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. He definitely impressed many and has now revealed the harsh advice Shawn Michaels gave him.

During his stint on the independent circuit and in NXT, Melo faced criticism from some fans for his smaller stature. However, he’s managed to shine among the larger competitors, largely due to the mentorship of NXT head Shawn Michaels.

In an interview on the Ringer Wrestling Show, Carmelo Hayes discussed receiving advice from Shawn Michaels on standing out despite his size.

“He told me, straight up, ‘You can never take a day off. A lot of these guys can take a day off and they’ll be accepted, but you can never take a day off or phone it in.’”


“It sucks in a way, but at the same time, I’m open to the challenge because the bar, for some reason, is raised higher because of my size. People are expecting way more.”

“I can’t make mistakes. Not on top of my size, but being perceived as someone who is being pushed to the forefront. I feel a lot of criticism from people off everything I do.”

Carmelo Hayes squared off against Baron Corbin as part of the King of the Ring tournament in the first-round bout, and was victorious. We’ll have to wait and see how he will fare in the tournament.

Are you already enjoying Carmelo Hayes’ run on the main roster? 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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