Carlos has worked with every name in the business from Abby, Brody, Flair, Hanson, Funk, Vega, Jaggers, Dutch Mantell, Invaders and everyone in between Carlos has been in the ring with them all. During this shoot interview we talk all about all of his major feuds in that company.
We start off talking about his early career in the WWWF and what it was like to work the NY scene. How did he meet Abby for the first time? How did he get the idea to start up WWC? How did he pick what talent he was going to use?
Besides talking in great detail about his entire wrestling career and everything you could imagine about WWC from its booking, use of gimmick matches, rabid crowd riots, and monster heels that he battled with in some of the bloodies gimmick matches of all time, Carlos also talks about his family who has entered the business as well.
By far the highlight of the DVD is the part where we ask him about the Bruiser Brody murder. Carlos was the only guy who we did not interview yet about that tragic night. What really happened behind the scenes with Invader and Bruiser Brody? Did he know there was heat? What did he see after Brody was stabbed? Was there a cover up? How did he handle the press? How did he find out Brody had died? How did he react to the Invader and what happened in court?
Carlos at one point told us on tape he did not want to talk about this any further but we were not going to give up…RF VIDEO asked all the tough questions and we think we got you the answers that you were all looking for.
This was a huge deal for me because we interviewed everyone about the murder of Bruiser Brody and Carlos was the one guy we have tried to sit with for the past 10 years and finally we made it happen. To make this shoot even better we are going to have interviews from Savio Vega, Abby, Dutch Mantell, Bobby Jaggers, Tony Atlas and Manny Fernandez talking about the incident.
– Born in Santa Isabel, on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, emigrated to Brooklyn with parents and six siblings when he was 13 years old.
– Grew up a fan of Antonino Rocca and Miguel Perez Sr., eventually joined the gym they trained at and helped clean the place to pay for his training. Apparently also trained by a Puerto Rican wrestler named Barabas, who he had a falling out with years later when he attempted to run opposition to WWC.
– Wrestled Bobo Brazil in his debut match in Boston in 1966 for promoter Tony Santos, earning $15 U.S. Memories of Bobo?
– Briefly worked under the name Prince Kukuya in Boston, doing a Hawaiian gimmick (wore a Hawaiian shirt, lei, etc.)
– Moved to Montreal, where he met his future wife Nancy, and worked all over the East Coast, making his WWWF debut in December 1967.
– Wrestled regularly for the WWWF in 1968 and 1969 as lower-card guy. Worked with Johnny Rodz and Pete Sanchez a ton, as well as Gorilla Monsoon, Lou Albano, Baron Mikel Scicluna, The Sheik, Killer Kowalski and Thunderbolt Patterson.
– Ask his impressions of Vince McMahon Sr. and how he differed from Jr.?
– His fellow Puerto Rican Pedro Morales joined the WWWF in 1970 and won the World title the following year; ask if he thinks he could have gotten a similar push if he’d stayed in New York longer? What is his opinion of Pedro?
– Looks like he worked Abdullah the Butcher for the first time in Montreal in September 1968. Ask his first impressions of Abdullah?
– Worked for Stampede Wrestling from 1970 to 1973 under the name Carlos Belafonte. Ask his opinion of Stu Hart and his sons? Also, how he adapted to the long drives in brutal weather after growing up in Puerto Rico?
– Worked with Abdullah again in Calgary and had their first series of bloody matches that drew very well. Also feuded with Tor Kamata.
– Allegedly knocked out then-Stampede booker Dave Ruhl during a road trip from Medicine Hat to Saskatoon in October 1972. Story is that Carlos was feeling ill and rolled down the car window to clear out the smoke from Ruhl’s cigar. Ruhl (the driver) complained about the cold, so Carlos asked Ruhl to put the cigar out. An argument ensued and Ruhl pulled over so they could settle things on the side of the highway. Carlos hit Ruhl with a hard slap and Ruhl fell backwards, hit his head and was knocked out cold (Ruhl still claims he simply slipped on a patch of ice). What does Carlos remember of the incident?
– Returned to Puerto Rico in 1973 and co-founded Capitol Sports Promotions, a.k.a. World Wrestling Council, with Victor Jovica (who he first met while working in Calgary) and Gorilla Monsoon. Memories of Gorilla?
– A Florida promoter named Clarence Luttrell had been promoting on the island since the ‘60s using NWA talent, but never used Puerto Rican wrestlers in prominent roles. Carlos saw that as a missed opportunity and WWC pushed himself and other native wrestlers as top stars. Ask if WWC was initially seen as an outlaw promotion?
