Denise Salcedo recently interviewed NXT Superstar Tommaso Ciampa. During the interview Ciampa spoke about his highly acclaimed match with WALTER. He noted that he came into the match with the mindset that he had to remind the fans how talented he was in the ring, and that he feels he did that.
“I think it was a smart strategy to try and break the boy’s hand because the chops sucked,” recalled Ciampa. “It’s wild because I just don’t know how he does it. It echoes, it caves you even see the photos of how his hand prints and manipulates a chest, it’s legit. He’s a hell of a competitor. I always knew that. I did a lot of tours in WXW in Germany, we never got to get in the ring together but he was one of those guys where I knew, ‘I bet we’re gonna have a special one.’ I wish it was in front of a huge sold-out arena, I think it would have added a new element to it.
“I was happy with [the match]. I think for me really though it was one of those like I just remember going into it like, ‘I feel I gotta remind people.’ I didn’t understand why, but I feel like in 2018 people kinda got how damn good I was and then I broke my neck and I went away for surgery and I get it I took a little time off there. But I just feel like people don’t realize how damn good I am, I am the best wrestler in the world, point blank. And I felt that in the WALTER match, ‘I guess I’ll just remind people and see if they forget quickly again,’ or whatever it may be. But now it’s time for Timmy and I to go show people again at the Great American Bash.”
Ciampa also discussed if he felt any pressure while going into the high-profile match with WALTER. He said that he didn’t and noted that with the crowds gone he has become able to stay incredibly calm while in the ring, which has helped calm any anxieties that he’s had.
“So, I don’t do a whole lot with social media so I don’t think I get a bunch of [pressure],” noted Ciampa. “It’s funny there’s a couple of wrestlers at NXT who I talk to quite often about this and it’s something to do when the crowds and the stadiums and the travel went away. I feel numb, often. I had a lot of anxiety built up, that was when I came back from neck surgery.
“So that was like WarGames with the Undisputed Era and Portland with Adam Cole and stuff. Crowds went away, it’s an odd one but it’s like I am very much in my own place. In my own place when I am out there, I am able to stay extremely calm and stuff. Going into the WALTER one, I felt exactly that. I remember going out there and coming back when the match ended going, ‘Man, I feel like my heart never accelerated.’ But not in a bad way, not in a, ‘I’m not feeling this anymore,’ way but just like, ‘This is the most composed I can remember being in these scenarios and these high-pressure situations.’
“I just think my confidence is at an all-time high. Of course, I do wish I had won the match, it would have been very nice to be the first ever NXT and NXT UK champion, but maybe we get to do it again on his turf. That’s something I have in the back of my head that I’d really like to see happen.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit TheSportster’s Denise Salcedo with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.