It’s not uncommon for WWE to bring in independent wrestlers for televised segments on Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. They’re mostly recruited to put over full-time superstars in onscreen segments, and most of the time they’re barely recognizable. Sometimes, they also go on to have successful WWE careers years later, as Tommaso Ciampa can attest to.
As documented by Sportskeeda, the former NXT Champion recalled his first WWE outing back in 2005 on an episode of SmackDown. At the time he was only 20 years old, but he was put into a segment with The Undertaker, playing a character called Thomas Whitney who was providing legal counsel for Muhammad Hassan. The segment ended with Ciampa being choke slammed and disappearing from WWE until he returned years later.
While most rookies would love an opportunity to face The Undertaker in any form, Ciampa revealed that he didn’t understand how enormous the opportunity was at the time, and if he ever comes face-to-face with “The Deadman” again, he’ll be more appreciative.
“At the time, I 100% did not realize what I was doing. Like now, I mean – if somebody told me tomorrow, ‘Hey you’re going to go and do a thing with The Undertaker’ – the scope and the magnitude of it would be weighing on my shoulders. I would understand what type of opportunity it was.”
Ciampa has reflected on the segment a lot throughout the years. He said that if he knew he wouldn’t be on another episode of the blue brand show for 14 years, his career could have taken a different path. The NXT mainstay has wrestled on Friday Night SmackDown a few times in recent years, but his visits to the main roster have always been short-lived.
During the interview with Sportskeeda, Ciampa said that he wants to face The Undertaker, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio. However, he’d probably need to make the jump to Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown to enter a program with those superstars, and that’s not a career move that interests him.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Ciampa has said that he’ll retire from in-ring competition if he’s ever moved to the main roster. The superstar wants to remain in NXT for the rest of his career, and he’d only move to the other shows if he became a coach or a producer at a later date. However, perhaps a match against The Undertaker would make him reconsider his position.