Tommaso Ciampa has gone through quite a lot to get to where he is today. After suffering a handful of injuries, Ciampa has finally risen back to the ranks of the elite superstars in wrestling, where he hopes to stay. Speaking with CBS Sports, Ciampa talked about a handful of topics, including who he thinks the best wrestler in the world is, and why he believes his injuries were a blessing.
Check out some of the highlights below:
On who he thinks is the best wrestler in the world:
Johnny Gargano, to me, he’s the best professional wrestler in the world today. No doubt about it. Inside the ring, bell-to-bell, there’s just nobody better. So having him as a teammate for years as part of DIY helped me tremendously. It helped me elevate my in-ring game. I just knew the entire time as DIY that I, unlike Johnny Gargano, am a sports entertainer. He’s a professional wrestler. It sounds like it’s the same thing, but it’s slightly different. I just knew that I needed a slightly different platform and different stage to highlight all the things I can do, whether it be on the microphone or simply my presence and my aura.
On why he believes his injuries were a blessing:
Both were blessings in totally different ways. With the ACL, I think it just allowed — one, I’d been wrestling for two years on two shoulders that needed to be repaired — so, it allowed me to heal my shoulders and get some work done on those. Just the timing of it, being that I would go away the day after turning on my best friend, it just allowed people — in a world of instant gratification — it forced everybody to wait. It forced everybody’s hand. It forced us not to pay everything off right away and it forced the crowd to wait. In that time away, those nine months total, Johnny Gargano took on a new life of his own in one of the best singles runs probably in NXT history and that match with Andrade was just icing on the cake. He had at TakeOver in January. It was just kind of like a perfect storm.
This time around, it was a blessing in a completely different way. I don’t think it’s any secret anymore that I have a family away from the business. My wife and I had just had a baby girl in September, and I went down with my neck injury and took some time off in March. The baby was six months old at the time, so it just allowed me to be home and kind of get away from wrestling, step away from the whole world of it and just take time at home and watch all of her firsts and be a part of everything. Two completely different reasons, but both times just kind of gave me a chance to hit the reset button. There’s nothing better for a performer in an industry that doesn’t have an offseason than to take time off and be missed. Not too many people get that luxury.