Welcome to the first edition of the most recent addition to Rajah.Com, How It Started vs How It Ended. On today’s edition of the show, I’ll be taking a look back at Carlitos' WWE television debut, his biggest career accolades, and the closing moments of his memorable run with the WWE. Let’s get down to it!
The man who spits in the face of people who don’t wanna be cool made his WWE television debut on October 7th, 2004. Carlito started off with a bang, defeating John Cena, to become the United States Champion, albeit with the use of underhanded tactics. Carlito used a steel chain to beat Cena, and went on to hold the strap for 42 days, until an injury put the Caribbean cool one on the shelf for a short period of time. Carlito would return to Championship glory in 2005, capturing the Intercontinental Championship on June 20. After being drafted over to Raw, Carlito was able to defeat Shelton Benjamin for the title. Carlito did so in his Raw debut, and began his second reign with a mid-card championship. Carlito held on to the title for 3 months, before dropping the strap at the Unforgiven Pay Per View, to none other than “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, who forced Carlito to tap out to the dreaded figure four leg lock.
After a strong run in the mid-card, Carlito found himself in the mix for the WWE Championship, during the latter part of 2005, and early 2006. The Puerto Rican sensation managed to qualify for the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, at 2006’s New Years Revolution Pay Per View, where he eliminated the likes of Chris Masters, Kane, and Shawn Michaels. Carlito would be one of the final two participants in the match, but would ultimately come up short against the eventual winner, John Cena. Carlito began to struggle finding his place on the card after that loss, and never really regained the momentum he had going as a singles competitor. Carlito joined a makeshift tag team with Chris Masters, and the two competed against The Big Show and Kane at Wrestlemania 22, for the WWE World Tag Team Championships. Carlito and Masters lost the match, and eventually split apart. Carlito then began flirting with members of the womens division, and had strange “love” angles with Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson. Carlito continued to flop around the card, eventually landing in another make shift tag team with new-comer Santino Marella. Though the team didn’t last, the move to the tag division did, and Carlito eventually joined forces with his brother Primo, who had just recently moved up to the main roster.
On September 12, 2008, Carlito made the jump back to Smackdown, alongside his brother, Primo. Primo and Carlito captured tag team gold by winning a match for the WWE Tag Team Championships against Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. The Colon brothers continued their run, and at Wrestlemania 25, Carlito and Primo defeated the WWE World Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison. The Colons became the first team to hold both sets of tag team championships at the same time, and unified the titles. Carlito finally looked to have bounced back from the major setback that occurred at New Years Resolution. The Colons would continue to hold on to the Unified Tag Team Championships until 2009’s The Bash Pay Per view, where they lost a triple threat tag team match to Edge and Chris Jericho. Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. also competed in the match. The Colons would split up in the weeks following the loss, and Carlito was eventually paired with his manager, Rosa Mendes. This would mark the end of Carlitos most victorious moments, and he never won any gold again.
The final chapter of Carlitos’ WWE career came to an end in 2010, as he squared up with potentially his greatest foe once again. After two months away from the ring, Carlito returned to verbally abuse John Cena. Carlito seemingly cut a “worked shoot” style promo on Cena, before trying to spit an apple into the WWE Champions face. Carlito would end up on the receiving end of an Attitude Adjustment, and go back to floundering around the card once again. On May 21st of 2010, the WWE released Carlito, due to his refusal to rehab a prescription pain relief addiction. That’s not cool.
How It Started:
How It Ended:
That’s all for this edition of How It Started vs How It Ended. On tap for next week is a look back at the WWE career of “The Big Guy” Ryback. To catch that, and all of the wrestling news from all of your favorite companies, tune in right here to rajah.com!