Tommaso Ciampa On Reasons Why He Wanted To Stay In NXT
Photo Credit: WWE
Tommaso Ciampia was the latest guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. Ciampa and Lilian met up in his home gym in Orlando to discuss several personal topics including his battle with depression and his suicide attempt back in 2007, but also talks his extensive journey to the WWE ring. In this segment, Ciampa shares what initially led to him being up front about wanting to stay on the NXT roster rather than going to RAW and SmackDown as a main roster talent.
“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.”‘ Cause like, anybody gets called up -‘
“You really don’t want to go to Raw and SmackDown right now?” Lilian asked.
‘I won’t,’ Ciampa said. ‘Like I’m not kidding to the extent of I’ve communicated this and now it’s different so before I just didn’t want to because like I really believed in NXT and wanted to ride it out. I wanted to see how far that we can take it.”
Since then, life has changed for Ciampia, including the birth of his daughter Willow as well as realizing the bumps on that ever-looming “bump card” possesses a limited stock.
“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.
With the rapport and the relationship he’s built for himself with management, Ciampa felt confident enough to be straightforward with his thoughts and career-changing idea if they did want the Sicilian Psychopath on the RAW or SmackDown brand.
“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.”
Ciampa has good reason too as it grants him the balance of preserving his body and allowing him to spend time with his wife and daughter.
“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 [his daughter] 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.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
You can listen to the entire episode of Chasing Glory below: