TOMMASO CIAMPA

Tommaso Whitney is a 36-year-old professional wrestler from Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently signed with the WWE and performs on RAW under the ring name, Tommaso Ciampa.

Whitney made his wrestling debut in 2005 and was trained by WWE Hall of Famer, Killer Kowalski. Early in his career, Tommaso wrestled for independent promotions like Chaotic Wrestling and Top Rope Promotions. In May 2005, he unsuccessfully wrestled an IWF Junior Heavyweight Championship match against champion Sean Royal. Later that same day, he attempted to win a battle royal to earn the number one contendership to the IWF Heavyweight Championship but lost.

Tommaso’s Early Wrestling Career

Tommaso debuted for Chaotic Wrestling in 2005 under the ring name, Tommy Penmanship. He lost a qualifying match for entry in the Chaotic Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Tournament to Fred Sampson. In June, he teamed with Arch Kincaid in a losing match against the Logan Brothers for the Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Championship. As Penmanship, he won his first championship on August 8, defeating Chase del Monte for the Chaotic Wrestling New England Championship. Whitney held the title for six months and defended it successfully in numerous matches before eventually losing it to Psycho at Cold Fury 5. He won the Chaotic Wrestling Heavyweight Champion in May 2006 and held onto the title until February 2007.

Tommaso’s WWE Debut

In 2005, Whitney appeared on WWE television as a ‘lawyer’ for Muhammad Assan who confronted The Undertaker who in return retaliated. He then fought Jamie Noble on Velocity and teamed with Kofi Kingston against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in a dark match on Heat. In February 2007, Whitney signed a developmental contract with WWE and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling. He debuted as Tommaso but was sidelined due to an injury. On August 9, Whitney was released from his WWE developmental contract.

From 2007 to 2016, Tommaso worked on the independent circuit. In September 2007, he defeated A.J. Styles and Eddie Edwards to become the MWF Television Champion. He wrestled for World League Wrestling, East Coasting Wrestling Alliance, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

In 2015, WWE announced that Whitney, wrestling under the ring name Tommaso Ciampa, would be competing in the NXT Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Championship tournament. Alongside his partner, Johnny Gargano, they defeated Tyler Breeze and Bull Dempsey. The following week, they were eliminated from the tournament by Baron Corbin and Rhyno. In his first singles match, Ciampa lost to Tyler Breeze and then lost another match to Samoa Joe in December. On January 13, 2016, Ciampa won his first singles match for NXT against Danny Burch.

Ciampa Re-signs with WWE

On April 2, it was confirmed that Ciampa had re-signed with WWE earlier that week. Ciampa’s NXT contract was a “Tier 2” contract, which allowed him to continue working independent dates alongside his now regular NXT bookings. On June 23, Ciampa entered the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, losing to Johnny Gargano in the first round. The following month, Ciampa announced that his final independent booking was set for September as he was entering a new exclusive NXT contract.

On August 20 at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, Ciampa and Gargano unsuccessfully challenged The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) for the NXT Tag Team Championship. Ciampa and Gargano, now billed as “#DIY,” received another title shot in a two out of three falls match on November 19 at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. They defeated The Revival in Toronto to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.

DIY successfully defended their championships against the team of Tajiri and Akira Tozawa and TM61 in Japan and Australia, respectively. They retained their titles against The Revival on the January 11, 2017 episode of NXT, but were attacked by The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) afterwards. Ciampa and Gargano did however lose the championships to The Authors of Pain at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio.

In a rematch on the March 1 episode of NXT, The Revival interfered and attacked both teams ending in a no contest. This led to NXT TakeOver: Orlando, a triple threat elimination match between all three teams for the titles, but DIY were unsuccessful after being the first team eliminated.

Ciampa & Gargano Disband DIY

At NXT TakeOver: Chicago, DIY faced The Authors of Pain in the first-ever ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship, which they lost. After the match, Ciampa attacked Gargano, turning heel and disbanding #DIY. It was later revealed that Ciampa had suffered a ruptured ACL in his right knee during the ladder match and would await surgery in Birmingham, Alabama. His surgery was successful and the timetable for his return was estimated for early-to-mid 2018.

On January 27, 2018, Ciampa returned at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, attacking Gargano with a crutch to close the show. He then cost Gargano his NXT Championship match against Andrade “Cien” Almas on the February 21st episode of NXT, forcing Gargano to leave NXT as per the pre-match stipulation. Ciampa made his in-ring return in the main event of NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, losing to Gargano in an unsanctioned match. They feuded for several weeks in which they attacked each other and interfered in each other’s matches. This led to a Chicago Street Fight at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II, which Ciampa won.

Ciampa Wins NXT Gold

On the July 25th episode of NXT, Ciampa defeated Aleister Black and won the NXT Championship after Gargano interfered and accidentally hit Black with the title belt. This made Ciampa only the second wrestler to hold both the NXT Championship and NXT Tag Team Championship, after Neville.

At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, he was scheduled to defend the title against Black and Gargano in a triple threat match. Black was removed from the match due to being ambushed in the arena parking lot by an unknown assailant (in reality, Black had suffered a legitimate groin injury). The match was changed to the first-ever Last Man Standing match for the NXT Championship between Ciampa and Gargano, where Ciampa retained his title. At NXT TakeOver: WarGames, Ciampa retained the championship against Velveteen Dream. He successfully defended the title against Black at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.

