Triple H makes return to NXT as Tommaso Ciampa bids emotional farewell.
Heading into NXT Stand & Deliver, Tommaso Ciampa had made it clear that his match against Tony D’Angelo was to be his last with the brand.
Ciampa’s journey with NXT began back in 2015, as he teamed with long-time friend Johnny Gargano to compete in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
His friendship, turned rivalry with Gargano came to define his time in NXT, with the two men seemingly fighting forever. While his feud with his former was a near-constant presence, that didn’t stop Ciampa from claiming the NXT Championship in July 2018.
Despite the upheaval that greeted the launch of NXT 2.0, Ciampa remained, winning the NXT Championship for a second time on the inaugural episode. This victory put him in direct competition with rising star Bron Breakker, as the pair battled over NXT’s top prize.
However, after losing the championship to Breakker, Ciampa became a target for newcomer Tony D’Angelo. This led to the bout at Stand & Deliver.
Ahead of the match a lengthy video package was shown, paying tribute to Ciampa and his accomplishments in NXT. On the way to the ring, the long-serving Superstar paid tribute to Triple H, spitting water into the air before doing Shawn Michaels’ signature pose once inside.
In a hard-hitting contest, Ciampa refused to quit against his younger opponent, but a DDT on the exposed concrete floor signalled the end of his NXT career. After rolling his rival back in the ring, D’Angelo kicked him in the head to score the win.
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2022
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.