Carlito aims to make splash in Orlando sun
INDIANAPOLIS -- Just moments after he pinned Cody Rhodes' shoulders to the mat, Carlito sat down in the locker room to soak in reality.
He had his golden ticket. For the first time in two years, he was going back to WrestleMania, with a chance to win the coveted Money in the Bank championship contract.
"I'm very excited," Carlito told WWE.com. "I'm back in WrestleMania and I'm going to win Money in the Bank, so get used to seeing me as champion very soon."
It may not be a stretch to see the second-generation Caribbean Superstar wearing championship gold once again. However, Carlito's had a rollercoaster ride of a career that has seen championship peaks and valleys. Now he has the opportunity to regain the momentum he possessed when he debuted in WWE in 2004 by defeating John Cena for the United States Championship in his very first match. That same momentum fueled his Raw debut in 2005 when he won the Intercontinental Championship from Shelton Benjamin.
Carlito's apparent comfort in Ladder Matches makes him a dangerous dark horse in Money in the Bank at WrestleMania XXIV. Last December, he opened many eyes when he took Jeff Hardy, a Ladder Match innovator, to the limit in their battle for the Intercontinental Championship at Raw's 15th Anniversary.
Hardy ultimately won the contest, but the cool customer showed he doesn't get rattled when steel ladders come into play. He hopes that comfort level will be a key to victory in Orlando, Fla., on March 30.
"Carlito's very agile. Carlito's very sneaky … very fast," he explained. "I've been in a couple Ladder Matches, so I know how to handle myself. I'm not really worried about the rest of the competition. You know they're inferior to Carlito, so I'm just going to wait for the right opportunity and snatch that briefcase."
The crafty Superstar also announced the winner of the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania will be Enemy No. 1 once he emerges victorious in the crowded Money in the Bank field. Carlito insisted Hardy, Chris Jericho, Benjamin, and last year's winner, Mr. Kennedy, should stop dreaming about any world title opportunities.
"Be prepared to lose, and don't have high expectations." Carlito confidently predicted. "I'm going to win the Money in the Bank."