Tommaso Ciampa has no desire to move to Raw or SmackDown at any point in the future. And for good reason. Coming off a neck injury where doctors told him he was wrestling on borrowed time, Ciampa knows his bump card is limited. And a move to Raw or SmackDown, working the live event schedule those performers have to work, could limit how much longer he could perform in the ring.
Speaking to Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory, Ciampa detailed why he has fought a move to Raw or SmackDown and what he's told WWE if they should try to move him.
"I fought the call up, fought it hard. I remember Shawn Michaels laughing at Johnny [Gargano] and I like, 'I've never experienced in my life where two guys were like 'Keep your money, I don't want it.'' I won't [go to Raw or SmackDown]. I'm not kidding, to the extent where I've communicated this. Before, I didn't want to because I really believed in NXT and I wanted to see how far we could take it. Now, it's hit a whole different level of, I have a little one at home and my schedule is better in NXT than it would be on the road. And I had neck surgery. I'm not stupid," explained Ciampa. "I get my window is smaller than it was and my bump card is ticking. If I'm doing 200+ dates on the road with Raw or SmackDown, or I'm doing a manageable load of 30-50 matches with NXT, I could do four years of that as opposed to one year on Raw or SmackDown. I've legitimately vocalized to them, 'If I have to go to Raw or SmackDown, I'm gonna retire and I would love to produce or coach.' But there's no way I'm taking on that load and having a six month run and then call it quits. It's not worth it to me."
Ciampa and Gargano were briefly moved to Raw and SmackDown in February alongside Ricochet and Aleister Black. However, Ciampa's neck injury sidelined him until October. Gargano was moved back to NXT while Ricochet and Black remained on the other brands.
After undergoing neck surgery in March, Ciampa revealed he never feared for his job due to injury as he was told he would always have a place in WWE. You can view his full comments by clicking here.