Carlito discusses his WWE future, U.K. wrestling and the Shining Stars
Carlito is a former WWE superstar and the son of WWE Hall of Famer Carlos Colon. The 38-year-old first signed a developmental deal with WWE back in 2003, and he followed in the footsteps of Pedro Morales to become the second Puerto Rican to ever win the WWE Intercontinental championship. Carlito also won the tag team titles with his brother, Primo, who is currently one-half of the Shining Stars, with real-life cousin Epico.
Carlito, who is still active on the independent scene with Big Time Wrestling, discussed a potential return to WWE, as well as his thoughts of the Shining Stars.
SI.com: There are constant rumors, but do you have any plans to return to WWE?
Carlito: We’ve had talks. I haven’t spoken to them in a while, but it’s all about economics. For the right price, I’d love to come back, but it’s got to be something that works for them and something that works for me.
The last time I was there was the Hall of Fame for my dad. That was a lot of fun. They know me and my personality, and know my comments were all in fun. I’m not the most political person out there, and I just stay true to me and they know that about me.
SI.com: Do you place extra pressure on yourself in the ring to succeed because of your father, Carlos Colon, who owned the Puerto Rican wrestling promotion, World Wrestling Council, and is a WWE Hall of Famer? And what is the key piece to your success?
Carlito: It’s a big name, but at the same time, I like to do my own thing, just at the same standard my father set. My main goal is to give the audience quality.
The connection with the audience is the biggest part of what I do. A lot of these people haven’t seen me in years. I’ve been off TV since 2010, so to go out to these towns and have people cheer me and still know my character, it’s humbling. The main thing guys need to do is learn how to connect with an audience. If you do that, they won’t forget you.
SI.com: Are you a better performer after having worked for WWE?
Carlito: Everything I learned at WWE helped me. I was able to travel the world, make a lot of money. I can still do the shows I do today thanks to them. I’m very thankful, very blessed, and overall, it was a great experience.
SI.com: You have been active wrestling in the United Kingdom. How do you describe that experience? And is it a blow to the U.K. wrestling scene that WWE re-signed Drew Galloway?
Carlito: The hottest zone for wrestling is definitely in the U.K. The wrestling industry is so used to one guy leaving today and another guy coming into his spot tomorrow. It’s a fast turn-around these days, a lot faster than back in the day. Now, it’s, ‘Who’s next?’
SI.com: The Shining Stars have yet to hit their stride together as a tag team. Would you prefer to see a more realistic gimmick for Primo and Epico?
Carlito: They’re extremely talented, but it’s all about finding the right avenue for them. There are a lot of guys there like that. There is a lot of talent there, and you need to find the right way to exploit it. I’m not a booking guy. I’m a wrestler. I get asked all the time about the promoting side. I don’t worry too much about the promoting or the booking, I just like to go out there and wrestle. I wrestle, then I come back to the locker room, change, and I head to the next town.
The Nitro Files: The Hall of Fame
The Nitro Files with Eric Bischoff will delve into a moment from WCW’s Monday Nitro era. Bischoff – who was the president of WCW during the company’s most successful years – also hosts his weekly “Bischoff on Wrestling” podcast with 120 Sports’ Nick Hausman, and plans on proving every week in the Nitro Files that the truth is out there.
Eric Bischoff inducted “Diamond” Dallas Page into the WWE Hall of Fame this past WrestleMania weekend,
“It was a great experience for me,” said Bischoff. “I haven’t been back, behind the scenes, in WWE for a long time. There were a lot of people that I haven’t seen for a long time who I really enjoyed seeing. These are the names and faces that most of the audience wouldn’t recognize, but there are so many amazingly talented, hard-working, and dedicated people behind the scenes. Those are the people I was actually most excited and happiest to see. I know how hard they work, and I’m never not amazed at just how seamless and how flawless such an amazingly complex effort comes off in WWE, and I respect that a lot. That was the fun part, and walking up to that podium – and speaking in front of 15,000 – was an honor. It was a great night, a great experience, and a great night all around.”
Bischoff was asked who would have been his first induction had he ever created a WCW Hall of Fame.
“You know me well enough to know I don’t answer hypotheticals,” answered a joking Bischoff.
Bischoff also made news during WrestleMania weekend as he announced the launch of the IRW Network.
“It’s going to be an independent pop culture hub,” explained Bischoff, whose site stands for “Indies Rule the World”. “There is amazing quality content out there, and I thought it would be so cool to create a hub that will allow independent promoters, independent producers, and independent artists to have their own channel within the community that targets those people who love alternative, independent content. That is the essence of it, and we’re putting a lot of our effort into the wrestling side of that independent equation, and we’re going to rapidly expand into music, film, and comic books.”
Though the site officially launches June 1, it is currently available to access for free.
“There needs to be a hub where we help discover independent artists from all parts of entertainment,” said Bischoff. “We’ve opened it up to the public, and people can navigate through the site. We’ll have over 1,5000 hours of independent wrestling content, and that content is there right now. You can listen to my podcast right now, and I’m encouraging people to check it out and let me know what they think. We’re constantly looking for new ways to present great content.”