On the recent Fightful podcast, WWE NXT star Tommaso Ciampa addressed his previous statement where he told Lilian Garcia, ‘I have legitimately vocalized to them that if I have to go to RAW or SmackDown that I’m going to retire.”
“It’s the load. I think people misconstrued it as that I hate RAW or SmackDown. When I talked to her, it was a month or two after I had neck surgery, a neck surgery that could potentially end my career. We were discussing home life. We were discussing road life, and I said, ‘I don’t think I can handle traveling 300 days out of the year.’
I physically would need a lighter load, and NXT provides the lighter load. That’s where I was at. If somebody told me today, ‘Hey, you have to travel 300 days a year for work’, I would say, ‘Ok, well that job is not for me.’ Things have changed. The pandemic hit and no one traveled. Now we’re kind of post pandemic, not really, but we’re kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. People are traveling more. It’s like, I’m also two years out from neck surgery now. I have this discussion with a lot of people. It’s always confusing to me because sometimes as a professional wrestler, and most likely this is for all athletes across the board, but people look at you like a cog in the wheel, and they forget there’s a human being there.
What I’m saying is the human being, Tommaso Ciampa, Tommaso Whitney, whatever, can’t travel 300 days a year because he had neck surgery. That’s reality. That’s the truth. He has a 3-year-old at home. He likes to watch her grow up. That’s important to him. It’s kind of silly to take it and spin it in such a weird direction like I said it out of spite or hate, because I didn’t. It’s not what it was. I’m open to anything, it just has to fit me as a husband, as a father, as a performer, as an athlete, as a human being knowing my age, my body, my desires, wants and goals.
It’s not as simple as just being as I’m not doing that thing because I’m not fulfilled creatively there. It’s silly because I’m a grown a** man. I have a wife and a kid. I don’t care about a fake storyline nearly as much as people might think. I care about my livelihood.”
Click below for the entire interview.