Carlito found himself a bodyguard. He tried to enlist the Big Show but after the Big Show's rebuff, found himself a replacement in Matt Morgan who feuded with the Big Show on behalf of Carlito.

Neither the partnership with Morgan nor the feud with the Big Show would last very long as Carlito found himself heading to Raw as part of this past June's draft lottery.

Much like he did on Smackdown, Carlito made a big impact during his first night on Raw. He defeated Shelton Benjamin to win the Intercontinental Championship, then defended that title against Benjamin at Vengeance and again on the July 11th episode of Raw to retain the title.

The Cabana was now a part of Raw and Carlito found himself in the middle of everything on Raw, attacking Rob Van Dam, joining forces with Kurt Angle to double-team Hulk Hogan and trading barbs with Chris Jericho over which talk show (the Cabana or Jericho's Highlight Reel) should get to hear Shawn Michaels' explanation for attacking Hogan. Carlito was even aided by Angle and Eric Bischoff in his quest to win John Cena's WWE Championship.

Carlito was unsuccessfil in his quest for Cena's title, and ended up losing his Intercontinental Championship to Ric Flair at Unforgiven. Not content with battling one legend, Carlito next turned his attention towards Mick Foley, leading to a match at Taboo Tuesday where the fans got to choose which of Foley's personas took part in the match. Carlito would face, and lose to, Mankind.

Carlito would be part of the Raw contingent as it invaded Smackdown, not to mention physically battle the other brand at the Survivor Series. After the brand wars died down, Carlito set his sights on winning the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution.

During the match, Cena and Chris Masters were working together, until Carlito double-crossed Masters, only to be defeated by WWE Champion John Cena. Masters was not impressed with Carlito, but the two managed to put their differences aside and even contended for the WWE Tag Team titles, losing to the champions Big Show and Kane.

Just days before the Royal Rumble (where Carlito again eliminated Chris Masters after the pair worked together), Carlito got into a scuffle with Shaquille O'Neal at a Miami Heat game, which led to Shaq nailing Carlito with a chair.

Although they would get a shot at the WWE Tag Team titles at Wrestlemania 22, the team of Chris Masters and Carlito was not long for the wrestling world, with Masters turning on Carlito. Carlito, however, would get the better of Masters at Backlash..

After the win, Carlito would find himself back in the Intercontinental title hunt, chasing former foe, Shelton Benjamin...but with a twist, as Johnny Nitro would also insert himself into the title hunt.

With Nitro as new I-C champ, Carlito has aligned himself with Trish Stratus, who is feuding with Nitro's manager, Melina.

--- compiled by John M. Milner

CARLITO STORIES

  • May 22, 2010: Mat Matters: Carlito wanted out
  • September 11, 2009: Carlito dealing with family matters
  • March 31, 2007: Carlito not cool about missing 'Mania
  • July 9, 2006: Carlito's got Canadian blood ... now that's cool!
  • May 30, 2005: Carlito expects some apple-spitting respect