Former SmackDown Champion Calls Out Top WWE NXT Star For Gimmick Theft

WWE NXT Axiom Carmelo Hayes JD McDonagh NXT Deadline

Though he has yet to make it to WWE’s main roster, Carmelo Hayes has found plenty of success in WWE NXT, winning the NXT North American Championship on two separate occasions.

Now, coming off his decisive victory over Apollo Crews at NXT Vengeance Day that saw him defeat Crews in two straight falls, Hayes has his sights set on Bron Breakker’s NXT Championship. After Breakker defeated Grayson Waller in the main event of the show, Hayes and his tag team partner Trick Williams appeared on the ramp, interrupting the victory celebration and making it clear that Hayes intends to challenge Breakker in the future.

Throughout the 2 out of 3 falls match, both Hayes and Williams could be heard saying “Melo is money,” which drew the attention of former SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella as she often uses the phrase “Mella is Money.”

Taking to social media during Vengeance Day, the Princess of Staten Island took Hayes and Williams to task, accusing them of stealing her catchphrase.

“Can someone please tell @Carmelo_WWE and @_trickwilliams to stop using my catchphrase? #vengeanceday”

WWE NXT’s Carmelo Hayes Responded To Carmella’s Accusation

Hayes took to social media with a tongue-in-cheek response to the former SmackDown Women’s Champion’s accusation, asking her to clarify which catchphrase she was talking about as he has more than one.

“Which one? Tbh I have a lot”

Mella responded that it was great that Hayes has so many catchphrases so that he can stop stealing hers, and the former North American Champion had another biting response, indicating that her using the same phrase over and over would get stale.

“Tru I should switch them up, using the same one gets stale after a while.”

After an extended absence from in-ring action, Carmella made her return to WWE on the January 30th episode of Monday Night Raw in Tulsa, OK. She hadn’t been seen since suffering an injury back in August.

Returning to WWE Raw, Carmella was featured in a backstage segment where she said she was excited to be back and ran down her catchphrases. The star was interrupted by Asuka, much to her disgust, but as she was about to blow off the former Raw Women’s Champion, she gave an evil smirk showing off her blue teeth before a blue liquid began to fall from her mouth. Mella was disgusted by Asuka’s behavior.

It was also announced that Carmella will be back in the ring on the February 6th episode of the show when she takes on Piper Niven, Candice LeRae and Michin (Mia Yim). The winner will earn a spot inside the Elimination Chamber where then winner of that match with face Bianca Belair at WrestleMania.