During an interview with RN Pro Wrestling, Tommaso Ciampa was asked about Johnny Gargano finally becoming NXT Champion at NXT TakeOver New York in 2019 against Adam Cole. Ciampa had vacated the championship prior due to a neck injury that positioned his former DIY partner perfectly to win his first NXT Championship. The current NXT Champion spoke about coming out after the match to embrace with Gargano and how that moment was given to him on the fly by Triple H.
“It was so on the fly, I didn’t think I was going to make it to that New York show,” Ciampa said. “That was days after my surgery so just being there, honestly I was exhausted to be honest by the time they went out. I remember watching in Gorilla with Candace, that crowd was not in favour of Johnny at the start and I just remember having this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach like dammit, this is supposed to be the moment. To just watch two artists, those are two of the best pro wrestlers alive.
“By the end of fall two going into that third fall, it was out of this world man, hard to duplicate that. It was just cool to experience that with Candace and it was a very on-the-fly call. I guess it was Hunter I think who said ‘Hey, if you want to go, go.’ It wasn’t a plan, it wasn’t rehearsed. If you watch it, Johnny didn’t know. So yeah it was a cool moment.”
The NXT Champion spoke about the prospects of facing Gargano again for the championship in NXT 2.0, which he was very much against. Tommaso Ciampa continued to mention that he wished the rivalry had ended in that moment at TakeOver New York when the two embraced.
“To be honest, I wish it ended there,” Ciampa said. “I felt like that was a weird closure, not a storyline. I’ll tell you I like what we did with DIY vs. Moustache Mountain as a one-off, I love the idea of doing DIY stuff as one-offs here and there.”
Becoming the first NXT Champion during the revamped NXT 2.0, Ciampa mentioned that he didn’t think he fit everyone’s vision of what the new brand would look like. The former DIY member said he’s happy he’s gotten the chance to have his redemption story and proud he wasn’t just a transitional champion for a younger star like Bron Breakker, who he defeated at NXT Halloween Havoc.
“Everybody had a vision of what this 2.0 was and I don’t think I fit that vision,” Ciampa said. “I did not fit that mold. I’m a little older, I look the way I look, whatever you want to say and to be able to go out there on night one and win the NXT title and have my redemption story. And then to continue on with it, of course we’re humans, we read stuff, we see stuff, transitional champion and all that crap.
“And then to go out there and beat Bron Breakker, I’m the best NXT has to offer right now and I’m aware of that and I’m aware of what this title represents and what my responsibility is. It’s very cool to me to be in this position, to be able to do what I’m doing and to prove the doubters wrong and prove the people who support me right.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit RN Pro Wrestling with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.