– WWC front office also included the late, great Victor Quinones, godson of Monsoon (ask about scurrilous accusations that Victor was actually Gorilla’s illegitimate child?) What does he think of the unsavoury rumours about Victor’s personal life and alleged sexual harassment of wrestlers? Or Victor’s alleged international mafia connections?
– Early WWC feuds were with Monsoon, Ernie Ladd, Killer Karl Krupp, Pampero Firpo and the Mongolian Stomper.
– Toured with All Japan in 1979, teaming with Abdullah and working regularly against Jumbo Tsuruta and Mil Mascaras. Memories of Mascaras? Was he the egomaniac he’s reported to be? Also worked with Giant Baba himself several times.
– Worked at least one match in Mexico in 1982. Apparently also teamed with Mexican legend El Santo in WWC in 1975? What are his thoughts on the lucha style? Could it ever get over in Puerto Rico?
– WWC was eventually invited to join the NWA, allowing them access to top American talent, and Carlos was given a seat on the Board of Directors.
– Worked with Ric Flair many times beginning in 1982. As WWC champion, he defeated then-NWA champ Flair in a “unification” match in January 1983, but the match never aired outside of Puerto Rico and was never officially recognized as a title change by the NWA. What were the politics behind this?
– Memories of working with The Original Sheik in Puerto Rico in 1982?
– Bloody feud with Abdullah would draw some of the largest gates in WWC history. The two regularly worked death matches, brawling all over the building, in addition to barbed wire matches and chain matches. Memories of the famous angle where Abdullah “blinded” Carlos with ammonia?
– Ask about recent news that Abdullah tested positive for Hepatitis C. Has he been tested? Has it caused him to re-evaluate the practice of blading at all? Did he ever known Abdullah to blade people without permission? Devon Nicholson, the Canadian wrestler suing Abdullah for giving him the disease, also worked extensively for WWC in recent years; what are Carlos’ thoughts on him?
– How did he feel about the promotion shifting toward a more violent style? What did he think about Quinones and Atsushi Onita using WWC as a template for Japan’s FMW years later? Or Eddie Gilbert and Paul Heyman adopting a similar philosophy in booking ECW? What does he think of modern-day “hardcore” wrestling and the use of tables, ladders, chairs, glass, lightbulbs, thumbtacks, etc.? Has it gone too far?
– What is his take on Puerto Rican fans’ reputation for violence (e.g. throwing rocks, batteries, cups of urine, etc.)? Is it true that several foreign wrestlers demanded increased security measures after Bruiser Brody was attacked by a knife-wielding fan, resulting in seats being moved further from the ring?
– Any stories from working exotic locations such as the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands? He and Abdullah apparently triggered a riot in Trinidad in the early ‘80s. Was he ever nervous about the armed soldiers acting as security at some of these shows?
– Memories of facing Abdullah at Starrcade ’83 in Greensboro? He worked a few Crockett shows in the mid-‘80s, as well as a few shots for Eddie Graham in Florida and Southwest Championship Wrestling in Texas. Was he ever tempted to return to the U.S. full-time during this period?
– Memories of his boxer vs. wrestler match with the late Joe Frazier in 1984? Colon apparently pinned Frazier after five rounds. Was it hard convincing Frazier to do the job? Frazier also refereed a match between Carlos and Brody around this time period; the finish called for Frazier punching Brody, who was apparently paranoid that he’d be double-crossed and legit KO’d because of his heat with the office at the time.
– Also worked for Pro Wrestling USA (ill-fated joint venture between NWA and AWA) in 1985, and even had his own Remco action figure in U.S. stores, sold in a two-pack with Abdullah.
– Memories of working with Randy Savage in 1984 and ’85, just prior to his WWF run?
– Other notable ‘80s WWC opponents included Harley Race, Terry and Dory Funk, Stan Hansen, Dick Murdoch, Tully Blanchard, Ron Garvin and Jos LeDuc.
– Thoughts on Dutch Mantell, both as a wrestler and booker? Who was the best booker employed by WWC in his opinion?
– Worked with Bruiser Brody regularly beginning in 1983. What was he like to work with inside the ring? Was he difficult behind the scenes?
– Brody was stabbed to death by Jose Gonzalez, a.k.a. Invader #1, in a Bayamon locker room in July 1988. Carlos was seen speaking with Gonzalez just before the stabbing. Needless to say there are a ton of questions about Carlos’ role in the case:
– Was he aware of the heat between Gonzalez and Brody prior to the murder? Is it true that he knew of Gonzalez’s intention to confront Brody in the locker room that night?
– Is it true that Carlos was the first person on the scene after the stabbing, and that Brody’s final words were to Carlos, asking him to take care of his family?
