As reported earlier, Carlito — real name Carlos Colón — was released from his WWE contract last Friday due to his first violation of the company’s Wellness Program and subsequent refusal to enter a rehabilitation facility. Company sources indicate Colón did not actually fail a drug test. Rather, management felt he was “unfit to perform” after arriving to the Air Canada Centre for last week’s Raw taping. He was told he needed to enter rehab, but refused, denying he had a problem. Hence, officials felt they had no choice but to cut ties with him.
Regarding the problem in question, his father, Carlos Colón, Sr., revealed in an interview with primerohora.com that his son has developed a painkiller addiction. The elder Colón said his son started using them recently in order to cure debilitating back pain, but his use had spiraled into abuse.
“I want to clarify that, contrary to internet and message board rumors, he did not test positive for marijuana, cocaine, heroin or any of those drugs. He was tested because they suspected he was abusing painkillers and it proved to be true,” Colón, Sr. stated. “Painkillers are somewhat of a necessary evil for pro wrestlers because of the pain and the constant travel. He started taking one or two when he broke his arm years ago and then it seems he went out of control when he started having issues with his back. He needs help.”
He said his son’s lingering back pain was due to the execution of his finishing maneuver, ‘The Backstabber’ (double knee backbreaker), as he’s forced to endure the brunt of 200 to 300 pound wrestlers on his knees each time he utilizes the attack. He never sought medical attention for his back pain, and thus his reliance on painkillers increased.
Interestingly, Colón also said that should his son enter rehab and successfully complete the program, he would get his job back.
“Eddie (Primo), Orlando (cousin of Carlito, known as Tito Colón in FCW) and I are doing everything we can to pressure him into going to rehab and admit he has a problem,” said Colón, Sr. “This is something that he needs to admit to himself and improve and get out of that situation.”
The late Eddie Fatu (a/k/a Umaga) was similarly released by World Wrestling Entertainment last June after refusing to enter rehabilitation due to a perceived problem with painkillers. The combined effects of painkillers, tranquilizers and a muscle relaxant ultimately resulted in his death last December at the tender age of 36. The abuse of painkillers has triggered the passings of a number of wrestlers under the age of 50 including Test (33), Rick Rude (40), Brian Adams (44) and Louie Spicolli (27), among others.
Colón reportedly asked WWE for his release three years ago due to frustration over the direction of his character, but was ultimately talked into staying. There was speculation at the time that he was bound for TNA. Considering he’s no longer affiliated to WWE, such speculation has once again resumed. According to sources inside TNA, there is said to be no interest in the ex-WWE star at this time. He is expected to resume working for his father’s Puerto Rican based Wrestling Council promotion, where he is an eleven-time Universal Heavyweight Champion.