Tommaso Ciampa is embracing the change in WWE NXT 2.0.
Likely easier to do so after becoming the new WWE NXT Champion, the veteran pro wrestling star recently spoke with Sports Illustrated for an interview, during which he explained why he is optimistic about the revamped brand and how he looks forward to a showdown with Samoa Joe.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On WWE changing NXT: “I’m embracing the change. It reminds me so much of the NXT that I fell in love with before even arriving to the company. It’s exciting watching people develop right in front of your eyes. And here I am, NXT champion of this new, very colorful, loud, in-your-face NXT 2.0. I’m staring at an extremely exciting opportunity. There are guys like Bron Breakker and Von Wagner. There’s Kyle O’Reilly and Pete Dunne. There is also a draft coming up in a few weeks. Survivor Series is right around the corner. I look at Roman Reigns, I look at Big E, and I think, ‘I might be sharing the ring with these guys.’ That range of competitors is incredible, and I get to be the face of this rebranding. I made a real case in 2018 for NXT to be the A-show. That’s SmackDown right now. But I look at the roster we have in NXT, so give us three months, give us six months, and we’re going to be back in that discussion. I want to make the NXT title the most prestigious title in all of sports entertainment, and I am very confident I can do that.”
On fans being worried about the future of NXT: “People thought NXT was dead, like we were attending a funeral. That’s already changed, and the entire atmosphere and energy has already shifted. People know what it’s like when Tommaso Ciampa holds the NXT title. It’s going to be different than before, but that energy is back. So for anyone worried about NXT 2.0, remember that the locker hasn’t changed. Neither has our passion. This is a responsibility for us to represent NXT and pro wrestling to the absolute best. We’re going to have young, hungry people, and veterans of the craft like Kyle, Pete, Roderick Strong and Kushida—and we’re all here to prove we are the very best.”
On wanting to wrestle Samoa Joe: “I’ve been thinking nonstop about going against Joe,” Ciampa says. “I know what it’s like to relinquish a title. I know that feeling of not being able to pass it on. So I know how hungry Joe’s going to be. The idea that I could be wrestling Bron Breakker for the NXT title one week, then Samoa Joe the next week, that’s pure excitement to me. The opportunity is there, and now it’s time to rise to the occasion. I’m proud to be the one representing the brand.”
Check out the complete interview at SI.com.
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