This past week on NXT TV Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa confronted the NXT Tag Team Champions MSK, building up to their tag title match at the Great American Bash next week. In an interview with Vibes and Wrestling, Ciampa talked about the segment and how some of the moments there were thought up by him on the fly.
“There are things that I do that are well thought in advance, but then there are moments I have when I get lost in the moment,” Ciampa revealed. “There was no plan of kissing him but it felt right in the moment. It was my job to defuse the situation as it was escalating a little quicker that it needed to be. I would’ve been happy to fight them right there but the titles were not on the line. The titles will be on the line next Tuesday on Great American Bash and that’s really what we want, we want the titles. It would’ve done no service to injure or hurt them last Tuesday because I want them to be healthy at the Great American Bash. And the kiss? I don’t know. I think some guys can get away with it and I just happen to be one of them.”
Ciampa also talked about Samoa Joe, who recently returned to NXT as William Regal’s enforcer. Ciampa would prefer Joe to eventually get back in the ring and wrestle, and he hopes the two can have a rematch from their initial encounter several years back.
“I would love it if he would be just in the ring,” Ciampa said. “I know right now Mr. Regal needed some help, an enforcer. Hopefully over time things settle down, though now Cole and Kyle are having something hot and heavy and there is a lot of chaos going on. When things do settles down I much rather see Samoa Joe ‘the wrestler’ more than Samoa Joe the ‘Authority figure’. I’d would love to get in the ring with him.
“We had, like you said, one televised match back on 2015 or 2016, was short 6 to 8 minutes or so. He is one of the guys I’ve followed for so long and the idea of wrestling him on a TakeOver, on a big stage or in front of a live crowd? I would be lying to you if I tell you that is something I’ve never thought of. That’s the Joe I’d love to see. I’d love to see a ‘Joe is gonna kill you’ versus ‘Ciampa is gonna kill you’ type of match. I don’t know if it would ever happen but if the opportunity presents itself I would sign myself up.”
Very early in Ciampa’s career he got the opportunity to work for WWE as an extra. He detailed the experience, including his first time meeting Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and the Undertaker.
“Looking back it’s insane,” Ciampa said. “In the moment everything is going so fast and you just have to go with it, you don’t have the chance to panic. I am 20 at that time, I have only been in wrestling for a year or so. I think the reason I got chosen is because of the promos and talking came always natural for me. I was in New England at that time and they (WWE) were in town, so they contact Killer Kowalski and asked for some suggestions. A few of us went there and without any tryout, just based on appearance I got chosen to portrait the lawyer that day. The day was nuts. One of the stories I’ve told before, which looking back now is just crazy, is that Stephanie McMahon took it upon herself to give me a full tour of the venue, backstage, everything. She spent like 30 minutes with me. I remember one of her comments that comes to my mind till this day is when she said ‘nah, he is just an indie’ and I am sitting there like ‘yeah, just like that’. I’ve never met somebody whose is such successful, powerful, high up. That just made me feel so comfortable.
“I remember going into Vince McMahon’s office, doing my run through, basically my tryout and I had to do my script in front of him. I walked in and it was the first time I met him. Hunter was also there. Now when I look back it’s kind of crazy. I passed the tryout with Vince in his office and I went to the ringside and I had to do like a live one with Vince and Hunter. And Undertaker was there. Maybe I was lucky I was only 20 so you’re not as nervous when you are a kid. I just kind of went with the flow and by the end of the night you are just: ‘h, I was just on television doing this thing’. It was crazy. I don’t know many guys that got to get into the ring with The Undertaker 6 months into the business. It was absolutely amazing.”