Carmelo Heyes Says Recent Booking Situation Was “A Challenge” – Having defeated an NXT Champion for a championship, it came as a surprise to many to see a WWE star drop the title one week later.
That’s what happened after Solo Sikoa faced Carmelo Hayes for the NXT North American Championship on the September 13 2022 NXT 2.0 One Year Anniversary Show.
He would defend the title at SmackDown against Madcap Moss before vacating the championship on September 20.
Carmelo Hayes recently weighed in on the baffling creative choice in an interview with Fightful that took place ahead of NXT Deadline on December 10.
Speaking to Sean Ross Sapp, Hayes said of the situation:
“I took the challenge on it.
“I said, ‘Okay,’ because it’s out of my control.
“At that point, it’s like, I’m not going to fight Shawn Michaels for this title.
“‘Hey, give it to me. Come on.’
It was a challenge that I was looking at like, ‘Okay, if I have to prove it again.
“If I have to prove five times that I’m the man, I’ll prove it five times.’”
Hayes would further explain his approach to setbacks and obstacles like this, saying:
“That’s always my mindset.
“They keep throwing things at me to see if I’m going to miss, and I looked at this as another one of those.
“‘Okay, you want to take my title and you want make me try…’
“I didn’t win it back, so I guess I did miss.
“At the same time, ‘You want to put me in a ladder match, you want me to show out and get my title back, alright, that’s what we’re going to do.’”
The vacant NXT North American Championship was contested in a five-way Ladder Match at Halloween Havoc.
The match featured Carmelo Hayes, Oro Mensah, Von Wagner, Nathan Frazer and Wes Lee, who would go on to win the title.
Carmelo Heyes Says Recent Booking Situation Was “A Challenge”