Q&A with Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller ahead of NXT Spring Breakin’


Two of WWE’s brightest rising stars will battle it out tonight in NXT for the biggest prize money. spring breakingCarmelo Hayes defended the NXT Championship for the first time since defeating Bron Breaker to win the gold medal. stand & delivery.

He will take on Grayson Waller in what could very well be Tuesday night’s final match for both competitors. This Friday he will start his WWE Draft on SmackDown. It wouldn’t be a shock at all if the loser of this match graduated to the main roster.

Carmelo Hayes really is him. He has been an outstanding athlete from the moment he arrived at NXT, with the confidence to back Mike’s skill and physical prowess. Grayson Waller is equally impressive, with one of the more innovative movesets seen in professional wrestling.

Oh yeah, he can speak too.

Cageside Seats had the good fortune of catching up with both Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller at WrestleMania Press Junket. He’s just one day before Hayes wins his NXT Championship, and one week before he’s scheduled for tonight’s match.

These are the final two interviews in the series, putting different spotlights on NXT superstars.

Read the Q&A with Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller below, or watch both interviews in full in the video at the top of the page.

Disclaimer: The question itself has been edited to provide additional information and better fit the written format.

Cageside Seats: OK Carmelo, here’s the NXT Superstar Q&A. You were born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. What is the best thing about growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts?

Carmelo: DCU center. I mean, Mass is great. Man, I think it has a lot of history, but that’s crazy. I never move backwards. sorry. Look, I’m sure the people at home are thinking…Yeah, tell me something nice. no. (smile).

CSS: Heal turn complete.

Carmelo: Heel turn! I can’t go back to the cold. No, it was great. In many ways, it means the City of Champions when you think of the Northeast and so on. We have always had a great team. Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox. Growing up as a sports fan, being in that New England area was a great experience.

CSS: You are quite the athlete. You’ve been wrestling for a long time since 2014, but you had to become a huge multi-sporter to grow. What was the best thing you grew up with?

Carmelo: baseball. I was really good at baseball. You have to remember that I’m just fast. I’m small, but I’m fast. I wasn’t really a great hitter, but I was on base and stealing. I was one of those types and played well in the outfield. I was a shortstop, so I was good at it. I also did amateur wrestling.So I did a lot of amateur wrestling young Because I wanted to do WWE.

funny story. Me and my buddy were wrestling in the backyard. I was eight or nine years old at the time. And the wrestling head coach lived near me. He saw us wrestling in the backyard and said, “Oh, you guys are going to get hurt.” He said he would come to high school and teach us how to wrestle amateurs for free, and he taught us how to wrestle amateurs when he was 9 years old.

I ended up competing against 9, 10 and 11 in the tournament. I won a trophy in Massachusetts and was under 80 pounds. We were one of the first junior amateur wrestlers of our age in Massachusetts.

CSS: That’s insane. Are you going to say that over the years me and my buddy beat the hell out of each other on the trampoline, it’s possible that someone found us and said ‘hey don’t kill yourself’ mosquito?

Carmelo: Yeah it was crazy. We used to do all that stuff too. We wanted to build a chair…and we were little kids and he was like, ‘What the hell are you guys doing!? Come learn how to do it right.

CSS: To be fair, it happened to me too. I’m from the Cincinnati area, and Jimmy Wang Yang lived there at the time. I interviewed him once. He called me later and said, ‘Hey, I like you, but you don’t know s*** about wrestling. trained.

Carmelo: Ah… I like talking to people I know because I have a different respect. Because we understand what our bodies are going through.

CSS: 100%. The reason I’m not wrestling indie right now is…

Carmelo: Because it sucks.

CSS: Because I messed up my back (laughs). I can not take it anymore.

Carmelo: That’s why you see risk. It is not easy. For some, like us, it looks easy, but it’s not that easy.

CSS: Dude, I didn’t even get the mental side of it. Take care of your partner. what’s the next move? It was not enough to be able to call the game on the spot. I had to plan it step by step. There are many things to it.

