Nicknamed the “Sicilian Psychopath”, Tommaso Ciampa unsuccessfully plied WWE between 2005 and 2007 and evolved on the independent circuit in the decade that followed before returning to the biggest pro wrestling company in 2015 to become a leading figure in the NXT.
Born on May 8, 1985, in Boston, Massachusetts. Tommaso Whitney, his real name, is of Italian descent, more precisely from the island of Sicily, was trained by legends such as Killer Kowalski, Harley Race and Al Snow and debuted in the ring in 2005. After sporadic appearances in WWE as Thomas Whitney, Demarso Whitney and Tommaso, he worked regularly for Ring of Honor (ROH) between 2011 and 2015, having won the ROH World Television Championship.
In September 2015, he returned to WWE, although initially out of contract, to participate in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. In April of the following year he signed a non-exclusive contract, but three months later he became an exclusive wrestler for WWE, namely for the NXT brand .
He has since won the NXT Championship (twice) and the NXT Tag Team Championship (once, alongside Johnny Gargano). That’s why it’s worth remembering Tommaso Ciampa’s 12 best fights on NXT , in chronological order.
NXT Takeover: New Orleans (April 7, 2018)
Unsanctioned match: Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa
(If Johnny Gargano wins, he will be reinstated to NXT ; if Tommaso Ciampa wins, Johnny Gargano will be banned from NXT )
At NXT TakeOver: Chicago in May 2017, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa failed to regain the NXT Tag Team Championship when they were defeated by The Authors of Pain. After the match, Ciampa brutally attacked Gargano, driving him through two tables .
Ciampa explained that he attacked Gargano because he knew he was going to be out of action for several months due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee and suspected that Gargano was going to try to get a new tag teammate.
At NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, Gargano missed out on a chance to win the NXT Championship, when he was defeated by Andrade “Cien” Almas. After the match, Ciampa returned and attacked Gargano with a crutch .
However, Gargano put his NXT career on the line for another title opportunity against Andrade Almas, having been defeated after interference from Ciampa. In the following weeks, Gargano became obsessed with getting revenge on Ciampa, having attacked him outside the WWE Performance Center and attempted to break into his house. As such, and since Gargano was no longer under contract with NXT , an Unsanctioned match was scheduled between the two for NXT Takeover: New Orleans , with the additional stipulation that Gargano would be re-signed to NXT in the event of a win.
NXT TakeOver: Chicago II (June 16, 2018)
Chicago Street Fight: Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa
At NXT Takeover: New Orleans, Johnny Gargano beat Tommaso Ciampa in an Unsanctioned match and was reinstated in NXT .
On the April 25 episode of brand , Gargano had scheduled a match against Aleister Black for the NXT Championship , but Ciampa attacked Gargano, leaving him unable to compete.
Nearly a month later, on the May 16 episode, Gargano’s wife, Candice LeRae, slapped Ciampa. The following week, Gargano called Ciampa and the two engaged in a brawl that ended with Gargano unintentionally hitting his wife. A week later, a Street Fight between the two was scheduled for NXT TakeOver: Chicago .
NXT (July 25, 2018)
NXT Championship : Aleister Black (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
After defeating Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II , he aimed batteries at Aleister Black’s NXT Championship , having challenged him to a title match during the June 27 episode of NXT . The following week, it was announced that Black would defend the belt against Ciampa on the July 25 episode.
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV (August 18, 2018)
Last Man Standing Match for the NXT Championship :
Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
On the July 25 episode of NXT , Tommaso Ciampa beat Aleister Black to win the NXT Championship due to interference from Johnny Gargano. The following week, as Aleister Black approached the ring to confront Ciampa, Gargano walked past him and attacked Ciampa. However, soon after Black attacked Gargano. A week later, Ciampa attacked Black and Gargano during a match between the two.
That said, a triple threat match between the three for the NXT Championship was scheduled for TakeOver: Brooklyn IV , but a groin injury to Aleister Black pulled him out of the match, which was changed to a Last Man Standing match between Ciampa and Gargano.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2018
NXT Championship : Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Velveteen Dream
The feud between Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream began on the September 26 episode of NXT , when Dream accused him of attacking Aleister Black in the weeks leading up to TakeOver: Brooklyn IV . Ciampa denied the allegations, accused Velveteen Dream of “living in a dream world” and asked him to get out of his way or else he would “turn the dream [dream] into a nightmare”. The intrigue between the two developed in the weeks that followed, which led to the booking of a match between the two for the NXT Championship for NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2018 .
