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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Carltio and the Masterpiece - Cool"
April 21, 2006 by Shaun Webb


In another great bit of long-term booking by WWE, the Carlito and Chris Masters friendship/feud is really picking up steam heading into Backlash. This is probably the match on the impressive Backlash card that I'm looking forward to most. I'm a massive fan of long-term booking, and if you look at the success of the Batista-HHH feud, or Mickie-Trish feud, that proves how brilliant these can be if booked well.

The Carlito and Chris Masters feud has so many things working in its favour, and although they are not the most seasoned workers they should be able to put on a decent match on April 30th.

First of all, to my knowledge these two have never competed directly against each other, be it a singles match or a tag match. However, the two have been teaming up consistently since about September 2005. Despite teaming together, they have never been the best of friends, and the rivalry over who is the best youngster in WWE, has continued throughout.

Then obviously came the "screwing" of Masters at New Years Revolution, and at the Royal Rumble. On both occasions Carlito eliminated Masters from behind, in the Elimination Chamber match and the Royal Rumble match. Carlito claimed each time that it was an accident, and the Masterpiece eventually semi-forgave him for them. Leading us, the viewers, to believe that Masters was (as Carlito puts it) a big dummy! Carlito, on the other hand, was less forgiving when Masters genuinely made a mistake costing them the match at 'mania.

So, by summing-up the main happenings in their feud, there can only be one face right" ... Chris Masters. But, yet everywhere you read suggests that the WWE have turned Carlito face. And even King (the face) is supporting Carlito, and Coach (the heel) is behind Masters.

There's no doubt that between the two Carlito receives the stronger crowd reaction, but he has done literally nothing in this feud that can be considered 'a babyface act'. Attacking your partner, acting like a coward when you are confronted, and being overly cocky about yourself, are 100% heel actions. Confronting people who have wronged you, and being willing to put your money where your mouth is, are babyface actions that Masters has used during the feud.

This week Carlito attacked Matt Striker, while he was trashing the St. Louis crowd. This was the first face action from Carlito, but it was even 'heelish' in its execution.

This feud is unique. I believe there is no face. Nor do I believe that a face-heel dynamic is needed to put together this contest. The 'rookie competitiveness' between the two will be enough to sell the bout, combined with their history. The WWE seem to be stepping away from the pigeon-holing Superstars as heel or face, and just allowing them to be themselves.

I was quite surprised they didn't make this feud come to a head a Wrestlemania, given the great build-up. But, at least this way the match won't be over-shadowed by other feuds, and de-valued by being placed low on the card.

These are two young guys, who the WWE seem keen to push to stardom. Therefore, the outcome of this bout could be very important to their careers. Especially as I believe that this will be the one and only PPV match of the feud, as I can see Masters being switched to SmackDown! in the draft. Personally, I'm hoping Masters goes over, because I believe the victory would benefit him more than it would Carlito, in terms of improving/cementing his place in the upper-mid-card.

Either way the last few months of booking between these two have been a treat, and hopefully the match at Backlash can live up to a fitting end to the feud.

By Shaun Webb


Steven Pozaryck wrote:
Carlito has always had some kind of fan following troughout his WWE career and Masters was born a heel. This should be a much better match than people think it will be. It won't be a technical classic, but it will be entertaining. Personally, I'm with you and pulling for Masters to win. I think Carlito has been established already, whereas Masters hasn't. Nice job.
Nick Porter wrote:
"The WWE seem to be stepping away from the pigeon-holing Superstars as heel or face, and just allowing them to be themselves." I would shed my clothes and run crying with joy, and yes, naked, on a complete tour of London if you're right about that. However, as this rivalry is the only evidence thus far, I have to sadly make my opinion that either the creative team are a bit confused about what to do with Carlito/Masters (mainly Carlito - I suspect that because of his impossibly hilarious heelesque promos they can't quite bring themselves to make him a conventional face), or the man Carlito (/Carlos Colon Jr) has somehow become influential enough, either through lineage or simply an endearing personality, to have more of a say in the state of his character than your average WWE wrestler is entitled to.

