Raw Superstar Ciampa (formerly known as Tommaso Ciampa) revealed that Triple H’s appearance after his final NXT match was a surprise.
Ahead of his match with Tony D’Angelo at NXT Stand & Deliver, Tommaso Ciampa made it clear that whether he won or lost, this would be his final appearance in NXT 2.0. In the end, Tony D’Angelo was victorious.
With the match over, Ciampa was given a standing ovation and kissed the mat before heading up the ramp. But as he reached the top, Triple H’s music hit and he came out to embrace the star to a monster ovation. Triple H raised Ciampa’s hand, and the former NXT Champion slowly departed. He officially became a member of the Raw roster on the April 11th episode.
Speaking to BT Sport, Ciampa revealed that he had no idea Triple H would be appearing to bid him farewell.
“Yeah, it was totally a surprise. I guess I will say, I’m easy to surprise, just in the sense I don’t – I’m very in the moment. I’m very now. I don’t think much ahead. So when the director told me — the direction I was given was, ‘After the match ends, Tony will leave, and we’re gonna give you about 30 seconds to stand and let the crowd applaud or whatever. But listen, there’s gonna be a Peacock commercial after. So you have about two minutes. So, just take your time. But when the ref says go, go.’ I put no thought into that.”
Continuing, the Blackheart said that even though he saw The Game backstage before going out for his match, he still didn’t have any idea that he’d be appearing on screen, and it didn’t even click when his iconic theme music began to play.
“Then as I’m going through Gorilla, I saw Hunter just for a brief second and I was like, ‘Holy crap. I had no idea you were gonna be here.’ He said, ‘Oh yeah, I wouldn’t miss it.’ I said, ‘Oh, cool,’ and next thing you know, the music hits and I go out. So when the match had ended, I get the applause or whatever and I heard the ref smack the side of the ring so I’m like, ‘Okay. It’s time’, and I leave.
“Even when his music hits, if you see the video I just keep walking. When his music hits, in my head, I internally go, ‘Huh? What a weird ad for Peacock to play.’ I’m almost befuddled by it. Like, this is bad timing after I had this match to play a Hunter [package], but it makes sense to me. He just retired. So, it’s kinda like, ‘Huh’, and I keep going. Then, I see him and I had that moment of, ‘Oh, we’re doing the thing.’ I had no idea.”
Ciampa went on to say that the appearance was especially surprising as Triple H hadn’t appeared in front of crowds since suffering a cardiac event the previous September.
“I also think it was so far out of my realm of thought because – and I might be mistaken, but I think that was the first time he was seen in front of crowds since having his health complications. So I would’ve never thought the first time he’d be in front of a crowd was just to come out and give me a hug and raise my hand… No, the first time is gonna be when you’re at WrestleMania or we’re inducting you into the Hall of Fame or whatever.
“So for him to be unselfish and kinda give me that one moment, it was cool. And we have such a storied relationship. He’s been so instrumental in all of my success in NXT and WWE. So, yeah, just super cool. There’s no one that means more to me and my career than him. So, and he knows that. We’re very open with one another. So, it was extremely cool and a total surprise and it made the moment what it needed to be for me.”
"When his music hit I thought 'huh, what a weird advert to play' I had no idea!"
"For him to give me that moment, it was cool, there's no one that means to more to him and my career than @TripleH."@NXTCiampa on that moment at Stand & Deliver as he said farewell to #WWENXTpic.twitter.com/3eTJYZXDaQ
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) April 21, 2022