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Carmelo Hayes Defeats Roderick Strong In Title Unification Match

Carmelo Hayes Roderick Strong New Year's Evil

Carmelo Hayes was victorious in his title unification match against Roderick Strong and will walk out of New Year’s Evil as NXT North American Champion.

It was revealed on the December 21st episode of NXT 2.0 that the NXT North American Championship and the NXT Cruiserweight Championship would be unified at New Year’s Evil.

Reigning champions Carmelo Hayes and Roderick Strong had been at odds for weeks, and Malcolm Bivens challenged Carmelo Hayes to a championship unification match on behalf of Diamond Mine stablemate Roderick Strong. Carmelo Hayes accepted the challenge, saying the following:

“Hey Roderick Strong, you want smoke with Melo? Well, I got so much smoke that you gonna choke. ‘Cause I am the A-Champion and in 2021 when I shot, I never missed.

Going into 2022, we gonna keep it the exact same way. so at new year’s evil, I’mma give you a Christmas present and I’mma give you that match, but I’mma be the one walking out with two titles.”

It was later determined that the new champion would be referred to simply as the NXT North American Champion, effectively retiring the NXT Cruiserweight Championship altogether.

The crowd was split for the hot start of the match, with half cheering on the Diamond Mine’s Cruiserweight Champion and half cheering for the winner of the NXT Breakout Tournament. The action remained frenetic throughout to the delight of the audience, and in the end, Carmelo Hayes was able to pin Roderick Strong to remain NXT North American Champion.

The new champion proudly raised both belts above his head as he celebrated to the adulation of the crowd with Trick Williams while Diamond Mine manager Malcolm Bivens looked on in disbelief.