NXT Champion and recent main roster call-up Tommaso Ciampa will be undergoing major neck surgery next week that keeps him off TakeOver: New York and WrestleMania.
Ciampa’s neck injuries are worse than first feared and according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio the nature of his surgery means Ciampa will be on the shelf for a minimum of six months but potentially as long as 14 months.
This is obviously a major blow to both WWE and NXT and particularly unfortunate timing for Ciampa, who was set to receive a main roster push alongside Johnny Gargano as part of plans to bolster the tag division.
Over in NXT the situation is even more complicated. Ciampa has been champion of the brand since the middle of last year and was set to square off with Gargano at TakeOver: New York following an angle that took place at the recent NXT television tapings.
Due to the severity of the injury and the nature of his surgery, it seems unlikely that Ciampa will be permitted to do anything physical at next week’s NXT tapings, meaning he will almost certainly not be able to drop the title in the ring prior to TakeOver.
Instead it is rumoured that Ciampa will vacate the title and a match between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole, who have been wrestling on house shows of late, will replace it as the TakeOver headliner with the vacant strap up for grabs. It should be noted that this option is merely speculation at this point.
WrestleTalk would like to wish Ciampa all the best as he recovers from his surgery. We hope to see the scourge of NXT back in the ring sooner rather than later.