“So coming back was my main goal,” Kalisto said. “I injured myself in 2019 and had COVID, I was away for about 8 months. I did my own therapy, my own fitness, and my workouts. I started going to the Performance Center here and there. My main focus was “when I come back all eyes are on me. Not only are they going to see my new look, but they are going to see my new body. ‘ This is exactly what happened. When I went to talk to Vince, I decided to show up at the Amway Center. I had a shirt that said “impossible”. I wondered if he had had it. So the shirt was covered so he wouldn’t know I was torn. We (Luchaa House Party) did a segment and I’m going back and they’re in a meeting. I think it was Shane, Vince. I’m not kidding I turn around and say ‘hey Vince how are you?’ He’s like “fucking buddy!” You’re fucking torn! ‘ It was awesome. I looked at myself and said ‘it’s my body, I don’t care, thank you boss.’ “
Kalisto also discussed his mental health issues in WWE. He realized that he was not happy when he was hurt and that he focused on making others happy rather than on himself.
“Me being injured, I thought about it so much,” Kalisto said. “When I was driving and I was having a hard time, I sometimes thought about going off the tracks. Because no matter what I did, there was nothing I could do to make people happy. Then I realized that I was not happy. I had to change and stop thinking about what people think of me. I had to think about myself, and I never did that. I’ve always been nice, I’ve always done everything right. I’ve worked so hard, Vince even said I’m a hard worker. We’ve always had a great relationship, I just wish we could talk more. We just never had that chance, that’s one of my biggest regrets.
Later, Van Vliet asked Kalisto what his favorite moment was when working for WWE. After taking a moment, Kalisto recalled a moment when he faced another luchador during the WWE Royal Rumble.
“Dude, it’s hard to say,” Kalisto said. “My favorite moment in my entire WWE career was that minute when I faced Rey at the Royal Rumble. I’ve never been in the ring with Rey. My whole life and my whole career I’ve been compared to Rey Mysterio, which is great, that’s great. But I am my own person. I want to create my own legacy.
Kalisto was also asked about John Cena, and more specifically about the times he adopted the lucha libre-based character Juan Cena. Kalisto thought it was a good idea and described Cena as cool and easy to approach.
“It was cool and interesting,” Kalisto said. “Me, Lince and Metalik got together and we were like ‘he (John) has a mask, he’s Juan Cena’. Lince, Metalik and I went to talk to him and he said ‘what do you think?’ We thought ‘that’s cool’. So he said ‘OK, I’ll bring it next week.’ He brought it and it was like ‘so cabrones [yeah f*ckers]. Lu-cha Lu-cha. ‘ I’m like ‘okay that’s so dope man.’ I love that John never says no. He’ll sit down if you have a question, he’s always ready to give you time. It’s a whole different world than it was when I got there. I was in a feud with Alberto Del Rio when I got there. I chose John’s brain a lot. He gave me such great tips on how to hear the crowd, how to control the crowd, so many great techniques and tips. He’s a great person to talk to, he’s so cool. I wish I could talk to him more.
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Kalisto’s run in WWE was when he defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE US Championship on January 11, 2016. Kalisto described the first of his two title wins. American like an out of nowhere, and that it wasn’t until he won it that the moment really sank.
“It didn’t hit me until I was in the back,” Kalisto said. “2 weeks before that, Sin Cara was injured. We were supposed to be in a tag team rivalry with The New Day. Sin Cara dived on Big E and he injured his shoulder. I’m like ‘Oh great, what’s going to happen now?’ The next week I went to Vince’s office for the first time, I was fucking fucked up. I had a great conversation with him. I called him boss or “hey sir”. He said to me “you have a lot of potential, you are going to go far”. I was going to talk to him next week but the writers told me “you are in a program with John Cena”. I’m like ‘okay, cool.’ Then it’s “you’re in a title game against Del Rio”. I say to myself “how is he going to win? But the professional that I am, you throw something at me, I’m going to do the show. When the title victory happened, they told me the finish line just before I went out. Del Rio has helped me so much. We’ve been there, and when I win I’m in the back and start to cry. I’m in the back and it started to hit me when Del Rio in front of Vince and I said ‘you see that kid’. This kid is ready. You have to do something with it.
You can watch the full interview below.