This week on WWE’s The Bump, the NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes made his first-ever appearance on the show. Following a monumental team victory at WWE NXT WarGames earlier this month, Hayes cannot believe how his career has risen since his debut on June 1.

From winning this year’s NXT Breakout Tournament to seizing the North American Championship, it’s fair to say we ain’t seen anything yet from Carmelo Hayes. During today’s interview, Hayes described his pursuit from starting at the bottom, climbing to the top, and what’s in store for the new year.

“It took me six months to get that [the NXT North American Championship]. So, I’m reaching for the top. I don’t know what’s coming in the next couple of months, but yeah, I’m reaching for the top,” Hayes announced.

Following his debut match on WWE NXT, Hayes informed Shawn Michaels of his hunger to become the next top guy in the new era of NXT 2.0. With that said, Michaels has showcased Hayes as the next big sensation. Segueing from that, Hayes commented on what it’s like to be under the learning tree of Michaels, and how his mentorship has shaped the foundation of this current period on the developmental brand.

“It’s one of those things where you have to remind yourself of who he is. We see him week in, week out. We talk to him like he’s a regular guy. But when you take a step back and realize he’s one of the greatest ever to do this in this business,” Hayes complimented. “He’s taught me a lot of things that I’ve applied, and I think that’s a reason for my success in NXT 2.0.”

With the new year just around the corner, anything is possible between the NXT 2.0 roster and the main roster switching it up. For Carmelo Hayes, he thinks defending his North American title against the likes of guys like Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston would steal the show, regardless of where they decide to do the matchup. Prior to this interview, in a Q&A, Hayes did mention how he’d like to square off with Rollins, to which Rollins replied with a positive remark.

“I’ve said a while back when I get the opportunity to wrestle Kofi, we’re going to steal the show. I truly believe in speaking things into existence. I think Seth Rollins would be a perfect opponent for me. I respect his work, and I think he and I would have great chemistry. We’ll tear it down. We’ll burn it down,” Hayes stated with certainty.

You can watch Carmelo Hayes’ full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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