Tommaso Ciampa on returning to NXT from neck surgery and his plan to extend his in-ring career

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Tommaso Ciampa spoke with Brian Fritz of Sporting News and was asked about his return match following a layoff from neck surgery. “Man, I’m happy that that match ended up being as short as it did,” Ciampa said. “It was awesome when I returned from the ACL surgery and Johnny (Gargano) and I had that unsanctioned match and that was the first one back. That was 30 some odd minutes, 40 minutes, whatever it was.

“But coming back from the neck, for some reason in my head, it was so different than the knee where I was like, ‘I don’t think I want to do 30 or 40 my first one back. I think I’ll go with the short one and kind of see how it feels. A couple bumps instead of 100 bumps.’ So far, I’m happy with how gradual everything has been. It’s just been little bits at a time and it’s allowed me to get over that mental game of every time you fall, you’re not going to get numbness and a stinger and whatnot.

Ciampa also spoke about extending his career following the surgery. “If you told me five, 10 years ago about the neck surgery, I definitely would have thought that would have been the end of the road for me. I just feel like I have a lot left to offer and a lot left in the tank. Luckily, I’m in a position with WWE and everybody in medical and everybody backstage who understands that there’s a long game that we can play here.

“If the option is wrestle 200 times in one year or wrestle 40 times over five years, everybody understands it’s a pretty simple choice. That’s been a great thing to have. It’s great to know everyone is on the same page with this. We’re going to elongate this career as much as we can by just being smart about it.” Read the full interview at

Powell’s POV: Ciampa spoke a lot about the surgery, rehabbing at home, and more about his mindset coming back from the injury in the full interview, which is definitely worth checking out.


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