When it comes to professional wrestling, Booker T has an incredibly interesting perspective.
A two-time WWE Hall of Famer who also runs his own promotion/professional wrestling school, Reality of Wrestling, and works as a commentator for NXT, there are very few aspects of the industry that Booker hasn't had his hands in, making his insight into evaluating a young star's ability all the more interesting, even if he has a soft spot for performers who get their checks cut from Titan Towers.
Discussing one of the aforementioned Titan Towers talents who gets his check cut from WWE, Booker noted on his Hall of Fame podcast that he's excited that Carmelo Hayes wasn't drafted onto the main roster during the 2023 WWE Draft, as he not only enjoys watching the young star work but believes he can continue to grow his game even further.
“He is him. The dude is good, man. Carmelo is good,” Booker said via Fightful. “I can agree with you as far as something being missing as well. I totally understand exactly where you're coming from as far as that goes. The thing is, I think maybe it's just having that ability to just go out and beat up somebody flawlessly. Wrestling someone is one thing, but going out and beating a guy up is something totally different. Carmelo maybe needs to think about raising his game as far as that goes. As far as knowing how to go out there and really tattoo someone and really make the fans feel like that person is really being tattooed. I can't really get too deep into what I mean about that kind of stuff because, again, I'm like a magician; it's about keeping your tricks real close to the bag. Carmelo is next-level talent, but that's one of the reasons I'm happy he still is in NXT because he's a work in progress. He's a diamond in the rough that just needs to be polished.”
Despite joining WWE in 2021, Hayes now finds himself one of the more tenured veterans in developmental, with his nine years of professional wrestling experience making him one of the true elder statesmen of NXT now that performers like Zoey Stark, Grayson Waller, and Indi Hartwell have been elevated to RAW and SmackDown. With a bit more seasoning and a chance to showcase his abilities as a champion, Hayes has a chance to continue to pad out his resume in NXT before attempting to see if he's “Him” on RAW or SmackDown too.
Vic Joseph names his favorite matches he's called in NXT and WWE.
While Booker T is the biggest name on NXT‘s commentary team, his partner, Vic Joseph, is a very tenured broadcaster in his own right, joining WWE in 2017 after a successful run at WKRK-FM in Cleveland and runs as an indie commentator for AIW and House of Hardcore.
Sitting down for an interview with Chris Val Vliet to discuss his time on the mic with WWE, Joseph was asked about some of the favorite matches he's called in the promotion regardless of the brand. Unsurprisingly, Joseph has more than a few.
“I actually get the most compliments. And if you go back and listen to it, it's Rey Mysterio and Brock Lesnar Survivor Series 2019. And Dominik is in his father's corner, which now we're at where we're at here in Los Angeles, it's kind of ironic to go back and look at it. But if you listen to the match, I forget where I'm at and kind of black out and I become a fan and my voice breaks. Where Dominik hits the Frog Splash with Rey, hits the Frog Splash, this is going to be it. Then Brock kicks out and you hear me go, Oh, my God, there's like I thought they had it,” Jospeh said via Fightful. “But I lose myself because I'm still a fan. Every time I sit in that seat behind the desk, that's when I get the most compliments about that's the one, I'm really proud of thus far. And this weekend, I think I have an opportunity with Johnny Gargano Grayson Waller because of my personal feelings towards Johnny. And then the main event of Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes, because as they said, they've been the two guys since that rebranding or that revolution, evolution, whatever buzzword you want to use of NXT was put in, so I may have a moment this weekend. But it also comes back to all these to me are steps of a ladder to get me to that WrestleMania main event.”
After bouncing around from Main Event to RAW and then 205 Live, Joseph seems to have really found a home in NXT, where he's survived multiple partners, including Wade Barrett, who now works alongside Michael Cole on SmackDown. With Booker T by his side, here's to plenty more memorable matches… and comments on his partner's Door Dash habits.