Carlito: Young Fans Realize I’m A Somebody After They Find Out That I Beat John Cena
Carlito beat John Cena in his WWE SmackDown debut and despite it taking place more than fifteen years ago, it’s a big reason younger fans can understand that he’s somebody in the wrestling business.
Carlito was a guest on The Bump this week and spoke about his SmackDown debut match, first joking that he reminds Cena all of the time that won the match and did it with a clean pinfall as well. Carlito defeated John Cena for the United States Championship (he didn’t cheat, just look at the tape) on the October 7, 2004 episode of SmackDown, and he says despite not being a regular fixture in WWE now, that win still shows new fans who he was and why older fans were happy to see him return at the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
“I haven’t been on TV, on RAW or SmackDown in over ten years, so a lot of the older fans don’t like him [Cena], but a lot of the younger kids don’t know who I am. Sometimes [the older fans that now have kids] they’ll explain, ‘Oh, this is Carlito…’ And they’re like, [uninterested],” Carlito explained, “but it happens every single time, they say, ‘Yeah, he beat John Cena!’ and you just see their eyes light up. Like, ‘Oh my God. I don’t know who this guy is, but he beat John Cena, he’s got to be somebody!’”
Carlito looked back on some other memorable moments from his WWE career, including his favorite episode of “Carlito’s Cabana” and his WrestleMania 21 interaction with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper.
“My first WrestleMania and I have to go out there with ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper? Two kings on the microphone, I was just hoping I could keep up with them. It was cool. I think I spit in Piper’s face but it didn’t end the way that I wanted.”
Carlito also said wrestling Ric Flair was awesome and noted that he knew Flair since he was a kid, so stepping in the ring with him was a “great honor.”
“Not only that, but Ric Flair wrestled my Dad a whole bunch of times back in the day, so I’d seen him as a kid wrestling my Dad down in Puerto Rico. So, to be able to get in the ring with Ric Flair was a nice little feather in my cap.”
Check out Carlito’s full appearance on The Bump at the top of this post; his debut match against John Cena can be seen below: