Popular WWE star and two-time NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa, has recently offered his insider perspective on the evolution and current state of NXT. Often associated with the brand’s pinnacle ‘black and gold’ years, Ciampa’s observations hold a considerable weight in the wrestling community.
While many fans remember his legendary matches and storylines before the 2021 NXT 2.0 relaunch, his career trajectory took an exciting turn when he transitioned to Raw in early 2022. Even after stating he didn’t intend to compete on WWE’s main roster, Ciampa has seen a fair share of success, including a recent competition for GUNTHER’s Intercontinental Championship on a top-billed Raw event in October.
Despite enjoying his time on the main roster, Ciampa showcases a palpable nostalgia for his NXT home base. He recently attended an NXT show, where he said he experienced an energizing vibe reminiscent of NXT’s golden era. He felt that this atmosphere had temporarily dipped during the 2.0 branding transition – which brought about significant changes, including color scheme revisions.
The wrestling pro explained, “So I stopped by the Performance Center…it’s exactly what it used to be. It had a tough time with NXT 2.0, the adjustments…the vibe was different for a while. It’s hungry again…it’s a team effort again. It was a cool thing to see.”
He went on to reminisce the thrill of being a part of the energetic crowd, which replicates the vibe from the ‘Black and Gold’ era. “That crowd was as electric as any TakeOver…It was the first time watching that I thought, ‘Man, this is the Black and Gold feel.'”
Moreover, the incorporation of main roster personas like Dominik Mysterio and Becky Lynch in NXT programming has boosted its viewership significantly. Yet, Ciampa emphasized the impact of emerging talent, lauding performers like Carmelo Hayes, Trick Williams, and NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov.
“All these new talents and acts have now stepped past that point of being new…they have characters…they’ve got backstory. You can connect. It was cool to see,” Ciampa reflected. He praised Dragunov imparticularly, expressing, “Ilja Dragunov is next level…You can toss that guy on a pay-per-view tomorrow, and he is going to deliver.”
NXT is set to tackle AEW head-on this coming Tuesday, promising high-powered confrontations and major matches. The developments will mark another exciting chapter in the continuing evolution of NXT.
Catch the latest updates on WWE and NXT by following our articles. For more behind-the-scenes insights and untold wrestling stories, look out for the new book ‘Wrestling Unmasked’ brought to you by WrestleTalk.