NXT TakeOver: Phoenix (January 26, 2019)
NXT Championship : Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black
Injured by Johnny Gargano in August 2018 while preparing to face Tommaso Ciampa in a rematch for the NXT Championship , Aleister Black returned to action in October and beat Gargano at NXT TakeOver: WarGames the following month. On the October 5 episode of NXT , a title match between Ciampa and Black was scheduled for NXT TakeOver: Phoenix .
NXT TakeOver: Portland (February 16, 2020)
NXT Championship : Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
NXT won the battle of brands at Survivor Series 2019 , and on the NXT weekly show that followed, the entire roster (including NXT UK) celebrated the victory. However, The Undisputed Era interrupted the party, with NXT champion Adam Cole saying that NXT ‘s victory was due to the stable it leads. In response, Tommaso Ciampa reminded Cole that his team beat The Undisputed Era at WarGames on the eve of Survivor Series , and said he was focused on winning the NXT Championship . Finn Bálor stopped him, but Ciampa challenged him to a match, with Bálor getting the better of him after interference from Cole.
However, after the fight Bálor applied a Pelé Kick on the champion. On the December 11 episode of NXT , Bálor beat Tommaso Ciampa and Keith Lee in a triple threat match to determine the title contender. However, Bálor proved unable to win the NXT Championship , while Ciampa returned to the title race, which led to a match between Adam Cole and Sicilian Psychopath for NXT TakeOver: Portland .
NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2020
Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa
On the November 18, 2020 episode of NXT , Timothy Thatcher beat August Grey, but immediately after the match was confronted by Tommaso Ciampa. Thatcher backed off and told him she had no problem with the Sicilian Psychopath .
Weeks later, on the December 2 episode, Ciampa interrupted a segment of Thatcher’s, but Thatcher again said he didn’t want to get in trouble with the Sicilian. After throwing Thatcher to the rug, Ciampa was surprised by a student of Thatcher’s, which made Thatcher take advantage of the situation to apply a Guillotine to Ciampa, leaving him unconscious. Thatcher later said that he was going to give Ciampa a “lesson” at NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver – Day 1 (April 7, 2021)
NXT United Kingdom Championship: Walter (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
With a reign that has now surpassed 70 days and was already the longest in WWE since 1988, Walter, who usually only attended NXT UK events, appeared on the March 17, 2021 episode of NXT and decimated Tommaso Ciampa. That said, it was announced that the Austrian would defend the NXT United Kingdom Championship against Ciampa on the first night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver .
NXT : New Year’s Evil 2022
NXT Championship : Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Bron Breakker
At Halloween Havoc on October 26, 2021, Tommaso Ciampa beat Bron Breakker to retain the NXT Championship. At WarGames , Team 2.0 (Breakker, Grayson Waller, Tony D’Angelo, and Carmelo Hayes) defeated Team Black & Gold (Johnny Gargano, LA Knight, Pete Dunne, and Ciampa) in a WarGames match, with Breakker settling in Ciampa .
On the December 21 episode of NXT 2.0, Ciampa told Breakker that he deserved a second shot at the title and that he was going to get it at the New Year’s Evil event.
NXT (February 22, 2022)
#1 Contendership – NXT Championship :
Dolph Ziggler vs. Tommaso Ciampa
On the February 8 episode of NXT , Dolph Ziggler surprisingly appeared at the event and interrupted a one-on-one between NXT champion Bron Breakker and then-leading contender Santos Escobar. Ziggler listed his achievements, but noted that he had never been an NXT champion . Tommaso Ciampa appeared and became involved in a feud with Ziggler . At NXT Vengeance Day, Ziggler interfered in the title match between Breakker and Escobar, but was attacked by Ciampa, who made him return to the backstage . However, it was announced that Ziggler and Ciampa would face each other on the February 22 episode of NXT to determine the new main contender for the NXT Championship .
NXT : Roadblock (March 8, 2022)
NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler
On the February 22 episode of NXT , Dolph Ziggler beat Tommaso Ciampa to become the main contender for the NXT Championship , benefiting from interference from Robert Roode. The following week, Ciampa and Breakker beat The Dirty Dawgz ( Ziggler and Roode), with Ciampa laying the groundwork for Ziggler , which led to the Sicilian Psychopath being added to the match.