NXT Star Carmelo Hayes Opens Up About Helping Cody Rhodes Train For WWE Comeback

In the lead-up to his return at the 2023 Royal Rumble, Cody Rhodes trained alongside two "WWE NXT" stars at the Performance Center, one of whom was former "NXT" Champion Carmelo Hayes. While Hayes was primarily designated to help Rhodes prepare for his in-ring comeback, "The American Nightmare" also offered some guidance. 

On a recent episode of "Insight With Chris Van Vliet," Hayes opened up about his experience working with Rhodes, who was on the road to recovery after sustaining a torn pectoral injury in 2022.

"So I know Cody had been reaching out and helping me out, giving me little pointers and telling me that things are good and just talking to me a little bit about certain matters prior to that," said Hayes. "Then I know he was getting ready to come back for the Rumble, and he had picked Joe Gacy and myself to kind of work around with him. I think it had a lot to do with Joe Gacy being a little bit bigger, me being a little bit more agile and faster. Then obviously Cody, just wanting to get to know us younger talent and stuff like that. But it was a huge honor. Like I said in his documentary, I didn't feel like I was helping him, I felt like he was helping me."

In the months following his training sessions with Rhodes, Hayes soared to the main event scene of "NXT," later securing himself the "NXT" Championship at "NXT" Stand & Deliver. Meanwhile, Rhodes won the 2023 men's Royal Rumble match, and went on to face Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 39, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to "finish the story."

If you use quotes in this article, please credit "Insight With Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.