NXT Superstar Carmelo Hayes spoke to Fightful Select for an upcoming interview to promote NXT Deadline. Below are highlights from the interview:
— Hayes is excited about the first-ever Iron Survivor Challenge match at Deadline and thinks he has the rules down pretty well. He enjoys being trusted with challenges and things WWE puts in front of him
— He was really excited to work on the black & gold NXT brand when he first got hired because everyone there were primarily accomplished wrestlers, but he thinks NXT 2.0 helped him grow a lot as an all-around performer
— Hayes said the ultimate compliment is recent praise from WWE Hall of Famer & Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels. He mentioned how Michaels has to rein him in sometimes on different things, and is a “do as I say, not as I did” type of teacher because Michaels often made career highlights of defying authority. He said some of the things Michaels reins him in on are usually cultural stuff that Hayes would need to explain to him due to the generation gap. Specifically, Michaels used to get things through on TV that he probably shouldn’t have been able to during WWE’s DX days, so he’s well aware that younger talent will try to do the same with him
— He was not bothered by having to drop the NXT North American Title to Solo Sikoa back in September, or by Sikoa relinquishing the title, because he said that was completely out of his control
— Hayes was very happy about getting the call to defeat Cedric Alexander on the October 13 edition of WWE Main Event. He didn’t think it was an indication of a main roster call-up because he knows he has more to prove, but he felt like it was a bit of a reward for his hard work.
Hayes will compete in the inaugural Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge match at NXT Deadline this Saturday, going up against Axiom, JD McDonagh, Joe Gacy, and Grayson Waller.