Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

King HIM: The Case for Carmelo Hayes to Win WWE King of The Ring

A photo of WWE Superstar and King of the Ring participant Carmelo Hayes.

Challenging the champion on your first day on Smackdown is a bold move that only a select few can make feel legitimate. WWE is making a solid case for Carmelo Hayes to win King of the Ring this month, leveraging his impressive debut. As the highest NXT draft pick in history, Hayes has already been integrated into the plans for the blue brand.

Significantly, WWE desperately needs new stars, and Hayes’ potential to fill that void is crucial, notably as WWE needs genuine heel challengers for Cody Rhodes. A King Carmelo would be the most intriguing way to get a real challenger for Cody and make Hayes a bigger star in the process. 

Makes a Splashy Start for a First-Round Draft Pick

If you make somebody the third overall pick from developmental, you must capitalize on that story. Apart from winning a title straight away, selecting Carmelo Hayes to win King of the Ring is the fastest way WWE can pay off that story. In his interactions with Bobby Lashley, Melo has shown that his draft position has inflated his sense of worth.

Much of the draft period was missable in WWE. Still, character moments like this make the entire ordeal worthwhile to weekly viewers. In this case, too, Hayes ascending to the iconic throne that created stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin gives an air of legacy to Carmelo Hayes within weeks of his debut.

In addition to his building a resume on the main roster for Melo, HIM winning helps to erase. The first is that it gives him back the omentum he lost to Trick Williams before his call-up. Losing on your way out is a requirement.

The core fans who watch both NXT and Smackdown could be reminded of Melo’s ability. King of The Ring would do that for Hayes. It also gives Hayes legitimacy on the main roster, which Smackdown needs now that The Bloodline is rebuilding.  

Carmelo Hayes to Win King of The Ring for a Title Feud

King of The Ring is unofficially a number one contender’s position. It isn’t the surefire shot like Royal Rumble or cashing in Money in the Bank, but the crown elevates you into position to challenge the world champion. The most recent winner, Xavier Woods, had a miniature feud with Roman Reigns over who truly ruled Smackdown. 

That feud saw Woods get huge reactions and greater attention on television, elevating his status. In truth, every King of The Ring and Queens Crown winner has seen their overall stock rise.

Like his predecessors, King Melo will almost certainly get a run at the top, and Smackdown needs that badly. The earliest that Roman Reigns or The Rock should be expected to return is for early August’s SummerSlam event. In his absence, Cody needs something interesting for both June and July that nobody else on the blue brand offers him.

The scion of one of wrestling’s greatest royal families defending his world title against the current reigning King of the Ring has all the regality WWE needs to build for a big bout at Clash at the Castle. A rematch at Money in the Bank. The second, with a ladder stipulation perhaps, would transition both men to their summertime feuds.

Afterward, Hayes will have experience as a main event program with the company’s biggest star. Losing may not seem like a grand prize, but losing to Cody Rhodes in 2024 isn’t just a loss. It is an opportunity to be a part of WWE’s biggest star in decades.

Being part of his story gives you a place in modern wrestling mythology. Granting people opportunities like that is ultimately the benefit of the tournament and one that applies to Hayes more than anyone else in the field.  

The Best Endorsement Triple H Could Possibly Get

WWE has spent an unreasonable amount of time informing fans that Triple H is very good at running WWE, especially their creative division. Many fans dislike the constant reminders, and AEW has taken its own clever shots at this. If WWE wanted to let fans and, let’s be honest investors, know that the company would be just fine, then the recent numbers would speak for themselves.

However, to thank Triple H and his new era specifically, I see no better way than to correct over a decade of lousy booking regarding the NXT call-up. Moving to Raw or Smackdown was an obstacle that crushed even the most talented of NXT’s stars in the previous era. Giving the new talent from Triple H’s prized promotion a real shot at stardom is the best way to thank him for his leadership.

Carmelo Hayes was the man who ran NXT for quite a while. He ended the Bron Breakker run, which was also very good, and his own journey and feud with former partner Trick Williams set the direction of NXT in significant ways. Hayes is a transformational NXT talent, one that is etched into that brand’s history. Many people in that role did not fare well in WWE proper.

Even folks like Sami Zayn or Finn Balor only did so after years of bad booking. Hayes already made a great debut, but there were many of those before him. For Carmelo Hayes to win King of The Ring would be a sign that one big moment and years of lower card rivalries is not the fate that the top tier of talent in developmental should expect, that Triple H’s star students have a fair shot at success in WWE now. 

Case Against Carmelo Hayes to Win King of The Ring

Is Carmelo Hayes the favorite to wing King of The Ring? Probably not. Raw and Smackdown seem poised to use the tournament to hold over two main event stars. This gives them some space to free up in WWE’s heavily booked world title picture. That isn’t necessarily a wrong decision either; there are other cases to be made regarding who should win.

Likewise, there are reasons that Carmelo should not. He is brand new to the main roster, so really, any wins at all are beneficial.

He also hinted on television at a predictable rivalry with Bobby Lashley. This could lead to some great matches and maybe even a good story as Hayes interacts with Lashley and the crew. Pausing that for Melo and Cody would also hurt Lashley. He is in the tournament, too, with nothing to do further diminishing his role on Smackdown.

Still, crowning a future star, not a present one, is a great way to use the crown. Whether he wins the prestigious award or not, his run in the tournament should be great to watch. That is because Melo doesn’t miss it; just ask him.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Header photo – WWE – Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.


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