One of the names from the 2000s WWE scene that surprisingly hasn’t followed in the footsteps of the likes of Shelton Benjamin and MVP in returning to the fold is Carlito, who enjoyed Intercontinental, United States and tag team title reigns in the company.
His cousin Epico, who teams with Carlito’s brother Primo in a tag team recently released by WWE due to budget cuts in response to COVID-19, explained in a recent interview how it very nearly happened – but, at least as far as he could tell, the apple-spitting cool guy had an enemy or two in a powerful position.
“So we (me and Primo) said, ‘So, let’s bring Carly (Carlito)!” But during this process, three months happens and, politically, other people of power within [the] WWE make an interference.
I don’t know if Carly made this person mad, but when he called Carly, he just offered him the money of a development contract. Take it or leave it! So Carlito said, ‘No, I don’t need the WWE, the WWE needs me.’
“So, we understand that there was something interfering between us and Vince because we had a great relationship with Vince.
“One day we were talking with our Director of Talent Relations [Mark Carrano]. We asked him about Carly, but he told us that Vince has not given the ‘OK.’ So we told him, ‘Let’s go talk to Vince! He’s there!’ [Carrano] was afraid of that, but we said to him, ‘Yes! We have confidence in Vince’. So, we grabbed him by the arm and we go to Vince’s office.
“He’s on the phone and we asked him about Carlito and our director asks, “What are we doing with Carlito?” And Vince made the thumbs-up signal. Vince approved the idea, but after several weeks, we realised that Carlito’s return to the company was no longer going to materialise.”
Carlito’s television career has at least kickstarted in the interim, thanks largely to his wrestling days.
He made a handful of appearances in Netflix series GLOW starring Alison Brie and also made a cameo in The Goldbergs as a fan who ejects Adam and his family from their seats after Murray unwittingly buys fakes from a scalper.