Carmelo Hayes Comments On Botch In LA Knight Promo, The “Ruthless Aggression” Promo, More

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Carmelo Hayes was interviewed by Shakiel Mahjouri of CBS Sports. Here are the highlights:

On being tossed into the deep end on SmackDown:

“I’d be lying if I said it felt new because I feel like they did the same thing when I got to NXT. They immediately put me up against Kushida for the cruiserweight championship, put me against Adam Cole, and put me in the Breakout Tournament. I’ve been put in these high-pressure and sink-or-swim situations for as long as I can remember. I’ve proven every time that I’m a swimmer and I’m worth the opportunities.”

“I’m thinking, ‘Let me prove them right.’ I remember after working with Randy, I told Hunter, ‘Thank you for trusting me,’ and he said, ‘Well, of course. What do you mean? You’re here now and you’re in the mix.’ That was reassuring but at the same time to put me in the mix with the WWE champion Cody Rhodes coming off the high of dethroning Roman Reigns and me being the first person he’s in the ring with is a huge trust. I wanted to prove I am of that caliber and I was the right guy. I was going to get in there and put on a quality match with the WWE champion and even in defeat look good.”

“Reintroducing myself to a new audience is something you have to accept. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Scotland, France and Saudi Arabia. Even in Chicago, you’re going to new places where people don’t know who you are. They’re not familiar with NXT in a lot of places. There are a lot of casual fans so when you come out, the reaction is mixed. Learning how to adapt to that. At one point you’re the top guy in NXT and everyone knows who you are. They know your story and they know everything about you. They know your highs and lows. They’re connected. Now going into all these new venues and situations, you’re going up against their favorites. They’re thinking, ‘Who is this guy? They’re going to make quick work of this guy. He’s a nobody.’ Little do they know, I’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point.”

On botch in LA Knight promo:

“I didn’t even notice I did it. I did it so quickly not even thinking about it… People were roasting me… He’s quick. He’s watching for things. It’s what it was. I’m not perfect bro… We were laughing about it. It was what it was.”

On “Ruthless Aggression” promo:

“I remember they hated it when I first did it… I was a little hesitant to do something that’s already been exactly done. It’s such an iconic moment… Shawn is super cool. I remember Shawn tweeting something like, ‘It worked out for the last guy.'”