Earlier this year, Carlito made an appearance at Backlash in Puerto Rico, participating in the San Juan Street Fight alongside Damian Priest and Bad Bunny. He also lent a hand to LWO and Savio Vega to balance the odds against Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio at Judgment Day. Fans warmly received Carlito during the match. Subsequently, he was observed engaged in some activities with WWE in Orlando, Florida.
Devon Nicholson stated that Carlito had to withdraw from an independent wrestling event scheduled for July 15 in Canada, revealing that he had signed a contract with WWE. Although initially planned to make his comeback during the Madison Square Garden edition of SmackDown in July, the segment was ultimately scrapped due to scheduling issues.
The wrestling community has been curious about Carlito's standing with WWE, especially since no updates were provided after initial reports of his contract signing. Dave Meltzer clarified the situation on Wrestling Observer Radio, stating that while Carlito is under contract, WWE has yet to finalize plans for his role. He confirmed Carlito's presence at the aforementioned SmackDown event.
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