In a recent interview with Corey Graves as part of the WWE After The Bell podcast, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Carlito discussed his surprise appearance in the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Match, departing the company over a decade ago and much more.

On his departure from the company in 2010: “It was great, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders, 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.”

On his return to the company at the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble: “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 and bury the hatchet. Everything is on the up and up, I’m 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. I’m more mature now, I’m very zen, 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 three 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.”

On a possible future with the WWE: “As of now, I don’t know, we’ll see what the future holds. I don’t know, if the conditions are right, I’d love to be back, that was always my goal, 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, because there were no negative messages, I just thanked them for still remembering me and enjoying when I came out there. If it’s the end, I’m actually in a good place and I’m happy with it.”

The interview is available in full at this link.