Carmelo Hayes is determined to bring back the solid wrestling and the essence of the “Black & Gold” era of NXT. Prior to the brand’s reboot in September 2021, NXT was known for featuring popular stars who had gained experience outside of WWE.

Since the reboot, WWE has shifted its focus towards recruiting and highlighting younger athletes rather than independent wrestling veterans. However, Hayes wants to see NXT regain its reputation as the brand with talented performers who are eager to deliver outstanding matches.

During an interview on WWE After The Bell, Hayes expressed his desire to have matches reminiscent of the “black and gold era” with several standout wrestlers. He mentioned names like Dijak, Dragon Lee, Ilja Dragunov, Tyler Bate, and Wes Lee as talented individuals he looks forward to competing against. Hayes aims to showcase his skills and determine who can potentially dethrone him during his championship reign.

Hayes also emphasized his commitment to bringing back the essence of solid wrestling to the NXT show. While acknowledging the talent currently on the roster, he believes there is room for both wrestlers who are still learning and those who are willing to go all out and deliver exceptional performances. Hayes sees himself as one of the individuals who strive to go above and beyond in the ring.


“Well, the thing is, like I notice, there are so many studs still left on the roster.

“So many good guys that, you know, can have that black and gold era type style that people always say that they miss and they want. So I look forward to having those type of matches with guys.

“Like there’s so many guys, Dijak, Dragon Lee, Ilja Dragunov, Tyler Bate, Wes Lee still, you know, and I know I’m forgetting names, but there are so many good guys on that roster.

“I just want to have great matches with all of ’em during this reign and see who’s, you know, willing or who can dethrone me at that point.

“But yeah, I just want to bring back good solid wrestling to this NXT show; not that, there’s not that, but there’s a lot of, you know, people learning how to get their feet wet, and then there’s a lot of guys who are willing to go out and kill it.

“And I think, I’m among one of those guys who wants to go out and kill it.”

Hayes’ vision to bring back the “Black & Gold” era and his determination to deliver compelling matches could shape the future of NXT, and fans will be eagerly watching his championship reign unfold.

What are your thoughts on Carmelo Hayes’ ambition to bring back the essence of the “Black & Gold” era in NXT? Leave a comment.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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