Tommaso Ciampa has had quite the road in WWE. He first appeared for the company way back in July 2005 as Thomas Whitney ESQ, a lawyer that made the mistake of confronting The Undertaker. I don’t have to tell you how that ended, the same way it ends for everyone that makes that mistake.
Fast forward to ten years later and Ciampa is back in WWE as a member of NXT’s DIY tag team and from there he took off. The Blackheart betrayed his best friend and tag team partner Johnny Gargano, and went on to become the NXT Champion and face of the brand.
Unfortunately Ciampa suffered a serious neck injury and was forced to relinquish his NXT title in March 2019. At the the time it was also highly speculated that the champion was also about to be pushed to the main roster. But as it turns out, even if the injury never happened, that’s not something Ciampa even wanted for himself. Wait what?
Ciampa was the latest guest on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast and the two discussed a number of topics including Ciampa’s reluctance to leave NXT.
I fought the call-up. Like fought it hard. I remember Shawn Michaels cause he was our coach at the PC for quite some time, he still helps out tons, but it was the time where myself, Johnny, Aleister and Ricochet were doing some stuff on the main roster, it was uncertain if I was going to get called-up or not, whatever and I just remember Shawn like laughing at Johnny. He’s like, ‘I’ve never experienced this in my life where two guys are like, “Keep your money. I don’t want it.”
Now it’s hit a whole different level of there is that, but I have a little one at home and my schedule is better in NXT than it would be on the road and I had neck surgery and I’m not friggin’ stupid. Like I get my window is smaller than it was and my bump card is ticking and I just look at it like, ‘if I’m doing 200+ days a year on the road with Raw or SmackDown or I’m doing a manageable load of 3o to 50 matches with NXT. Okay, so I could do four years of that in the time that I do that in one year in RAW and SmackDown so how long can my career and portfolio grow here as opposed to growing there?” Ciampa said.
So now it’s become a thing where I’ve legitimately vocalized to them like, ‘If I have to go to RAW or SmackDown, then I’m gonna retire and I would love to produce or coach or be a part of it, but there’s no way I taking on that load and going, ‘Yeah, you know what? I’ll just have a six-month run and then call it quits.’ I just won’t do it, It’s just not worth it to me.
My TV routine legitimately is I wake up at home, I do my morning routine with our daughter, it’s a great time. I have to leave her about noon to get to television and typically not every time, most of the time my wife and Willow will come, even if it’s just for an hour and say hi to everybody and stuff. It gets Willow out of the house, gives her some energy release, you know? And when I think of that, I’m like ‘This is my life right now.’ Like how on earth do you trade that? How do you do it? I couldn’t even fathom it.
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