Why you need to know Carlos Colon: WWE.com speaks to WWE Superstars Eddie and Orlando Colon about the amazing legacy of a Puerto Rican icon
From the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan to New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Carlos Colon built a WWE Hall of Fame career that spanned across five decades. A true icon in his native Puerto Rico, he gained fame as both a legendary competitor and savvy businessman who brought the world’s top stars to his homeland. But Colon wasn’t always the suit and tie type. He was as physical and unrelenting in the ring as any that came before him or has come since.
Colon will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, and his legacy continues to leave a mark on modern-day sports-entertainment. But despite his wild popularity across the Caribbean, many younger fans outside of Puerto Rico might not understand how Colon impacted the world of professional wrestling. WWE.com spoke with his son, Eddie, and nephew, Orlando, who perform in WWE as Los Matadores, about the amazing career of Carlos Colon and what the WWE Universe needs to know about the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.
WWE.COM: What made Carlos Colon such a special performer?
ORLANDO COLON: The connection he had with the crowd. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but he was the one who had the biggest heart. And he always stuck to his roots, which was Puerto Rico. No matter where he went, he represented the island with class. I remember his great battles with Stan Hansen, Abdullah the Butcher, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Dory Funk, Terry Funk, Mil Mascaras, Pedro Morales, you name ‘em. He’s wrestled most of the wrestlers in the WWE Hall of Fame — anybody that was somebody in this business — and he’s beat them.
EDDIE COLON: The Puerto Rican fans are very passionate. My dad had such a connection with them. He was loved and cherished by them. It was something incredible. All he had to do was talk on that mic every week on the afternoon show 12:00 to 2:00 on Saturday and Sunday, and he’d just connect with his audience. They’d follow him and live and die for him. That special connection was kind of like what Muhammad Ali had in his era. And his track record speaks for itself.
WWE.COM: What were some of his biggest accomplishments as a promoter?
WWE.COM: Do you think his contributions are more important as a performer or as a promoter?
ORLANDO: I think both, because he wrestled the best and also he brought the best to Puerto Rico. Wrestlers like Kane, Razor Ramon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Dusty Rhodes, all those guys wrestled in Puerto Rico. If you talk about top of the line talent, they’ve been to Puerto Rico because of Carlos Colon.
EDDIE: He’s a man who’s broken barriers. Remember, back in the ’70s and ’80s to have not only a black, but a Hispanic promoter, was unheard of. My dad not only became a promoter but he was quite successful. And not only did he run shows in Puerto Rico, but he ran Trinidad, he ran Martinique, he ran so many islands. At one given time, his wrestlers were performing six days a week and it was a good living.
WWE.COM: Is there one particular match or rivalry that he’s remembered for above any others?
WWE.COM: Do you have an early memory of your dad that really sticks out?
EDDIE: I remember when I was eight or nine, I was in the dugout of the baseball stadium [after my dad’s match], and the first thing I wanted to do was give him a hug and he got blood all over me. To me, it was natural, but my friends were there looking at me like I was crazy. I was used to seeing my dad battered and bruised more than seeing him clean. It was normal to me because I grew up in it.
ORLANDO: I remember this one story. Primo was there. And so was Carlito. We were in a town called Ponce in Puerto Rico. Carlos Colon was wrestling Abdullah the Butcher with the ring wrapped with barbed wire. When he won, he called all of his kids — Carlito, Primo, his daughters Stacy and Melissa, and me and my cousin Danny — up to the ring. To me, that was the coolest thing. And it’s shown on tape. You can see all of his kids jumping around the ring. It was unreal.
EDDIE: I remember my dad picking me up at school, and my dad’s the equivalent of Hulk Hogan, if not bigger, in Puerto Rico. I’m not putting this over the top. When he would pick me up, I was the coolest kid in school [laughs]. It was the greatest thing.
WWE.COM: Do you apply your father’s lessons today?
EDDIE: I still go to him for advice and he always gives it to me out of his experience.
ORLANDO: And it’s usually the best advice. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s the best advice.
WWE.COM: What’s the best advice he’s given you?
ORLANDO: Stay positive, stay strong. Stay happy, stay humble. What got him to be a big star was all about being humble and staying hungry. Humble and hungry.