Carmelo Hayes Discusses Shooting His Shot With Cody Rhodes On WWE SmackDown

On night one of the 2024 WWE Draft, the "WWE SmackDown" brand signaled the official main roster call-up of Carmelo Hayes as they selected him as the third overall draft pick. Coming off this announcement, Hayes wasted little time to shoot his shot with the new face of "SmackDown" — Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes — by challenging him to a match later that evening. Ultimately, this proverbial shot would fall a bit short as Rhodes defeated Hayes with his signature Cross-Rhodes. On a recent episode of "WWE's The Bump," Hayes looked back on his impromptu decision.

"Closed mouths don't get fed on this boulevard," Hayes said. "I mean, I don't sit around and wait for opportunities to come to me, I never have. If you look as far back as my NXT career, I stepped to the man at that time on my second match. My first match was a Cruiserweight Championship match. I don't sit around and wait for opportunities. I go out and I take them, and that's part of my motto – shooting my shot. It takes shots to make shots. I might have been shooting from the low to go at Cody Rhodes, but it was a shot I was willing to miss if I had to miss it. But just one thing that everybody on SmackDown is going to learn and needs to realize is that I'm second to none. I'm the one. I'm one of one, and I am him."

Like Hayes mentioned, his early "WWE NXT" career was complemented by some notable opportunities, including a title match against then Cruiserweight Champion Kushida. This contest was then followed by a chance to face former NXT Champion Adam Cole, and later, an entry into the 2021 "NXT" Men's Breakout Tournament. Whatever the opportunity may be though, Hayes asserts that he doesn't (or rather, rarely) miss.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "WWE's The Bump" with a h/t to Rllegends for the transcription.