After a decade long wait for his arrival, Carlito made his return back to WWE last Sunday at the Royal Rumble. For many, it looked like the former United States and Intercontinental Champion hadn’t lost a step since his last appearance. This week on WWE’s The Bump, Carlito reflected on his triumphant return, saying it was a tad odd, but he’s happy to be back.
“It was weird. It was kind of like I hadn’t done it in over a decade [but] at the same time I did it the week before, you know,” Carlito said when asked how he felt about his Royal Rumble return. “But it was cool to be in the ring with the old-timers – guys from back in my day – and to be able to mix it up with these new kids. I think they’re a lot more talented than our era.”
Just when fans thought he was making a one-time appearance, he came back the very next night on Monday Night Raw to join forces with Jeff Hardy for a tag team victory over Elias and Jaxson Ryker. He mentions that his adrenaline rush hasn’t slowed down in the last couple of days.
“It’s been crazy. You know what I mean? I actually haven’t slept yet. So, I’m hoping to get some sort of rest,” he joked. “But at the same time, I’m still fired up from before.”
Panelist Evan T. Mack complimented Carlito for his shredded physique and asked him what his secret was. But before he gave away his secrets, he had to poke fun at the panel for thinking he looked better now than he did as a full-time Superstar.
“It’s funny to me the way people reacted to how I look. I don’t know if it’s a compliment or if I didn’t look good before. I’m still trying to figure that out,” he chuckled. “When you get to my age, you have to learn about dieting and the importance of it. You get away with it when you’re younger, but now you have to learn how to eat spinach, that’s one thing; spinach, chicken breasts and apples, too.”
While on the show, the panel and him looked back to his first-ever appearance in the 2006 Men’s Royal Rumble. He recalls feeling like a kid in a toy store the moment he set foot in the ring, although he didn’t last too long in there.
“Oh, it was great!” he recalled. “I’m second-generation, you know, it’s a family thing. But the Royal Rumble thing is unique. I use to watch it as a kid, and to be in it was something I looked forward to. It’s one of the things you know you want to do. For me, I was like a kid in a toy store.”
With his father, brother and cousin cementing the Colon family legacy not only in just Puerto Rico but worldwide, Carlito told Kayla Braxton he’s very proud that his family has given future wrestlers a shot towards reaching their dreams in this industry. He hopes he can maintain that same showmanship to future stars.
“Wow! I think more or less what they did for the boys,” he replied when asked what he takes away from his families legacy. “You know, the Puerto Rican territory, I mean, back when I was a kid, everyone went through there. And then when I grew up, you’d see these young guys now with no place to work. It’s just a different style from other places, so it was great for us to be a little hot spot for guys to come out and try a different style.”
You can watch Carlito’s full interview below. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.