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USA Insider WWE Monday Night Raw

Who is Carlito, the Ex-WWE Superstar Who Blew the Roof Off at Backlash?

Thanks to an incredibly viral video of his Backlash cameo, it’s time to remind the world who Carlito is!

By Chris Phelan
Wwe Backlash Carlito Return

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Two days ago, WWE presented Backlash, the first Premium Live Event in Puerto Rico in nearly 14 years. During the highly-anticipated San Juan Street Fight involving Damien Priest and hometown hero Bad Bunny, the crowd reached a fever pitch. Priest's Judgment Day teammates Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio rushed the ring when it seemed like Bad Bunny was on the verge of victory. Rey Mysterio followed in hot pursuit but ultimately failed in his attempt to even the odds. 

Before the WWE Universe knew what happened, Bad Bunny and Rey Mysterio were on the wrong end of a Judgment Day beatdown. 

But then, something unexpected happened:

In an unforgettable moment in a show filled with countless unforgettable moments, a man named Carlito hit the ring, proceeding to blow the roof off Puerto Rico's Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot! Based on how the WWE Universe reacted, you'd think 1997 Steve Austin just walked into the arena. But, thanks to Carlito (and fellow legend Savio Vega), Bad Bunny turned the tides, capturing a crucial pinfall victory over Damien Priest in a match that will go down in history. 

So who exactly is this Carlito guy? If you're a newer WWE fan, you might not know the answer – luckily, we're here to help.

Who Is Carlito, the Wrestler Who Appeared at WWE Backlash 2023?

If we're being honest, Carlito is more than just an ex-WWE Superstar who rose to fame in the mid-2000s. Instead, he's arguably the most underrated and underappreciated wrestler in the company's history. From his WWE debut in 2004 to his cameo this weekend at Backlash, the Puerto Rican-born wrestler's resume is exceedingly impressive.

Carlito showed up in WWE and immediately went to work on one of the company's biggest stars: he scored a pinfall victory over John Cena in his debut match in 2004, for goodness' sake. He and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair were embroiled in an intensely personal rivalry through 2006 – and 2007. In a jaw-dropping match against Randy Orton, he received one of the most devastating RKOs in WWE history at Unforgiven 2006. He's held the United States Title, Intercontinental Title, and the tag team championships on more than one occasion. His high-impact in-ring style was a great complement to the flawless technical wrestling he exhibited, undoubtedly due to his extensive training pre-WWE in Puerto Rico's WWC promotion. His theme music? Iconic. His catchphrase, "I spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool," is timeless.

Let's put it this way: If you were a younger member of the WWE Universe, you surely would have tried to imitate Carlito whenever you came across an apple.

While Carlito never captured a world championship in WWE, he won plenty of world titles in smaller independent promotions worldwide. 

When Was Carlito's Last WWE Appearance?

Carlito last appeared in WWE on a February 1, 2021, episode of Monday Night RAW, competing in tag team action alongside Jeff Hardy against Elias and Jaxson Ryker – and yes, Carlito's team picked up the victory thanks to a devastating backstabber/Swanton Bomb combination.

A day earlier, Carlito shocked the WWE Universe by being a surprise entrant in the men's Royal Rumble match. But, as it turns out, speculation over Carlito's full-time return turned out to be fruitless, as the WWE Superstar gracefully bowed out of the spotlight after these appearances – until Backlash 2023, of course.

Is Carlito Officially Back in WWE?

In typical WWE fashion, the company doesn't comment on return rumors concerning any previous full-time Superstars. But, as it turns out, it sounds like the WWE Universe will have to tune in to Monday Night RAW tonight and see if Carlito builds on the momentum he created! 

If we were to wager a guess, we'd think that WWE wouldn't let Carlito slip through their fingers after going viral over the weekend – as of Monday afternoon, the video clip of Carlito's return at Backlash has garnered over 11 million views across Twitter and YouTube combined! So does Carlito have the staying power for one more run in WWE? Based on how viral his return video has become, the WWE Universe certainly thinks so.

Based on his physical appearance alone, it looks like Carlito has gotten himself in phenomenal shape at this point in his career. We're sure if the stars align, the Puerto Rican star can significantly impact whatever brand he chooses.

The mystique around Carlito's possible return adds another reason to tune into another memorable episode of RAW tonight when the situation involving crowning a new World Heavyweight Champion becomes clearer!

Catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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