E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap w/ Tommaso Ciampa – WrestleMania & NXT Recap, Recovering From Neck Surgery, Protecting His Heel Character, More!

He notes that DIY was not supposed to last as long as it did and his heel turn was initially supposed to come much sooner. However, he and Gargano developed great chemistry together and with a lot of the heel tag teams in NXT, so the turn was delayed.

When he finally did turn he felt somewhat untouchable which is weird for him. His confidence was at an all time high, even though he doesn’t consider himself to be the best at anything in the ring. He thinks he has a great sense of the crowd’s pulse, and has intangibles that allow him to react on the fly. Triple H and Shawn Michaels became quick fans of his work and his brand developed quickly.

He notes that Shawn Michaels has been a huge influence on him and on a lot of performers in NXT. HBK’s class has taught him so much, and everyone in that class has changed the way they think about working and selling. Now everyone’s trying to out-sell each other during their matches.

Ciampa says that protecting his heel character was very important for him. He didn’t want merchandise and he didn’t want to give the audience anything to grasp onto. Now that he’s out with this injury the “movie’s over” and he doesn’t mind coming out of his shell.