Ex-NXT Champion Scheduled for Tonight's WWE SmackDown Bout



by ATIA MUKHTAR

Ex-NXT Champion Scheduled for Tonight's WWE SmackDown Bout
© NXT/WikiMedia Commons

Wrestling enthusiasts are gearing up for an electrifying episode of "WWE SmackDown" tonight, particularly those who have followed the rise of former "NXT" Champion, Carmelo Hayes. In a significant development, leaked internal show rundowns, as reported by Fightful Select, reveal that Hayes is slated for a major appearance on the blue brand, facing off against the formidable Austin Theory.

The anticipation for tonight's showdown is not just about Hayes' return; the intricacies of the lineup suggest a narrative ripe with rivalries and alliances. The theory is also expected to be present ringside, supporting his tag team partner, Grayson Waller, in his clash against Cameron Grimes.

This ringside presence is crucial as it potentially sets the stage for Hayes' about with Theory, either during or in the aftermath of the Waller vs. Grimes match.

Hayes vs. Waller Rivalry

Hayes, a dynamic force in the ring, isn't new to conflicts with Waller.

Their history dates back to several intense encounters in "NXT." Notably, Hayes triumphed over Waller in his "SmackDown" debut last December, a pivotal match in the tournament to determine a new contender for WWE United States Champion, Logan Paul.

Although Hayes' journey in that tournament was halted in the second round by Kevin Owens, the eventual winner, his performance left an indelible mark. Owens, interestingly, also shares a tangled history with Waller and Theory, having recently influenced the outcome of a match between Waller and Hayes' ally, Trick Williams, on "NXT." Hayes, who initially entered the WWE universe as Christian Casanova and joined "NXT" in 2021, has been making waves ever since.

His journey has been marked by memorable encounters, from his debut against Finn Balor on "WWE Raw" in June to his impactful "SmackDown" performances in December. Despite these high-profile appearances, Hayes has yet to secure a permanent spot on the main roster.

This imminent appearance on "SmackDown" could be a pivotal moment in his career, possibly signaling WWE's intention to promote him to a regular main roster spot. Tonight's "SmackDown" is not just another episode; it's a potential turning point in the careers of Hayes and his contemporaries, promising high-octane action and drama that WWE fans have come to expect and love.

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