Hayes has established himself as one of NXT‘s top stars over the past year or so. He won the NXT Championship by defeating Bron Breakker at NXT Stand & Deliver 2023, and he retained the gold by being Breakker at NXT Battleground. Many fans have speculated that Hayes could be a standout talent on the main roster, but he did not get selected in the 2023 WWE Draft.
Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T responded to a listener who noted that they felt like Hayes’ presentation was missing something. The legend explained that he was glad NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes is staying in NXT, as he still needs to be polished. (Transcription credit of Gisberto Guzzo of Fightful)
“He is him. The dude is good, man. Carmelo is good,” Booker T said. “I can agree with you as far as something being missing as well. I totally understand exactly where you’re coming from as far as that goes. The thing is, I think maybe it’s just having that ability to just go out and beat up somebody flawlessly. Wrestling someone is one thing, but going out and beating a guy up is something totally different. Carmelo maybe needs to think about raising his game as far as that goes.
“As far as knowing how to go out there and really tattoo someone and really make the fans feel like that person is really being tattooed. I can’t really get too deep into what I mean about that kind of stuff because, again, I’m like a magician, it’s about keeping your tricks real close to the bag. Carmelo is next-level talent but that’s one of the reasons I’m happy he still is in NXT because he’s a work in progress. He’s a diamond in the rough that just needs to be polished.”
On the May 30 episode of WWE NXT. Baron Corbin attacked Hayes and posed with the title at the end of the show.
WrestleZone has coverage of WWE NXT as it airs every Tuesday.