Although never a WWE symbol, Carlito can undoubtedly be one of the most extravagant and recognizable characters in the modern era of WWE. The former US champion recently made a surprise appearance during the 2021 Men's Royal Rumble, before joining forces with Jeff Hardy on the next episode of Monday Night Raw.
In the course of a long interview with James Romero for 'Wrestling Shoot', the 42-year-old Puerto Rican expressed all his esteem for Shawn Michaels, who had the sincerity to reveal his true thoughts about him. HBK worked in the Stamford-based federation between 2003 and 2010, becoming one of the most technical performers of any era.
Michaels and Carlito have faced each other several times in front of television screens, especially in the two-year period 2005-2006.
Carlito talks about Shawn Michaels
“I've always had a lot of respect for Shawn Michaels, as he was one of the very few who said things to your face.
He never had a problem admitting that he didn't like me” - said Carlito. “I liked his approach. We talked, he told me everything he thought of me and I accepted it without problems. I don't pretend to be the ideal friend for anyone.
Instead of denigrating me behind my back, he had the courage to look me in the eye and explain his point of view” - he added. Shawn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, before receiving another induction in 2019 as a member of the acclaimed D-Generation X.
On his 'Grilling JR' podcast, Jim Ross didn't say sweet words for Carlito: “The motivation has always been his great enemy. You can be as good as you want, but people have always sensed his laziness and immaturity.
The only times he wasn't lazy was when he had to interact with women, indeed in that field he was from the Hall of Fame. When he had the right desire, he was absolutely extraordinary”. Speaking to James Romero of Wrestling Shoot Interviews, Carlito said he asked for his release due to frustrations with the direction of his character.
After the requests were repeatedly denied, he deliberately upset WWE’s higher-ups in an attempt to get fired. “I’d asked for my release about three times,” Carlito said. “Once I realized they weren’t gonna release me, I’m like, ‘Alright, if you’re not gonna fire me, I might as well have some fun with it.’ So I would find ways to make the office annoyed or get myself fired.
That was kind of my own entertainment because they weren’t gonna use me, so I kind of felt like, ‘Well, if you’re not gonna use me, I’m not gonna just sit around.’ So that was kind of my goal, which looking back is very immature on my part. If I could go back, I’d do things differently. That was kind of my entertainment those last couple of years”.