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TOMMASO CIAMPA DISCUSSES IN YOUR HOUSE, HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH EDGE, MAINTAINING HIS PERSONA WHILE TRANSITIONING TO BABYFACE AND MORE

By Kenny McIntosh on 2020-06-03 09:22:00

Inside The Ropes sat down to interview Tommaso Ciampa ahead of this Sunday's NXT TakeOver: In Your House pay per-view, here are the highlights:

If old school fans should get their hopes up on the 1990's In Your House set:  I think it is fair to get your hopes up. I've got my hopes up. it's the first question I asked if I'm honest with you. The one thing I'm hoping for on top of that is to see a Todd Pettengill sighting at some point. I don't know on that one, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. I've heard promising things on the set. I don't know if that means the old set or a renewed version of it. I know that everybody understands how excited the fanbase is for In Your House. It's one of those weird ones right? It just stuck with all of us. Yeah, i think everyone's gonna be happy with what's been produced. 

On Edge being a big help to him in his rivalry with Johnny Gargano: Edge was like in my back pocket the whole time. I don't know when exactly it started, I think it was just after New Orleans but he came down to the Performance Center and we got chatting then he told a bunch of us if we wanted to throw ideas at him, you know he gave us his phone number or his email address or whatever it was and I just took him up on it. I think it was shortly after I won the title I started sending him kinda my thought process or my outline and ask him 'hey am I missing anything? Is there anything you'd embellish?' He kinda became my sounding board as far as prepping to go into matches. How do I make sure I get booed and not get cheered. He's got such a great mind for wrestling. I think it'd be great if he one day took on a role like Shawn Michaels has now in NXT.

How he kept the essence of his character when he went from heel to babyface: I think real life assisted me. Having the neck injury and having it be public and having people follow me around for the documentary and in the process I went from a villain who really kept the curtain closed from the fans where I'd be Tommaso Ciampa at all times, on social media and stuff to 'oh wait he's got a wife and a kid and his career almost ended' So I think real life just came in and intercepted and kinda did the work for me. Edge was a big factor there too. i remember when I was returning and asking him if he had any advice and his biggest piece of advice was 'You don't change a thing. You can evolve but the second you walk out the curtain for the first time, the person remember and the person they've missed, you gotta give them that person, not a new version of that person' I held that close to my heart from that day for months and I think even now I don't think I've changed all that much. There's that part of you as a performer that when you're told you're gonna be a fan favourite, you think 'Oh man, I better smile more and be kinder, let the people in more' I kinda had to fight all those instincts and just be like 'No, no no, you're gonna walk at the same pace, do everything with the same cadence, do everything the same.

Ciampa also talks cinematic wrestling, what sets NXT apart on Wednesday nights, the key to his success as a babyface and more. Full interview available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paY3yz4qZoQ&t=11s

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