Tommaso Ciampa discusses his break due to injury.
During the hottest run of his career earlier this year, Tommaso Ciampa was forced to relinquish the NXT Championship due to a neck injury. Ciampa was sidelined from March to October after getting surgery and rehabbing. During his time away, Ciampa revealed that he had to disassociate himself from the wrestling business.
"I'm a visionary type. I did a hell of a good job on this neck surgery shutting wrestling off," Ciampa told Sporting News. "I did not watch a lick. I was just not involved with it. I think it was a blessing for my mind. Such a great sense of clarity. We don't have an offseason, and even when I had the knee done, there's so much rehab on the knee that's so expensive with PTs (physical therapy) and stuff. I was at the performance center every day, all day. I was more consumed by wrestling than I've ever been. With the neck, especially during the first 6-12 weeks where so little could be done, I really got to step away from it and take a break and just enjoy home life. So, when the time came and I could tell I was getting close, you start to dip your toes back into it. I've always been good or I guess it's one of my strengths is seeing what on a TV show or inside of a company, seeing what's missing or where I could fit in best and thinking about longer term stories. That's always been something that I prided myself on. I'm not the most agile or athletic guy inside a ring but I love telling stories."
On the subject of telling stories, Ciampa stated that he believes the best stories are told in NXT. And when fans start to get hooked on the product, they won't be disappointed.
"The thing with Johnny Gargano was over one year, two years long. That's just stuff you don't see anymore, and the fact that we're delivering that and now on USA, people are starting to see on a weekly basis that we're delivering it. We've been delivering it for years. I think our audience is going to grow and grow and grow. I keep in tune with as much as I can. I saw the rating numbers and everything. I think that NXT, when we get through that three-to-six month phase, when people start to get familiar with this product and they start to understand and see how different we are, how unique we are in our storytelling ability, people are going to get hooked. This thing is going to grow like wildfire. The second this thing starts to catch — I already have a hunch it's starting to right now — it's going to get ridiculous and it's going to get ridiculous really fast," he said.
Ciampa is set to compete in WarGames this Saturday, Nov. 23, at NXT TakeOver: WarGames III. You can view the current card for the event by clicking here.