Carmelo: There are many things to it. Shawn Michaels talks all the time. He has a man who turns plates in the circus. He says, okay, you learn the moves, boom, boom, boom. Now you move the camera, boom, boom, boom. Well, you sell boom, boom, boom. So you’re literally spinning all these different plates. that is our job. Some can do 2 at a time, some can do 3, some can do 10.

CSS: I’m glad you mentioned Shawn Michaels. At the Stand & Deliver press conference, he answered my question with an interesting comment. When his talent blossoms, he will always know how good a job he has done. Eventually they did a podcast and were asked about Shawn Michaels and if they said something positive, he did his job right. failed with I think it will be a while before I graduate. Having worked with Shawn Michaels over the last few years, what did he mean to you?

Carmelo: He saw it in me before anyone else. And I wrestled in front of him, so it’s wild. I remember the first time I wrestled in front of him, having done an in-house show. And it was his idea to bring me before the hunters. And I remember him telling me that story later. I just wanted to get you in front of the hunters. I just wanted him to see you. At that time, I was put in a cruiserweight title match with Kushida, which was my debut match. So from day one he always believed in me.

And I know it can be a pain in the butt. I don’t mean it in a bad way, but I am extremely passionate about what I do and want to do. And I just want to do something different. And he knows it. And I’m very vocal, whatever it is. So I guess that’s why he and I have a close bond. Trust me, but I understand where you’re coming from. That is our relationship. And he was wonderful to me.

Grayson Waller jumps a ladder out of an Australian classroom

Grayson Waller: I didn’t know they were letting fans do these things. I thought they had an expert interviewed. It’s exciting for you.

CSS: Yeah, it’s a big moment for me.

Grayson: Hey it’s a big moment for me too [he said in jest and in character].

CSS: Seriously, I’m a huge fan of your work. There are some of the more innovative offensive maneuvers we’ve seen in his WWE in recent years, such as the Rolling Thunder Stunner. Now, these are moves we’ve seen before, but you get into them in a very unique way. How much effort went into putting together this weapon you have?

Waller: It’s a big part of what I do. I don’t want to be like someone else And I think you see people coming in and doing the same moves over and over again. In wrestling, there are only so many moves. So my mindset has always been that I don’t want to be anyone else. My movement, my entrance, nothing. Some moves I do are very famous. Like me, do stunners. I do the Unprettier. I do, elbow drop, but I do it my way. Look what I do, there’s no way he’ll be like Austin. Stone Cold doesn’t roll on ropes like that. Same as Unprettier. Like, no one has done such a thing. So for me, Grayson Waller is an individual, and it’s all I do to make sure people don’t compare me to anyone else when they see me.

CSS: You’re just coming out of South Wales. If the internet is right, this is where you used to be a history teacher. How do I jump the ladder from being a history teacher to making a living?

Waller: New South Wales. you were close South Wales, you go to England. New South Wales in Australia is very similar. As you know my life is wild. For example, when people find out that I was a teacher, I don’t think they really believe it. See, it’s like another side of me. In Australian wrestling at the time, it was not a full-time job. See, you’re doing it because you love it. You are trying to look at you, something like that. I’ve been a weekend warrior for a long time, but I have to pay the bills at the end of the day. So it was really fun working with kids and doing things like that. But that part of my life is behind me now, young man. Now I’m jumping over ladders and such.

CSS: Have you been contacted by a former student who saw you on TV?

Waller: I have had a few and I support them all. Especially when you’re a teenage kid, you know they’re wild. They say wild type things, but they’re always very supportive and say that type of thing. So it’s cool that they support me along the way. [in Australia].

Carmelo Hayes defends his newly won NXT Championship against Grayson Waller tonight. NXT Spring Breakin Kick off live at 8pm ET. You can follow the action on our live blog. here.

Check out the full interview with Carmelo Hayes and Grayson Waller in the video at the top of this article.You can follow Rick Ucchino twitter subscribe Breve for Pro Wrestling Podcast Channel for much of his work.

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