Tommaso Ciampa is back on top of the NXT brand, capturing the vacant NXT Champion on the September 14 episode of the program.
NXT became NXT 2.0 last Tuesday, taking a more colorful approach and introducing plenty of new stars, but the champion is a familiar face in Ciampa.
Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Ciampa discussed the rebrand and his excitement regarding the changes.
“I’m embracing the change,” Ciampa said. “It reminds me so much of the NXT that I fell in love with before even arriving to the company. It’s exciting watching people develop right in front of your eyes. And here I am, NXT champion of this new, very colorful, loud, in-your-face NXT 2.0. I’m staring at an extremely exciting opportunity. There are guys like Bron Breakker and Von Wagner. There’s Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne. There is also a draft coming up in a few weeks. Survivor Series is right around the corner. I look at Roman Reigns, I look at Big E, and I think, ‘I might be sharing the ring with these guys.’ That range of competitors is incredible, and I get to be the face of this rebranding.
“I made a real case in 2018 for NXT to be the A-show. That’s SmackDown right now. But I look at the roster we have in NXT, so give us three months, give us six months, and we’re going to be back in that discussion. I want to make the NXT title the most prestigious title in all of sports entertainment, and I am very confident I can do that.”
Ciampa continued by saying, "People thought NXT was dead, like we were attending a funeral. That’s already changed, and the entire atmosphere and energy has already shifted. People know what it’s like when Tommaso Ciampa holds the NXT title. It’s going to be different than before, but that energy is back. So for anyone worried about NXT 2.0, remember that the locker hasn’t changed. Neither has our passion. This is a responsibility for us to represent NXT and pro wrestling to the absolute best. We’re going to have young, hungry people, and veterans of the craft like Kyle, Pete, Roderick Strong and Kushida—and we’re all here to prove we are the very best.”
Last Tuesday's episode closed with Ciampa being confronted by newcomer Bron Breakker, who defeated LA Knight in the first match of NXT 2.0.
Fightful will have live coverage of NXT beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday.