5 Things you didn't know about Tommaso Ciampa
The name Tommaso Ciampa is synonymous with NXT. Having debuted on the Black and Gold brand in 2015 alongside Johnny Gargano in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Ciampa has been an NXT mainstay ever since.
Having won the NXT Tag Team Championships and the NXT Championship, as well as participating in one of the most memorable feuds in NXT history against Gargano, Ciampa has had an incredible run with the brand. Things, however, were never easy.
Ciampa struggled through ten years on the independent scene before receiving his break in NXT and when he finally arrived, suffered numerous injuries including a neck injury that threatened to end his career. Ciampa also valiantly battled mental health issues and struggled to find anyone who believed in him as a performer.
Through it all, Ciampa has proven to be a fighter and revealed as much during his recent interview on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. We unpack all that and more in 5 Things You Didn't Know About Tommaso Ciampa.
#5. Triple H is his mentor
Tommaso Ciampa gives Triple H a great deal of credit when it comes to his success over the years. Not only did Triple H give Ciampa an opportunity to shine in NXT, but he credits 'The Game' as his mentor, in both professional wrestling and life. Ciampa told Lilian Garcia, "Hunter has become a mentor, for sure, but not even just in wrestling, but in life in a sense."
When Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were invited to participate in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, they knew WWE had no further plans for them. Triple H was accessible, so Ciampa went to him for advice. After Johnny Gargano was announced for the Cruiserweight Classic, Tommaso Ciampa went to Triple H to suggest that he face Gargano in the first round.
The bout was a resounding success and Ciampa found that he had earned Triple H's respect. Ciampa has since made a habit of going to Triple H for advice, which has been invaluable to him.
When a torn labrum threatened to halt Ciampa's ability to sign with NXT, Triple H signed him anyway and WWE inevitably paid for the surgery.
According to Ciampa,
"If you're lucky and fortunate, you find this promoter who buys in on you and gives you the opportunity. For Johnny Gargano, he had Gabe Sapolsky, who had bought in. He gave him a lot of opportunities in Dragon Gate USA and Evolve. That confidence being instilled in Johnny turned him into this insane performer. I go all these years in the independents and I don't have that. I just happened to get really lucky that the dude that decided to buy in on me happened to be the dude that is in the position that Hunter's in with NXT and WWE in general."