“WWE NXT” Champion Carmelo Hayes is him, and it’s no surprise that the 28-year-old appeals to a younger audience of professional wrestling fans. Part of that shines through during his barbershop segments on “NXT,” which, according to the champ himself, was the brainchild of Shawn Michaels. Appearing recently on “Busted Open” ahead of his title defense against Bron Breakker at Battleground this Sunday, he spoke about how those segments came to be.
“That was Shawn,” Hayes said. “He was looking for another opportunity to get us on TV where we weren’t just cutting promos in the middle of the ring.”
More than that, though, was the feeling it generated. Not only was it another opportunity for Hayes simply to get himself on television, but also a way to showcase his personality. “And it felt true to us,” he continued. “Also it felt true to the culture in a way.” Hayes has spoken about working with the WWE Hall of Famer in the past, crediting Michaels in October not only for coming up with the barbershop idea, but also for keeping him in check at times.
Fast forward to the present, and Hayes is about to defend his “NXT” Championship in front of a home crowd in Massachusetts. And as his character has evolved, he’s happy to let Michaels take a share of the credit. Particularly when it comes to those barbershop segments. “You can get so much across in two minutes and then throw that on TV,” he continued. “We got a lot out of that. That was all Shawn, I gotta give him credit for that.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “Busted Open” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.