Fans have always wondered what happened when their favourite wrestlers disappeared without a trace from the weekly TV shows. Whether they be fired from their contract, suffered injuries or something more sinister, their is always intrigue as to what happened to these kinds of wrestlers.
This extends to former WWE superstar Carlito. The Puerto Rican legend was fired by WWE in 2010, much to the chagrin of fans accross the globe, with little fanfare and no note as to why he was let go. Luckily the man himself has waded in and explained exactly what happened.
Carlito revealed recently that the reason he left WWE was because of how he disagreed with the creative process in WWE. The former United States Champion was angry at the company for not using him in a creatively fulfilling way, even going to talk to the writers when informed the company had nothing for him to do on the show.
The Apple-spitting superstar spoke about how nobody would tell him to his face exactly what he did wrong or why he wasn’t being pushed, leaving him in the dark about what he needed to do for the company to see him as a star again. He had been pushed on-and-off over the years, going from being viewed as a future world champion to his untimely release in 2010.
Speaking to Wrestling Shoot Interviews, Carlito revealed why he left WWE in 2010 and the reason he was so frustrated behind the scenes. However, he revealed he always intended to return to the company as a full time wrestler, something that never ended up happening. He would make a crowd-favourite Royal Rumble return in 2021 but further appearances were limited and he was not signed to a deal with the company.
“You can see when things are taking a downturn and aren’t going to go in your favor. So I was trying to get out early, before things got worse. I realized they weren’t going to use me. I always go around in the back asking everybody, but nobody would tell me to my face what their issue was with me and that’s kind of what got me so angry. I’d go to the writers and ask ‘what’s the deal with me?’ And they go ‘no, everything is fine.’.”
“I always said it’s better to go away and then come back. So my plan was always to go back, but I just, I wanted to get away while I still had a name and not burn any bridges. Sometimes things don’t work out like that.”
While the writers may have been quiet about Carlito’s issues backstage, the WWE superstars he shared the locker room weren’t.
Carlito was reportedly not allowed to the top of the card due to his attitude backstage. He was laid back, laissez faire and even lazy, according to some. WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair even called him out in a backstage segment, drawing on real life issues of his attitude to try and shock some sense into him to take his job seriously. However, this didn’t seem to work and only widened the divide between the Puerto Rican and the rest of the WWE roster.
The Nature Boy was not the only WWE legend to face issues with Carlito Caribbean Cool. Both Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the key members of D-Generation X, both took a dislike for Carlito, likely for reasons similar to Flair. This did not put him in good stead as the pair had huge stroke backstage (and actually now run WWE and NXT creatively
Triple H is now the head of creative for WWE follow the resignation of Vince McMahon earlier in 2022. This ended 40 years at the helm of WWE and ushered in a new era of professional wrestling. So far, Triple H has done a fine job and hopes to build on his excellent first year with a great Royal Rumble and a record-breaking Wrestlemania.
While Triple H was never a fan of Carlito, he would never come up to him to tell him why, or explain what he did wrong. Shawn Michaels, who now heads NXT as head of creative, earned his respect by actually coming up to him and talking to him about it, as the former tag team champion revealed
“I respected Shawn Michaels because he was the only one that told me to my face that he didn’t like me,”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.