Tommaso Ciampa Recalls Working With The Undertaker, and More

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WWE NXT Superstar Tommaso Ciampa recently appeared on CBS Sports’ State of Combat podcast with Brian Campbell. During the podcast, Ciampa commented on facing The Undertaker years ago, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On being called to go to the show: “Yeah, I was 20 at the time. They happened to be in town and at that time I was close by in Boston, Mass. I believe that show was in Worcester, so it wasn’t far from me. And I was training at Killer Kowalski’s old place, which then at that time was Chaotic Training Center. It’s now the New England Pro Wrestling Academy. They were kind of the feeding ground, any time WWE was in the Northeast area, that’s who they’d call. They’d call them for talent, for extra talent. And it was the weirdest call in the sense that usually, especially at that time, that was probably 2005 maybe, or 2006. At that time, size mattered quite a bit. They really wanted guys 6’2″ and above, and 220 and above. Then on that particular day, we got a call, we being that promotion, Chaotic Training Center got a call, saying ‘Hey, we need guys who are below six feet tall, who have darker features and who can speak.’ That’s never the call you get.”

On being picked for the appearance: “So three of us showed up with the promoter. And I was, I think I was the youngest of the three, but the decision maker said, ‘Oh, you look the oldest.’ And it was what it was, because they had to cast me as a lawyer. Not super believable now, people know when I was only 20 at the time, I don’t know if it was believable then. But that was a whirlwind of a day because luckily for me, I’ve always been comfortable on the microphone. So, that part I didn’t have nerves, specifically because I had a script I was going to be reading off a piece of paper because I was acting as a lawyer that day. So I didn’t even have to memorize the lines.But the day itself was crazy. Once I got picked, it was probably 4 PM at the time, and it was a pretty important angle for WWE. Because maybe a week or two prior, Muhammad Hassan and Davari did some stuff that upset executives at Fox or whatever it was, or UPN. Maybe it was UPN at the time. Whatever it was, it was around something to do with the terrorists and it didn’t sit right with people. So, this was kind of — this lawyer thing had to be an apology that came off sincere, and also in the wrestling world made sense, and where Undertaker could come out.”

On practicing his part of the segment: “So, I rehearsed that script in front of everybody. I mean, I did it solo in front of Vince in his office, I did a in-ring with Undertaker. Vince and Hunter was there. It was one of those things where, looking back now it’s like, I see how big of a deal it was and just how crazy it was to have that one-on-one time with everybody as a 20 year-old kid on the independents. So it was wild, everybody treated me incredibly well. I remember they didn’t like the suit that I had on so they went and bought me a suit and let me keep it. It was just, it was a crazy day, it was a crazy first experience.”


On his experience with Stephanie McMahon on the day: “One thing that I will say about it that always stands out to me. And I to this day have no idea why this happened. But Stephanie McMahon that day decided to give me a personal tour of like backstage, and introduce me and welcome me to the WWE community and whatnot. I think just trying to probably ease my nerves. And it was a 20 minute or so time one-on-one with here, just her showing me around, explaining things to me and treating me very much so like I was her peer. It’s one of those things I’ve said to her now being where I’m at now and having a better relationship with her, it stuck with me for my entire career. And it’s just one of those things were you just saw somebody who was in a very high position take the time out and show insane amounts of respect and kindness toward somebody who they didn’t need to do that with.”


(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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