Shawn Michaels is currently running things in WWE NXT, and on Saturday the brand will debut its new match type, the Iron Survivor Challenge. Carmelo Hayes is a part of the Men's Iron Survivor Challenge, and he will be facing some stiff competition for a shot at the NXT Championship. Hayes recently spoke to Denise Salcedo about working in NXT with Michaels during the new Triple H era of WWE, and while much hasn't changed for Hayes specifically, he did say that he thinks Michaels has a little bit more freedom these days than he did before.
"I don't see a huge change. I mean, necessarily. I think now more it's like Shawn has a little bit more freedom that he didn't before," Hayes said. "You know, with Hunter and Shawn being so close, it's more of a collaborative effort. You know where there's like, 'Hey, we're gonna do this' and I don't know if it's necessarily like, 'Hey, can I do? I don't know, I really don't know."
NXT previously dropped the 2.0 from its name and added back in some black and gold to its logo, though it wasn't a complete return to the old style NXT. In a previous interview with ComicBook.com, Michaels said the new NXT was set to be more of a hybrid product, combining the best elements of the two eras into one modern interpretation.
"I certainly don't want to undersell anything, but I don't know that it's a new era where there's a big change," Michaels said. "Certainly, there was the Black and Gold, there was 2.0 and now we have, I think what I guess is a hybrid. I mean, we don't want this NXT to really have to be defined as anything other than your NXT, to be perfectly honest. I don't want this to be Hunter's or Vince's or even mine for that matter. This is the NXT that belongs to the men and women of NXT that come through our system and to those passionate and loyal fans that watch us some support us, to be perfectly honest."
"This line of work, the WWE and the wrestling business as a whole was always about fun and enjoyment and entertainment, and that's what it's going to get back to. I don't know if that's been missing for the last several years, but the one thing that we're all excited about is that we are looking to kick a- and have a great deal of fun and enjoyment for the years to come," he added. "And that's honestly, I guess, I don't know if that's a catchphrase or if that's a mission statement, but this is just an NXT that's excited about developing the young men and women that are going to be the superstars, the Raw and SmackDown superstars of tomorrow."
What have you thought of NXT over the past few months? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!