What we learned from: Carlito on After The Bell

Following his return at this years Royal Rumble, Carlito recently appeared on After The Bell. Here are the most notable talking points from the show:

On his 10 year absence from WWE and his return:

“First of all, I’m still alive! I’ve been around, doing my own thing on the independent scene. I’ve been doing some acting here and there, but mostly laying low all this time. But to me it’s all the same. I’m going out there to entertain the crowd. After all these years, when I returned, I felt like I was home. A lot of stuff has changed but a lot of stuff has changed the same. I see people backstage that are still there. Some were there before I even started. The new faces have grown up and are big stars. It’s crazy to see where they are now from where they were.”

On comparing today’s locker room to when he first started:

“The biggest thing is the culture in the back. It is a lot tamer and a lot healthier. The morale seems to be up. The guys are smarter now, and the wellness policy is a good idea. It makes sure that everyone is taking care of themselves. The athleticism has improved, the guys are way better athletes than when I was first there. society has changed too, wrestling is based on stereotypes. But now if you do anything stereotypical, people just want it cancelled. Some guys are supposed to be offensive, you want to see them get beaten up.”

On the Royal Rumble entrance:

“I didn’t think I was going to be caught up the moment but I still was. The Thunderdome is new for everybody. You see people, but they are flat and on screens. The crowd noise is also piped in. But I still feel like I had a connection with them, even though they are not there. I just want to entertain them the best I can.”

On his physical transformation:

“I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted by peoples responses. When I left WWE I was in a dark place. I’m only 20 lbs bigger than I was in my prime. When I left I was 189lbs, I hadn’t weighed under 200 since I was 17 years old. When I was released, I didn’t have any responsibilities. So from there, my goal was to get in the best shape that I can. I did it for me and to feel better about myself. I was my own boss, I could eat right and train right.”

On his early career and his families legacy:

“The main legacy is my dads promotion in Puerto Rico (Carlito’s father is Carlos Colón Sr, a WWE hall of fame inductee and the founder of Puerto Rican promotion World Wrestling Council). Guys have been going there since the mid 70’s to get some training in and work a different style. Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, a young Kane all came through. I had no choice but to become a wrestler. My first job was selling beer and sodas for dads promotion. I then worked the hard camera for a bit, from there I realized I was about the same size as some of the wrestlers. 3 weeks of training and I was thrown into the ring and had to figure it out from there.”

On why he came back and how he could improve the product:

“I didn’t like the way things ended last time. I wanted to leave a better taste in someone’s mouth. I was happy to be back, and get a chance to end things on better terms than last time. I always like helping out the younger guys. I want the business to do better as a whole, and anything I can do I’m glad to help out anyway I can. I want to help the representation of Latinos. They are great talents, but they can’t speak English that well. I would like to focus on that, I could be their voice.”

On a potential Colón vs Anoa’i family feud:

“Our families go way. Us island boys have always looked out for each other, but if we need to go to war too that would be great. The only thing is Roman Reigns, he’s bigger than I thought he was. We need to find a bigger Colón!”

Full podcast audio can be found here.

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