Tommaso Ciampa is arguably the top heel in NXT, but it didn't all happen at once. The Sicilian Psychopath today is celebrating the thirteenth anniversary of his WWE debut, even though you might not have realized it was him at the time.
Ciampa played Thomas Whitney, ESQ on the July 14th, 2005 episode of SmackDown. Whitney was one of Muhammad Hassan's attorneys who decided to confront The Undertaker. He read a statement on Hassan's behalf to The Dead Man before being attacked.
The following year after sharing the ring The Undertaker, Ciampa returned to WWE as Whitney where he competed in a dark match before WWE Heat. He was later signed to a developmental deal and sent to OVW where he wrestled under the name we know him as today. Ciampa took on a couple different monikers while in OVW such as Dr. Thomas, Anger Management Specialist and a masked character called Prodigy. He was released from his WWE contract in August 2007 but remained a face in the indie wrestling scene and ROH before returning to WWE in 2015.
The former NXT Tag Team Champion wondered if The Undertaker knew who he was sharing the ring with back in 2005. While calling himself "The Greatest Sports Entertainer Of All Time" Ciampa reminded a lot of people of an appearance they might have forgotten about.
13 years ago, I made my WWE debut.— BLACKHEART (@ProjectCiampa) July 13, 2018
I often wonder if Taker realized he was sharing the ring with The Greatest Sports Entertainer of All Time pic.twitter.com/SldBUpffEl