Michaels worked as an in-ring performer during Carlito’s seven-year WWE run between 2003 and 2010. The two men faced each other several times on WWE television in 2005 and 2006. They also shared the ring at multiple live events.
Speaking to James Romero of Wrestling Shoot Interviews, Carlito disclosed details of a backstage conversation he once had with Michaels:
“I respected Shawn Michaels because he was one of the only ones that told me to my face that he didn’t like me,” Carlito said. “I can respect that. We had a talk, he told me whatever, and I can totally respect that. I don’t pretend to be everybody’s cup of tea. I like it that instead of telling me behind my back, he told me right to my face. After that I had a lot of respect for Shawn Michaels.”
Shawn Michaels is widely regarded as one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. He joined the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011 before receiving another induction in 2019 as a member of D-Generation X.
Why did Shawn Michaels dislike Carlito?
Former WWE executive Jim Ross discussed Carlito’s attitude earlier this year on his Grilling JR podcast. Although Ross spoke positively about his in-ring ability, he claimed Carlito was often “lazy” and “unmotivated.”
Like Ross, Shawn Michaels also had problems with Carlito's work ethic and lack of focus:
“I forgot what it was,” Carlito added. “Same story as everybody else. [Shawn Michaels thought] I was too nonchalant or I didn’t care enough or whatever. I was too… [He thought] I had my mind on other things than wrestling. Stuff like that. I was like, ‘Alright.’”
After an absence of almost 11 years, Carlito appeared as a surprise entrant in the 2021 Men’s Royal Rumble match. He also teamed up with Jeff Hardy to defeat Elias and Jaxson Ryker on the following night’s episode of RAW.
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