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Tommaso Ciampa Wasn’t Initially Planned For Cruiserweight Classic

April 15, 2019 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Tommaso Ciampa NXT 72518

In an interview with E & C’s Pod of Awesomeness, Tommaso Ciampa spoke about earning his spot in NXT and revealed that he originally wasn’t even supposed to be a part of the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016. Here are highlights:

On the initial plans for Ciampa and Gargano in NXT: “Obviously we come in for the Dusty Classic and we start tagging. It was literally just…here’s an opportunity, we weren’t signed, it was very much like…basically Regal seeing us and saying, “Hey, there’s something I see in these kids and I know we don’t have a role for them right now but let’s just see what happens.” So from that to Johnny and I starting to talk to each other and figure out…we both knew right out the gate. Our money was facing each other. So we knew that but obviously you’re gonna play your role and be a soldier.”

On the Cruiserweight Classic: “And then when the Cruiserweight Classic came up, that was the first piece of this whole thing…I wasn’t going to be in the Cruiserweight Classic. They had their list together. I forget how we found out, if it was a text or what it was, but we found out that he was in and I wasn’t. Ironically, how all of our stuff has happened through injury, I got hurt at a show in, I think Ohio or something…it wasn’t anything major but it was enough that, it was the Arnold Classic weekend and they pulled me off the Arnold Classic but I was still there. And I’m there and I’m not doing anything so I have a lot of time on my hands and Hunter’s there because it’s the Arnold Classic. Johnny and I are talking like, ‘God this Cruiserweight Classic thing’s coming up. I’m not in it and you’re in it. It’s not gonna benefit us at all to do it this way.’ And I just approached Hunter and was like, ‘I’m just gonna throw it out there.’ And kinda the way I pitch everything, I’m just gonna put this out in the universe and if you like it, cool, and if you don’t like it, no hard feelings or whatever. And what’s exactly what I did with him. I said, ‘Listen. I know I’m not in the Cruiserweight Classic. But you guys have like sixteen matches on night one and obviously sixteen guys have to come and just lose. Let me be one of them and let me be verse Johnny and we’ll give you a close to the show that at least you know you’re gonna get a main event caliber match. It can just be a one-off. If we revisit it, awesome. If we don’t, we don’t. But at least we can give you a main event for that first night. Sixteen matches deep, the crowd’s going to be burnt out.’ And it literally just started with that. And that night we literally felt it with Full Sail, because it was match fifteen and two dudes come out and the crowd’s like, ‘wait a second, the only guys left are Johnny and Ciampa. We’re gonna see them fight tonight!’ You could feel it in the air. And we went out and delivered and I think right then everybody in the back started to go, ‘Ohhh, we have something here.’

On building a relationship with Triple H: “The Cruiserweight Classic, when that happened, we’re still not signed. So for us, it was like, we both knew that night. Okay we’ve kinda earned ourselves a spot here. Every time you hear anybody talk they’re like, ‘When you get up to the main roster you have to build that relationship with Vince.’ So it just made sense to me that I’m not on the main roster but I’m here and Hunter is the Vince here so I’d better build a relationship with him. The only way that we knew how is that we had to build equity. We have to put ourselves out there and ask for the brass ring per se, and then deliver. And it started small.”

On the start of DIY: “So even after the Classic happened, I don’t remember if we got our contracts right before Takeover Brooklyn or shortly after but that was the first Takeover we did and we wrestled Revival. And going into that, and Johnny has the best memory ever so he would know every spot of this whole thing, but we were close to our contracts and we were close to our contracts and we were getting ready to do our angle, do the split there, and I remember like a couple weeks prior to Brooklyn, reaching out again. We contacted Hunter again, and at this point we have a good enough relationship with him that we can get ahold of him pretty easily, it was like, ‘Hey, every time you guys have somebody win a title at a Takeover, they come out with a new shirt leading up to it. Let’s just throw any sort of shirt out there with a tag team name and it’s gonna swerve people. They’re gonna think we’re gonna win the titles in Brooklyn but we know we’re gonna turn on each other.’ It’s just like a little Easter Egg, you know what I mean? And that’s how DIY became a thing.”

If using any of these quotes, please credit E & C’s Pod of Awesomeness with an h/t to 411mania.com

article topics :

Tommaso Ciampa, Joseph Lee