Carmelo Hayes was interviewed on Busted Open Radio to talk about winning the NXT North Ameican Championship, the current direction of NXT, and what is next for him.
Here are some highlights:
Hayes talking about the conversation he had with Shawn Michaels:
“The conversation happened where I explained to him back in June that I really didn’t want to be a 205 Live guy, especially being smaller. I saw more for myself. I’m not saying that anything is wrong with 205 Live, but I just didn’t want to get pitched into that category, so I spoke up. I truly believe that you should speak up. Closed mouths don’t get fed. I spoke up the first opportunity I had. I said, ‘Shawn, I see myself becoming a top guy. Help me. Take me there.’ I think that’s what gave him the ok, like, this kid’s a little different. On top of that, my mindset is every time I go out, it’s WrestleMania no matter what. I’m not just happy to be here. I truly want to be great through my work, through my actions, through my attitude, my training here at the PC, and in the gym. I just want to work harder than everybody else. I think it’s showing.”
Carmello said that his interviews are from bullet points, not a script:
“They give us bullet points, but I’m big on saying stuff I would truly say. A lot of the stuff you hear is 100% from me with their direction.”
Carmello was asked if most of his ideas get shot down or pushed through:
“I’ve been lucky enough to where they’ve trusted me to say what I want. That’s the direction they’re going now. They are trusting guys, especially down in NXT 2.0. They’re trusting guys to say what we would say. We’re trying to reach a new demographic now. Shawn has said to me straight up, word for word, ‘I don’t know what cool is, so I trust you to tell me what cool is.’ That’s the biggest thing I’ve been able to take away from that. I told him, ‘Trust me. I’ll do my best, and I’ll do my part to try to reach that demographic.”
Carmello was asked if they were told they were trying to reach the 18-49 demographic or is that speculation in the locker room:
“It was sold like we are trying to reach a new audience. This is fresher, younger, and brighter. Everybody knows that now seeing what we’re watching now. There’s a lot more focus on characters and less on wrestling. That’s perfect for somebody like me. That’s what I want to do. If I can be the leader of that at the forefront of that, put me in coach. I want to help get that.”
Jessica McKay was on the show and she explained what the difference will be with The IInspiration as compared to The IIconics:
“I think it’s the perfect evolution because The IIconics were somewhat seen as somewhat as a comedy tag team. Nothing wrong with that. We loved doing that, but for a brief time, we got a chance to show both sides of competitiveness and comedy. I feel like the IInspiration is taking that to a whole other level. We have full creative control from our outfits, hair and makeup, and our entrance music that we got professionally done. We have a music video dropping. We’ve gone all out and created this whole world for The IInspiration. I’m so in love with it, and I’m so excited for the people to see what we’ve come up with because it really is the evolution of the IIconics.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.