In the Main Event of NXT Stand and Deliver, Carmelo Hayes defeated former champion Bron Breakker in what NXT dubbed as the “youngest main event” after interference from Trick Williams, as Vic Joseph eloquently stated, from a Casanova to a Champion as a clever tie-in to his former ring name (Christian Casanova).
Carmelo Hayes Captures NXT World Title
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 1, 2023
Breakker’s second reign began back at the post-Stand and Deliver Monday Night Raw defeating Dolph Ziggler as Breakker joined an elite group of talent to hold the NXT Championship twice consisting of Finn Balor, Tomasso Ciampa, Karrion Kross, Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe. This win from Hayes ends Breakker’s historic second reign as champion at 362 days recognized by World Wrestling Entertainment.
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Hayes, formerly known as Christian Casanova out of Worcester, Massachusetts, was a fixture of the New England wrestling scene prior to his signing back in 2021. Trained by Brian Fury, Hayes appeared for Northeast Wrestling, Northeast Championship Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling and Chaotic Wrestling winning a few titles in the region.
During his time in NXT, Hayes is a two-time former North American Champion, the final NXT Cruiserweight Champion unifying the championship with the aforementioned North American Championship, in addition to winning the breakout tournament in 2021 defeating the likes of Josh Briggs, Duke Hudson and Odyssey Jones, Hayes was a consistent standout in style, ability and matches often having match of the night candidates on a consistent basis.
Carmelo Hayes is also the third African American born NXT Champion joining Big E and Keith Lee to hold the championship.
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