On an appearance on The State of Combat podcast with Brian Campbell, Tommaso Ciampa recalled his first WWE appearance in 2005 with The Undertaker. Ciampa was working as an independent worker at the time, and he played a lawyer named Thomas Whitney on the July 14th, 2005 episode of Smackdown.
“Yeah, I was 20 at the time. They happened to be in town and at that time I was close by in Boston, Mass. I believe that show was in Worcester, so it wasn’t far from me. And I was training at Killer Kowalski’s old place, which then at that time was Chaotic Training Center. It’s now the New England Pro Wrestling Academy. They were kind of the feeding ground, any time WWE was in the Northeast area, that’s who they’d call.
They’d call them for talent, for extra talent. And it was the weirdest call in the sense that usually, especially at that time, that was probably 2005 maybe, or 2006. At that time, size mattered quite a bit. They really wanted guys 6’2″ and above, and 220 and above. Then on that particular day, we got a call, we being that promotion, Chaotic Training Center got a call, saying ‘Hey, we need guys who are below six feet tall, who have darker features and who can speak.’ That’s never the call you get.”
On being picked for the segment
“So three of us showed up with the promoter. And I was, I think I was the youngest of the three, but the decision maker said, ‘Oh, you look the oldest.’ And it was what it was, because they had to cast me as a lawyer. Not super believable now, people know when I was only 20 at the time, I don’t know if it was believable then. But that was a whirlwind of a day because luckily for me, I’ve always been comfortable on the microphone. So, that part I didn’t have nerves, specifically because I had a script I was going to be reading off a piece of paper because I was acting as a lawyer that day. So I didn’t even have to memorize the lines.
But the day itself was crazy. Once I got picked, it was probably 4 PM at the time, and it was a pretty important angle for WWE. Because maybe a week or two prior, Muhammad Hassan and Davari did some stuff that upset executives at Fox or whatever it was, or UPN. Maybe it was UPN at the time. Whatever it was, it was around something to do with the terrorists and it didn’t sit right with people. So, this was kind of — this lawyer thing had to be an apology that came off sincere, and also in the wrestling world made sense, and where Undertaker could come out.”
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