As noted, Carmelo Hayes cashed in his Breakout Tournament contract to win the WWE NXT North American Title from Isaiah “Swerve” Scott on last night’s NXT 2.0 episode. You can click here for new comments from Hayes and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels.
In an update, a new report from Fightful Select notes that Hayes has impressed some people of influence within NXT and at the WWE Performance Center, specifically Michaels. Hayes was seen by many as a “project” of HBK’s. It was noted by another high-level NXT source how they believe Michaels sees a lot of himself in Hayes.
Hayes had already impressed many, but his June 1 match against Kushida opened up a lot of opportunities for Hayes, including the follow-up match with Adam Cole on June 22.
Regarding last night’s title change, the idea behind the switch was to establish a new star in Hayes, while still protecting Swerve as he prepares for a main roster run with Hit Row on SmackDown later this month. The Breakout contract being a Money In the Bank-style cash-in was not played up as they wanted to help make the title change be a surprise.
Hayes was discussed for the NXT Cruiserweight division earlier this summer as the company looked to revamp things there, but a decision was made to not put Hayes in that division once several releases were made that impacted the cruiserweights.
Stay tuned for more.