In an era of wrestling where nostalgia often runs hand-in-hand with new talent, there's perhaps no better example of a fan-favorite return than the recent reemergence of Carlito, the former WWE Intercontinental Champion.
Apparently, Carlito's recent comeback was not simply a one-off nostalgia-fueled appearance, but rather, a strategic re-entry into the WWE, which is exciting news to fans and industry insiders alike. The Caribbean Cool, who initially worked for WWE from 2003 to 2010, has reportedly inked a new deal with WWE.
Now, according to PWInsider Elite (as per WrestlingInc), Carlito is all set to spit on people's faces with his chewed-up apple when he makes his return on the July 7 episode of SmackDown, taking place at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Puerto Rican star's road back to WWE was paved with surprises and speculation. His reappearance at WWE Backlash in early May, where he helped Grammy-winner Bad Bunny triumph over Damian Priest in a San Juan Street Fight, was nothing short of electrifying. The hometown crowd in Puerto Rico met his surprise entry with a thunderous ovation, cementing his popularity and sparking rumors about a potential return.
After the match, Carlito and fellow WWE legend Savio Vega expressed their allegiance to the Latino World Order (LWO), a faction whose members include prominent stars such as Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro, Zelina Vega, Joaquin Wilde, and Rey Mysterio. As the LWO was drafted to the blue brand during the 2023 WWE Draft, Carlito's upcoming entry into SmackDown aligns him with his comrades and sets the stage for some high-voltage storyline potential.
Indeed, Carlito's return is not just exciting for the fans, but also for WWE officials. Reports suggest that the company was "very happy" with Carlito's Backlash return and there was a positive buzz backstage about how much the star had matured since his last significant run in 2010. As the son of WWE Hall of Famer Carlos Colon Sr., Carlito carries a wrestling lineage that commands respect and admiration.
Carlito's return signifies not just a return of a fan favorite, but it's also a hopeful sign of WWE's continual commitment to highlighting diverse talent and storylines.
However, July 7 is still a few weeks away. For now, fans can look forward to Money in the Bank in London, which is going to be headlined by the titular match with Logan Paul in it as well as Seth Rollins defending his title belt against Finn Balor.