Ciampa Debuts on WWE RAW

Ciampa debuted on Raw on February 18, 2019 with three other fellow NXT stars Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black and Ricochet. In his debut match on RAW, he and Gargano defeated former rivals Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival. The next night on SmackDown Live, Ciampa and Gargano defeated The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus).

Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reported on March 6th, that Ciampa would have to undergo neck surgery. This forced him to vacate the NXT Championship and the injury would put him out of action for at least six months. At that point, he had not wrestled since February 19. WWE later confirmed the story saying he would undergo an anterior cervical fusion. Meltzer later reported that due to the injury, WWE had to cancel the main roster feud that was planned between Ciampa and Gargano. The two were also scheduled to face each other at NXT TakeOver: New York.

Ciampa relinquished his NXT Championship due to injury on the March 20, 2019 edition of NXT, ending his reign at 237 days. On April 1st, he revealed that doctors had told him that he would be wrestling on “borrowed time” if he is even able to return to the ring at all. He did, however, make a surprise appearance at NXT TakeOver: New York on April 5 after Gargano defeated Adam Cole to win the NXT Championship. Ciampa embraced Gargano to celebrate his victory and turned face in the process.

Ciampa Returns From Injury

Tommaso Ciampa returned from injury on October 2nd 2019 and confronted Adam Cole, who had become the longest-reigning NXT Champion. On October 30th, Ciampa saved Matt Riddle and Keith Lee from a beatdown at the hands of The Undisputed Era (Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong), a WarGames match was scheduled between Ciampa’s team against The Undisputed Era.

 At NXT TakeOver: WarGames on November 23, Team Ciampa (Ciampa, Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Kevin Owens) defeated The Undisputed Era. This led to a match between Ciampa and Cole at NXT TakeOver: Portland on February 16, 2020 for the NXT Championship. Cole won the match after Gargano cost Ciampa the match, thus re-igniting their feud. On the April 8th episode of NXT, this resulted in a No Holds Barred match between Ciampa and Gargano, which Gargano won after interference from Candice LeRae.

Ciampa then began feuding with Karrion Kross, who attacked him backstage during an interview. At TakeOver: In Your House, Ciampa was quickly defeated by Kross. After a brief hiatus, Ciampa returned as a heel on the August 26th episode of NXT, where he defeated Jake Atlas. He would then compete in a losing effort in the fatal four-way 60 minute Iron Man match for the vacant NXT Championship, tying with Gargano at one fall a piece. Ciampa turned face again when he began a feud with Timothy Thatcher which led to a match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames where Ciampa won.

Ciampa Teams With Timothy Thatcher

On the January 20th 2021 episode of NXT, Ciampa fought Thatcher in the Fight Pit where he lost. After the match, Thatcher and Ciampa showed respect to one another and Ciampa asked Thatcher to be his partner for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic which Thatcher accepted. In the first round, they defeated Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese. They beat The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole and Roderick Strong), in the quarter finals. But in the semi-finals, they lost to Grizzled Young Veterans.

At NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Ciampa was defeated by Walter for the NXT UK Championship. On the June 15 episode of NXT, Ciampa and Thatcher defeated the Grizzled Young Veterans in a tornado tag match to earn a future NXT Tag Team Championship match. They faced the champions, MSK on July 6 at The Great American Bash but were defeated. Thatcher was written off TV on August 24 due to a kayfabe throat injury from Ridge Holland, ending the team.

Tommaso Ciampa Wins NXT Gold Again

On the September 14 edition of NXT, Ciampa defeated LA Knight, Pete Dunne, and Von Wagner in a fatal 4-way match to win the vacant NXT Championship. Ciampa successfully defended his title against Bron Breakker at Halloween Havoc. At WarGames, Ciampa teamed with Johnny Gargano, LA Knight and Pete Dunne (as “Team Black & Gold”) against Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo (as “Team 2.0”) but were defeated after Breakker pinned Ciampa. Ciampa lost the title to Breakker in a rematch at New Year’s Evil, ending his second reign at 112 days.

Ciampa wrestled his last NXT match at NXT Stand & Deliver on April 2, 2022. He was then called up to the main roster and it was announced on April 11th, he would debut on WWE’s RAW brand.

Tommaso Ciampa
Tommaso Ciampa

Stats

Birth name: Tommaso Whitney
Born: May 8, 1985, Boston Massachusetts, USA
Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight: 201 lb (91 kg)
Spouse: Jessie Ward
Children: 1
Ring Name(s): Demarso Whitney, Dr. Thomas, Prodigy, Thomas Penmanship, Thomas Whitney, ESQ, Tommaso Ciampa, Tommy Penmanship
Current Roster: WWE RAW
Finishing Move(s): Fairy Tale Ending, Willow’s Bell

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Career Championships and Accomplishments

  • Chaotic Wrestling
    • Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • New England Championship (1 time)
  • East Coast Wrestling Association
    • Super 8 Tournament (2011)
  • Millennium Wrestling Federation
    • MWF Television Championship (1 time)
  • Ring of Honor
    • ROH World Television Championship (1 time)
    • March Mayhem Tournament (2012)
  • UPW Pro Wrestling
    • UPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Xtreme Wrestling Alliance
    • XWA Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
    • NXT Championship (2 times)
    • Tag Team Championship (1 time)
    • NXT Year-End Award (3 times)