In a recent interview with Denise Salcedo as part of Instinct Culture with Denise Salcedo, WWE NXT superstar Carmelo Hayes discussed several topics, including working with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, the WWE NXT Breakout Tournament, becoming WWE NXT North American Champion and more.

Highlights of the interview are below:

On working with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels: “Sometimes, I always say this like, I have to step out of my shoes and realize that it’s Shawn Michaels, like Mr. WrestleMania, HBK, like that’s Shawn Michaels. We see him so often now, it’s kind of like, you know, you see him regularly and you talk to him and he doesn’t act like Shawn Michaels, he’s just like a regular guy, he’s just humble, but every time he talks to me, he says something, even by accident that I’m like whoa, like that hit me, so like I try to listen very closely when he talks to me, because he might say something in passing, or something that sticks with me, so I’ve just learned so much from Shawn, and coming from a guy that has done everything, everything here, has made every mistake, has done everything from WrestleMania’s to first-time matches to everything, he really is the perfect guy to have running something like this where you’ve got all this new talent, so yeah, I’m just a sponge when I’m around him.”

On the WWE NXT Breakout Tournament in 2021 and becoming the WWE NXT North American Champion: “It was a certain pressure that I had on myself to where it was like, okay they’re going with me, like I can’t fail, I can’t let them down, like that ‘Melo Don’t Miss’ thing, it was even before that, I can’t miss, you know I mean, I truly can’t. At first, there was a lot of pressure, it really was because like, I don’t know if you remember, but the guys I had to go against are just so much bigger than me, so like, those are just such difficult matches you know, because there really wasn’t a lot to do. Then, after that, it got a little bit smoother, I think it was just the pressure of okay, making sure that they know that they picked the right guy. I still to this day feel that type of pressure on myself, they know what they got, but I still want them to know that they got the right guy every time I go out there.”

The full interview is available at this link.