As for the Carlito - Masters rivalry itself, personally I find it symptomatic of WWE's sad allergy to tag-teams. While the rivalry made what would otherwise have been another middle-of-the-road tagteam into a favourite segment of mine (and I'm sure I'm not alone there), and will certainly fuel their careers well going into Backlash, what then" Then the WWE will have lost yet another interesting tagteam, once again using the internal-feud method of breaking the pairing up. I'm not saying the Carlito-Masters pairing is as impressive in terms of wrestling, but you'd think the unwise decision to break up the Hardys would have taught WWE a lesson. It's the previously mentioned issue of pidgeonholing- WWE seem to be under the impression that wrestlers can't have personalities if they're in a team, despite all the most memorable tagteams being so successful *because* of their personalities.
Youri Lamoureux wrote:
"I think Carlito is going to go over as a face in the end. It is slowly happening. Look at his wrestling style, when he began wrestling he was more technical and doing less impressive moves because he didn't want face heat for his moves. Then at elimination chambers, when he first "accidentlly" eliminated Chris Masters, you saw a new Carlito doing dives and flips and with time he started bringing more interesting moves. That catches the fan attention.

When you say Carlito act as a heel when he attacks Matt Stryker...Yes it's true...But sometimes Fans like Heel character and Carlito might be one of those because even if he's heel...he's so funny and entertaining people tend to appreciate him.

So, because he brings new impressives moves, and because he's an appreciated heel Carlito on my opinion is going face...And a Great one!
Richard wrote:
I agree with your analysis. The feud between Carlito and The Fagsterpiece (Masters is gay regardless of what anyone thinks) was nicely built. However, I think that it was a mistake to have this feud unless Masters or Carlito goes to SMACKDOWN!. I would have built either of them up by giving them a win over Shawn Michaels. Michaels' time is over, he will never see another title run (Either the WWE or World Title) and he should be willing to pass the torch. If the best that can be done for Michaels is a poor man's Stone Cold Steven Austin routine of fighting the McMahons, then it is time for him to go and stay gone..................
James Redd wrote:
This article is cool. In my opinion, Carlito simply does not have what it takes to be a WWE "face" wrestler. Specific actions were written in the article that suggest "heel" to me for both the Apple-muncher and the Masterpiece. The problem with this feud is that both of these wrestlers have gimmicks that are set for heels-cockiness was mentioned in Shaun's article as a trait of a heel (Masters is a narcissist and Cool has a constant smirk that makes you want to slap him). This feud most likely will end soon (Backlash) and one or the other will switch brands and both will begin new feuds. Good job, Shaun.
Kevin Roberts wrote:
Good Job. Its about time someone addressed the face/heel issues between the WWEs up-and-comers. I love Carlito as a heel and I think I could see Masters as a face in a Lex Luger-ish kind of way. It seems as if the creative team is doing the opposite of what every is expecting by turning Calito face and leaving Masters as a heel, for now anyway. I like what creative is doing because they had Carlito low blow Masters a couple of times and had Masters tinkering in the brink of turning face, but then had Carlito attack a heel Matt Striker, and all of a sudden, Masters comes in and puts Carlito in The Masterlock. Now the tables have turned and Carlito, who already had a cult following anyway, is the fan favorite. However, it seems a bit awkward to me because both of these guys are heels by nature, but with their talent, they could get pops as faces too. Apple-spitting face" P.S. If Shelton is gonna be a heel, he needs new theme music badly.
Jose Aguirre wrote:
Carlito is cool!!! He has some great potential. I am not a fan of his finisher, but he has some great potential. Sort of like Stone Cold, he was a tweener, and Carlito is the same way.
Jaco Burger wrote:
Okay another person decided to bash HBK in ANOTHER unrelated topic. Let me ask you, do you even watch wrestling at all" How can you say that HBK should go when his matches are better then 90% of the matches we see today" HE is still the most entertaining wrestler around, if you like it or not. I think youre just another person that cant get over the Montreal Screwjob, WELL GET OVER IT. Bret decided to take his bag and go... and to believe that anyone would allow him to take the title to the competion is just kerazy! P.S HBK deserves another title run, cause he is way better then Cena or Mysterio. Imagine HBK & HHH both having the world titles :)
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