On the opening night of the 2024 WWE Draft, SmackDown picked former NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes, who made a bold statement by challenging Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes to a match. While Hayes lost the match, people were mostly talking about a botched spot and now Hayes has addressed it.

Cody Rhodes accepted the challenge from Carmelo Hayes, setting up an intense main event. Despite a great effort from Hayes, Rhodes secured the win, though Hayes gained respect for his strong performance.

During one moment in the match both Rhodes and Hayes attempted springboard moves, but their timing was off, causing both to crash to the mat. Rhodes landed awkwardly on his shoulder, leading to concerns among fans about a possible injury.

While speaking on The Ringer Wrestling Show, Carmelo Hayes clarified the speculation about the springboard mishap during his match with Cody Rhodes. Some fans believed that Rhodes was going to catch him in mid-air with a Cody Cutter, but Hayes explained what actually happened.


”I mean, I think it’s wild that people thought he (Cody Rhodes) was gonna catch me with a Cody Cutter in mid-air. If you see what it was… we both do a springboard move. He’s got the Disaster Kick, he’s got the Cody Cutter, I’ve got a couple of different things. I tried to catch him, he tried to catch me but he wasn’t fast enough to catch me and I ducked underneath and then I came in and I capitalized. I think people romanticized and grandeur-rized what it was… I didn’t even really address it truthfully and I know Cody could care less. But, at the same time it’s like, fans think that they know so much and they’re not in there with us, they don’t know what we’re attempting to do and just sit back and enjoy the show. I’m watching it, I’m like, ‘Oh! He was throwing for a touchdown.’ Whole time, he was just trying to get a completion. It’s never what people think it is so I mean, that was what that was. But, I mean hey, that would’ve been great if he could’ve got me in a Cody Cutter… Not (great) for me. It would’ve been great for Cody.”

Needless to say, Cody Rhodes was not hurt during the match. Carmelo Hayes will be squaring off against Baron Corbin as part of the King of the Ring tournament in the first-round bout, so we’ll have to see who’ll come out on top.

Were you surprised to see this botch on Friday Night SmackDown last month? Sound off in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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