WWE NXT's Carmelo Hayes: Shawn Michaels Trusts Me To Know What's Cool

Trying to reach a younger audience

Following NXT's rebrand as NXT 2.0, it emerged that WWE's long-term strategy for the developmental brand was to attract viewers in the 18-34 demographic. The company has so far tried to do this by airing an edgier product following direct encouragement from Vince McMahon. 

One Superstar who has been spotlighted since the NXT 2.0 rebrand is Carmelo Hayes and the NXT Breakout Tournament winner defeated Isaiah "Swerve" Scott to capture the NXT North American Championship last week.

Speaking with Busted Open Radio about his creative freedom on NXT 2.0, Hayes revealed Shawn Michaels has trusted him with promos because the WWE Hall Of Famer has told him, "I don't know what cool is so I trust you to tell me what cool is."

"Still using bullet points, but I'm big on trying to say stuff that I would truly say. So, a lot of the stuff that you hear is 100% from me with their direction. I've been lucky enough to where they've trusted me to say what I want. That's really the direction they're going now, truly. They are trusting guys and giving guys, especially in NXT 2.0, they're trusting guys to say what we would say because we're trying to reach a different demographic now. They can't really tell us," Hayes stated.

"Shawn has said to me straight up, 'I don't know what cool is so I trust you to tell me what cool is.' That's the biggest thing that I've been able to take away from that. I said, 'Okay, trust me, I'll do my part to reach that demographic.'"

Hayes then noted the NXT 2.0 locker room were told the show was trying to reach a younger demographic. 

"It was told, 'Hey, we're trying to reach a new audience here. This is fresher, younger, brighter.' Everyone knows that now and seeing what we're watching now. A lot more focus on characters, less on wrestling, and that's perfect for somebody like me, that's what I want to do. If I can be the leader of that and at the forefront of that, then put me in coach. I want to help get that," he added.

H/T to Fightful

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons