When Carlito debuted in WWE in 2004, he beat John Cena for the United States Championship in his first match. That victory is something he says shows younger fans that he’s got to be ‘somebody’ even if they don’t know who he is.
After a decade away, Carlito made his surprise return to WWE at this year’s Royal Rumble, entering the men’s Rumble match at number 13. Speaking on WWE’s The Bump, he explained that because of his lengthy absence from WWE TV, younger fans don’t know who he is. However, when someone tells them that Carlito once beat John Cena, they know he must be somebody important.
“I haven’t been on TV, on RAW or SmackDown in over ten years, so a lot of the older fans don’t like him [Cena], but a lot of the younger kids don’t know who I am. Sometimes [the older fans that now have kids] they’ll explain, ‘Oh, this is Carlito…’ And they’re like, [uninterested] but it happens every single time, they say, ‘Yeah, he beat John Cena!’ and you just see their eyes light up. Like, ‘Oh my God. I don’t know who this guy is, but he beat John Cena, he’s got to be somebody!'”
Carlito won the US Championship match, which you can view above, by knocking Cena unconscious with the ‘Doctor of Thuganomics’ own chain. Following the win, he went on a lengthy undefeated streak before losing the title back to Cena 42 days later.
Following his return to WWE, Carlito appeared on the post-Royal Rumble episode of Raw, teaming with Jeff Hardy to defeat Elias and Jaxson Ryker. Reportedly, he has also received a tryout for a backstage role as a Producer for the company.
Credit to Wrestlezone for the transcription