In a conversation with Chris Van Vliet, Tommaso Ciampa set the record straight about the persistent speculation suggesting he and Johnny Gargano were hesitant to move to WWE's main roster while in NXT.
Ciampa expressed his frustration at the misleading narrative: "When we were in NXT, there’s this false, awful narrative that has now since been created that drives me crazy because people will look back at some of the NXT stuff and just be like, 'Yeah, well, they didn’t want to go up', or 'They didn’t want to get called up' or like, 'They were scared of this.' It’s like no."
He elaborated on the unique atmosphere of NXT, saying, "We were creating, like, that group of guys. NXT blew up when it came from like Sami Zayn and Claudio, Cesaro, to the Kevin stuff to Bayley and Sasha and then our group coming in with Finn and Shin and then into like Johnny and I and Undisputed. If you were in that room at that moment, you knew how special it was."
Ciampa compared the passion for NXT to the cult following of ECW: "It would be like going to ECW and saying, ‘Hey, Tommy Dreamer and Sandman and Raven, you guys don’t want to leave this place and go, you know, because WWE, that’s where the big stars are. Do you want to go do like WrestleMania? Yes, but I want to see if we can make this WrestleMania first."
He concluded by stating the goals of the NXT talent: "That’s literally what it was. It was like, can we get 10,000 people? Can we get a million-dollar gate? Can we do that multiple times? Can we get TakeOver to be equivalent to Mania? Can we do 20,000? Like our mindset was like, Oh, we’re gonna get TV now. How far can it go? It wasn’t like it was a weird us against them and it wasn’t like we don’t want to go there. It’s the same company, same umbrella. We’re not stupid. We know. We want to make this thing bigger than that.”
Follow us on X @WNSource
LIKE us on Facebook
⚡ News tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org