Tommaso Ciampa would opt to retire than work on WWE RAW or SmackDown
Stars like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Finn Balor, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt were all products of NXT before they achieved success on Raw and SmackDown. And in the past 3-4 years, it has become a norm for NXT superstars to be called up to Raw or SmackDown after a period in the ‘developmental territory’. Vince McMahon has been keen to pluck the best wrestlers out of NXT while Triple H continues to accumulate an incredibly talented roster at WWE’s Full Sail University.
NXT has transformed itself from just a developmental territory for WWE to a legitimate third brand of the sports entertainment giants. It now has its weekly TV show and is competing with AEW’s Dynamite for ratings. The success of NXT has even turned the heads of some its roster with top stars refusing to go to Raw or SmackDown.
At least this is what former NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa has said. Ciampa was called up to the WWE main roster earlier this year along with Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black, and Ricochet. While Ricochet and Black stayed on Raw and SmackDown, Gargano and Ciampa returned to NXT.
Ciampa has revealed in Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia that he always wants to stay at Full Sail, going further by admitting that he would retire if called up to Raw or SmackDown.
“You really don’t want to go to Raw and SmackDown right now?” Lilian asked (H/T WrestleZone)
‘I won’t,’ Ciampa said.
‘Like I’m not kidding to the extent of I’ve communicated this and now it’s different so before I just didn’t want to because like I really believed in NXT and wanted to ride it out. I wanted to see how far that we can take it.”
Ciampa said that he has conveyed his feelings to the upper management and has been vocal about his preference.
“So now it’s become a thing where I’ve legitimately vocalized to them like, ‘If I have to go to RAW or SmackDown, then I’m gonna retire and I would love to produce or coach or be a part of it, but there’s no way I taking on that load and going, ‘Yeah, you know what? I’ll just have a six-month run and then call it quits.’ I just won’t do it, It’s just not worth it to me.”
The reasons Ciampa has given for not wanting to move up are very genuine as life on the road can be difficult for the WWE stars.
“Now it’s hit a whole different level of there is that, but 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 and I’m not friggin’ stupid. Like I get my window is smaller than it was and my bump card is ticking and I just look at it like, ‘if I’m doing 200+ days a year on the road with Raw or SmackDown or I’m doing a manageable load of 3o to 50 matches with NXT. Okay, so I could do four years of that in the time that I do that in one year in RAW and SmackDown so how long can my career and portfolio grow here as opposed to growing there?” Ciampa concluded.
Though we would love to see Ciampa on Raw or SmackDown, his journey on NXT doesn’t seem to have finished. He wants to take the brand to an another level of success and could go on to become one of the legends of WWE NXT in the future.