– Why was Brody left bleeding on the floor for 25 minutes before an ambulance arrived? Is it true that Victor Quinones had to enlist the help of a local radio station to plead for medical assistance?
– Is it true that Gonzalez and Victor Jovica engaged in a shoving match after the stabbing and Jovica unsuccessfully attempted to detain Gonzalez?
– Did the responding police officers really dismiss the stabbing as an angle at first?
– Was it his decision to proceed with that night’s show in spite of the stabbing?
– How does he respond to allegations that he used his influence to cover up the murder and get Gonzalez acquitted? Or Tony Atlas’ insinuation that WWC “security people” showed up to the hospital and intimidated doctors into ceasing operating on Brody because they wanted him dead?
– Does Carlos believe it was a genuine case of self-defence? If not why did he testify on Gonzalez’s behalf at the trial? What did he say about Brody’s character on the stand? What about Dutch Mantell’s claim that he didn’t receive his subpoena to testify until the day after the trial had ended?
– Does he stand by his decision to continue working with Gonzalez after the killing? What effect did it have on the company from a business standpoint? Did he hear talk of American wrestlers boycotting the island? Is it true that Gonzalez went on television essentially bragging about the killing years later?
– Was it in poor taste for WWC to promote a Bruiser Brody Memorial Cup in the same building in 2005? How did he feel about Atsushi Onita’s aborted 1991 FMW angle, with the involvement of Victor Quinones, where Gonzalez “stabbed” Onita in the stomach?
– Memories of facing Hercules Ayala in the first-ever fire match in September 1988? Onita would bring the gimmick to Japan a couple years later.
– Worked with the Iron Sheik , Manny Fernandez and Kokina (a.k.a. Yokozuna) a lot during this time period. Also feuded with Steve DiSalvo, a.k.a. Steve Strong; was he as much of a nightmare to work with as others claim?
– Other reasons for WWC business going downhill in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s?
– Thoughts on the company’s young talent at the time, such as TNT (a.k.a. Savio Vega), Miguel Perez Jr., Hurricane Castillo Jr. and Jose Estrada Jr.?
– Thoughts on long-time WWC announcer and heel manager Hugo Savinovich? He apparently had some serious drug problems over the years.
– Memories of his random appearance in the 1993 Royal Rumble? How did that come about? Thoughts on Gorilla Monsoon referring to the then-45-year-old Colon as a “youngster”?
– Thoughts on Eddie Gilbert’s brief run as WWC booker before his death on the island in 1995? Is it true that Gilbert booked himself against a wrestling bear in what turned out to be his final match the night before his heart attack?
– Thoughts on Victor Quinones and Savio Vega forming IWA Puerto Rico in 1999 and running in opposition to WWC? How much bad blood was there? What was the dispute that led to Jose Gonzalez jumping from WWC to IWA? How big of an advantage was IWA’s promotional relationship with the WWF at the time?
– How close did WWC come to going out of business at its lowest point? Was there any truth to Victor Quinones’ claims that he actually loaned the rival company money between 2002 and 2005 to keep it afloat?
– What is the current state of the wrestling business on the island? Can it ever get back to what it was in the ‘80s? Thoughts on Savio Vega returning to WWC last year?
– Did he ever work as a heel? Did he ever consider the idea of turning heel in Puerto Rico at any point?
– Ask the origins of his signature cartwheel spot? When did he first start doing it?
– Does he actually know how many times he’s held the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title? The number is at least 26.
– Memories of training his sons Carlito and Eddie (a.k.a. Primo), both of whom debuted in 1999? Also trained his nephew Orlando (a.k.a. Epico), who debuted in 2005. Also has a daughter named Stacey who is in the business.
– Memories of 2005 WWE house show angle with Carlito and Ric Flair in San Juan? Carlito spit an apple in his father’s face and attacked him, leading to Flair making the save.
– Thoughts on Carlito’s troubled WWE run and eventual firing after failing a wellness test and refusing to attend rehab?
– Thoughts on Primo and Epico’s current tag title push and the challenges they face as smaller wrestlers in a company generally obsessed with size?
– Ask about the 2001 murder of his younger brother Noel? Apparently he was a union head who was shot to death in his office by a disgruntled former employee.
– Ask about his recent work as a boxing judge and his very controversial scoring of a Devon Alexander/Lucas Matthysse HBO fight that made headlines? How did he become a boxing judge in the first place?
– Any thoughts on a possible induction into the WWE Hall of Fame? Excluding family, who would he choose to induct him?
– As a proud Puerto Rican how does he feel about the island possibly applying for American statehood?