By Mike Mooneyham

Dec. 4, 2005

Carlito (Colon) is one of the most entertaining characters on World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw roster. The second-generation star, son of Puerto Rican legend Carlos Colon, made history by winning the U.S. championship in his debut match Oct. 7, 2004, on Smackdown, then did it again by winning the Intercontinental title in his first match on Raw on June 20, 2005. Carlito, who will bring his apple-spitting routine to WWE’s nationally televised Raw show Monday night at the North Charleston Coliseum, went One-On-One with Mike Mooneyham this weekend.

When you were growing up in Puerto Rico, which wrestlers (besides your dad) did you idolize?

There was a whole bunch of wrestlers around me growing up. I saw so many I really didn’t have a favorite. I just liked going and watching wrestling. It’s hard to pick one.

What’s the most important thing your dad ever taught you?

He taught me how to act in the business – what to do behind the scenes. – how to present myself and how to maneuver myself. A lot of young kids in the business today don’t know how to do that, and they end up getting in a lot of trouble.

Carlito Colon

Carlito Colon

Did you feel any extra pressure being a second-generation wrestler?

Sure. It’s a high bar to raise yourself up to. There was a lot of pressure, but I never felt like I had to be like my dad. I feel like I’ve gone in a different direction than him. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m never known as better than him. Just to be as good is good enough for me.

Wrestling seems to be a tradition in your family. Who’s in it besides your dad?

My brother (Eddie) and sister (Stacy) are both in it. Apparently my cousin, Orlando Colon, is also doing some wrestling. I talked to him the other day. It’s a wrestling tradition for sure.

Who are the three coolest performers in WWE?

(The late) Eddie Guerrero was one of the coolest performers I’ve ever seen. Right now I’m the only cool wrestler.

Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan?

Ric Flair. He could dance circles around Hulk Hogan.

What was the biggest transition from working in Puerto Rico to working in this country?

Getting used to the style over here. You have to follow a lot more rules in this country. Over there it was barbaric and much more violent. They’re much stricter here.

Your favorite type of music?

Hip-hop, but I like all kinds of music, except for country. I can’t stand country.

What CD is in your car?

I don’t buy CDs anymore. I download.

Last book you’ve read?

“Digital Fortress” by the guy who wrote “The DaVinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” It wasn’t good.

What’s your impression of Vince McMahon?

He’s a genius. That’s why he’s where he’s at. He’s a very unique type of person.

What’s your take on WWE’s new drug-testing policy?

That’s fine with Carlito. He doesn’t do any kind of drugs whatsoever. You don’t see me sweating.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you on the road since you’ve been with WWE?

Not many that you could print. Just riding with Paul London. A lot of people don’t know it, just seeing him on TV, but he’s a kooky, weird guy. He’s just a nut. We pretty much make fun of other people. It’s one of those inside wrestling things.

Who’s been your favorite guest on Carlito’s Cabana?

I’ve had so many – (Shawn) Michaels, (Ric) Flair, (Hulk) Hogan, (Kurt) Angle. I guess Hulk Hogan because I got to talk about his daughter. He wasn’t cool with it, but it was fun nonetheless.

How long do you see yourself in the wrestling business? As long as I can. Once I accomplish all my goals, I think I’ll be able to walk away. But you never know. This sport is very different.