New NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa has opened up about how he empathises with Samoa Joe for having to relinquish the same championship due to injury, and how excited he is for the former champion’s inevitable return.
Samoa Joe announced on September 13th that, due to injuries, he had been advised by WWE’s medical team to step away from the ring for a “brief, yet indeterminate, amount of time”. This led to him relinquishing the NXT Championship only three weeks after defeating Karrion Kross for the gold at NXT Takeover 36. Ciampa then won a Fatal Fourway match for the vacant belt by defeating Pete Dunne, LA Knight, and Von Wagner.
Ciampa is no stranger to the situation the ‘Samoan Submission Machine’ found himself in. Back in March 2019, the ‘Blackheart’ relinquished the NXT Championship in the midst of a lengthy title reign as he had to undergo neck surgery. This forced him to miss seven months of action.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Ciampa said he’s been thinking nonstop about Joe’s inevitable return.
“I’ve been thinking nonstop about going against [Samoa] Joe. 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 two-time NXT Champion then made his plans to be a fighting champion clear, and said he is excited about not only facing Samoa Joe, but also newcomers like Bron Breakker.
“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.”
While Tommaso Ciampa is currently at the top of the pile in NXT, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T recently let it be known he thinks he would be “lost in the shuffle” if he moved to the main roster.