Carmelo Hayes Hints That He Chose To Sign With WWE Instead of AEW

During an interview with Graham GSM Matthews of, NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes talked about his journey to WWE:

“I didn’t think I’d get here this round. I thought I’d have to go somewhere else and then from there get here because everybody knows WWE is kind of like the land from far, far away. It’s that tip of the iceberg in that way. You don’t just take one step and pop up in there. You look at the guys that are in NXT now. They’ve come from other companies, years from experience on TV here or there.

I thought that would be my route, so I was totally okay [doing that]. But then I had a change of heart and thought, ‘You know what? I’m going top two and it’s either WWE or somewhere else. Those are my two that I’m going for. That’s all it’s going to be and I’m going to get there somehow, some way.’ I had both opportunities right around the same time and I chose WWE and to come here.”

Carmelo discussed the signing process:

“People say, ‘You should have been signed this time or that time.’ You know what? If I was signed, I wouldn’t have been prepared mentally, emotionally, physically. There’s so much more that comes with being ready to be here. A lot had to happen for me to be prepared to come here. Even a year ago today, I remember my mindset was, ‘Just work your ass off and get signed.’ There really was no opportunity yet.”

“It was around December I had an interview with Canyon Ceman, a phone interview, and from there on they mentioned they’d probably bring me in after WrestleMania,” Hayes explained. “I said to him, ‘Hey, if you can get me in sooner, can you please get me in as soon as possible?’ He told me, ‘We have a class of 20 people coming in, so we don’t know if we can get you in this round.’ They hustled and got me in with that February class. Everything happened really quick. I feel like everything does happen for a reason and timing is everything because it could have been a bad time a year ago. It might not have been who I am today or who I was in February.”

You can check out the full interview below: