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Carmelo Hayes Told Shawn Michaels “I’m Here To Be A Top Guy” & Didn’t Want Left On 205 Live

Carmelo Hayes

NXT 2.0 star Carmelo Hayes has revealed he told Shawn Michaels he didn’t want to be pigeonholed on 205 Live and wanted to be a “top guy” in the company.

Carmelo Hayes has wasted no time in making a name for himself on the revamped NXT 2.0. Hayes won the NXT Breakout Tournament and turned that win into facing Isaiah Scott for the NXT North American Title which Hayes won on October 12th.

Speaking to Busted Open Radio, Carmelo Hayes discussed making it to the big time and having his heart set on becoming a major player in WWE and how he relayed this to WWE Hall Of Famer Shawn Michaels:

“This is something I’ve been preparing for. When I signed to WWE, I had the mindset of, ‘whatever comes, I’m going to make the most of it and take it.’ I had a conversation early on with Shawn about how I wanted to be a top guy eventually. He was like, ‘Alright, we’ll give you the ball and you can run with it and we’ll get you to where we need to get you.'”

“When I first came in, we weren’t really sure if I was going to be babyface or heel. It was more or less, ‘see how they react to you in the match with Kushida.’ It took a while, but I think after the Adam Cole match, I think people started to get more respect for me. Definitely, after the NXT Breakout Tournament, I felt like I earned the respect of the crowd.”

“I really didn’t play too much of a babyface or heel, I just went out and tried to be myself and that was something that resonated with the people and I hope that’s why they got behind me. It’s been pretty wild. They gave me the ball and I’ve just been trying to make plays every opportunity I got.”

Hayes explained that he didn’t want to find himself marooned on 205 Live:

“The conversation happened where I explained to him, this was back in June with a lot of things going on with 205 Live and I really didn’t want to be a 205 Live guy, especially being smaller, just because I saw more for myself. Not saying anything is wrong with 205 Live, I just didn’t want to get pitched into that category.”

“I spoke up and I truly believe that if you speak up, closed mouths don’t get fed. I spoke up the first opportunity I had and said, ‘Shawn, I see myself becoming a top guy. Help take me there.’ I think that gave him like the, ‘Okay, this kid is 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, actions, attitude, training at the PC and gym, I’m just working hard and I want to work harder than anybody else.”

h/t Fightful for the transcription