Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa on Winning WWE NXT Gold, Their Underdog Status, More

Dec 1, 2016 - by Marc Middleton

New WWE NXT Tag Team Champions Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa recently spoke with ESPN at this link. Below are highlights:

Gargano on using their underdog status as their calling card to gain a large following in WWE:

“I feel like that’s kind of been why we gained such a following. People feel they can live through us. They’re kind of watching us scratch and claw and work our way up the ranks.”

Ciampa on wrapping up with the indies:

“When we started with NXT, there were no issues as far as taking independent bookings. Then we could kind of sense it was getting to that point, and then once we got confirmation [of going full-time in the WWE] but the news wasn’t made public, I think [for] both of us, that was the hardest part. It was four or five weeks of us knowing this is probably our last time in this town for this federation, for this group, but the fans didn’t know. A lot of times our opponents didn’t know. The promoters didn’t know. That was a tough four-to-six-week stretch, but once the announcement was made, it was just … fun. I enjoyed those last eight to 12 independent bookings, just took them and appreciated them for what they were.”

Ciampa on becoming NXT Tag Team Champions:

“I think [becoming] tag team champions, it gives you kind of a moment to hit the reset button and kind of look back at the year and appreciate it.”

Gargano on becoming champions:

“It just doesn’t seem real yet. I don’t think we live in the moment like some people do. [But I think] we’re going to look back at how we got here and our story and everything that went into it, and we’re going to think it’s pretty cool.”

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