Carlito, top, drops an elbow on Shelton Benjamin in the ring.
Carlito’s coolness converts WWE fans
Just eight months after bringing the "Raw and Smackdown Supershow" to Honolulu, World Wrestling Entertainment returns to the Blaisdell Arena this weekend.
'WWE Presents RAW Live'
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Blaisdell Arena
Tickets: $25 to $75 (tickets from the originally scheduled July 2 show will be honored)
Call: (877) 750-4400
Scheduled matches (subject to change):
» John Cena vs. Kurt Angle (WWE title match / no disqualification)
» The Big Show vs. Edge (with Lita)
» Ric Flair vs. Carlito (Intercontinental championship match)
» Trish Stratus and Ashley vs. Torrie Wilson and Victoria
» Also scheduled to appear: Chris Masters, Kane, The Hurricane and Rosey, Candice Michelle and Eugene
Tomorrow's house show, a non-televised regional appearance similar to weekly live broadcasts that air on Monday nights, will feature many of the same wrestlers who were here in February as well as three years ago, when the WWE made its first stop in Hawaii since 1994. Established superstars like Kane, Kurt Angle and The Big Show will step into the ring, along with current WWE Champion John Cena and WWE Divas Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson and Victoria.
But the experience will be a first for Carlito Caribbean Cool, the 26-year-old son of famous Puerto Rican professional wrestler Carlos Colón. He's held two championship belts in the year he's been with the WWE and follows in the footsteps of Roddy Piper, Jimmy Hart and Brother Love by hosting his own interview segment, "Carlito's Cabana."
We caught up with Carlito via telephone last Friday, three days before he would team up with Angle and Edge to defeat Cena, Big Show and Shawn Michaels in a six-man tag match on the latest episode of "Raw."
Question: Was it a hard decision to pick pro wrestling as a career?
Answer: My dad was (a pro wrestler). He's been in the business for 30-something years. I had no choice but to become a wrestler.
Q: How close is your character, Carlito Caribbean Cool, to the actual personality of Carlos Colón Jr.?
A: I'm a real smart-aleck, and I like to cause trouble, so I guess they're not very far apart from each other.
Q: You're often seen eating an apple during "Carlito's Cabana" (an interview segment that appears regularly on "Raw"). What's up with that?
A: In one of my early vignettes, I ended up spitting an apple in an old man's face. And I kind of liked it, so I kept on doing it. It's a way to agitate people.
Q: You wrestled for, and won, championship gold during both your "Raw" debut in June and your first WWE television appearance last October on "Smackdown." Does that happen often to rookie talent?
A: It was a big thing ... definitely a surprise, you know? I didn't expect that. It was an honor for me.
Q: Is there a difference between being on "Raw" instead of "Smackdown" every week?
A: It's just two different groups of people. Different, but the same, you know what I mean?
Q: "Raw" moved to the USA network recently, with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling replacing the show on Spike TV. Is there room again for two competing promotions on national television?
A: I think it's good for the business. It keeps people on their toes, and it just makes them become more creative.
Q: What about mixed martial arts? Have you lost any fans to organizations like the UFC or Pride?
A: It's just different forms of entertainment. I don't watch it much, but if people like it, I could see how. (But) I think wrestling's more entertaining. There's more action, more movement.
Q: You've accomplished quite a bit in your first year as a WWE superstar. What's next?
A: I'd like to get my Intercontinental Championship back, and I'd like to one day become WWE champion. There's still a couple of things that Carlito needs to do.