One of the many surprise entrants at this year’s Royal Rumble was the return of Carlito after a 10 year absence from the WWE. On the latest episode of WWE’s After The Bell with Corey Graves, Carlito talked about his release from WWE in 2010. He talked about how that moment helped him get back to where he is now and regain his health and control his own life.

“It was great, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders,” Carlito said. “I was my own boss, I could do my own thing. I didn’t have to be anywhere I didn’t want to be, I didn’t have to work for any promotion I didn’t want to and I could eat right, train right and have time to myself to clear my head of stuff.”

“[I came back because] I just didn’t like the way things ended. I didn’t expect it to take 10 years to get back but at least if I came back once, I just wanted to leave a better taste in someone’s mouth. Bury the hatchet, everything is on the up and up, happy to be back and happy to be around. If that was my last time, I was glad to finally get a chance to come back and end things on better terms.”

Carlito was a superstar who many felt was going to become a major star during his run in the 2000s when he defeated John Cena for the US Championship in his debut match. Unfortunately, he had problems during his run, and he asked for his release from the company several times. Carlito mentioned that he’s in a much better place now and WWE releasing him in 2010 fixed his issues.

“I’m more mature now, I’m very zen,” Carlito said. “I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I’m not mad at anyone, I don’t have hate for anyone. Believe me, I have nobody I want to spit an apple in their face, unless I get paid for it. I just remember being angry at the world, not being able to pinpoint where that anger was coming from.

“It was something I had to work through. Getting released from WWE was probably one of the best things that happened to me at that time because it was really what I needed. I had asked for my release 3 times and I never got it. I just felt like a prisoner, it wasn’t just WWE. Back in the day I used to think it was WWE, but it was really just on me, stuff that I needed to work out. That’s why I needed that time away, I don’t know if I needed 10 years but some time away.”

Carlito talked about what the future holds for him in WWE, which is expected to be a three-week trial run. He said he’s not sure what’s going to happen next but if this latest return is the last time he appears on WWE, he’s satisfied with it.

“As of now I don’t know, we’ll see what the future holds,” Carlito said. “I don’t know, if the conditions are right I’d love to be back. That was always my goal, was to go away, take a breather and come back.

“I was humbled by the response from everyone. Not only from the Rumble but even Legends Night when I didn’t show up. All the messages and all the positivity, I was a little disappointed in Twitter cause there were no negative messages. I just thanked them for still remembering me and enjoying when I come out there. If it’s the end, I’m actually in a good place and I’m happy with it.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.