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Tommaso Ciampa’s real life journey is more remarkable than his kayfabe one

The WWE Performance Center YouTube channel kicked off their WrestleMania week with a video entitled, “This is Real Life. This is WWEPC.” It’s a mission statement, making it known this is where you come to get to know the men and women striving to make it in the biggest wrestling company in the world. Don’t come here for kayfabe, the performers’ journeys are a story in their own right.

They followed that up with part one of a look at Tommaso Ciampa’s career-altering neck surgery. And, wow, does it deliver on the teaser’s promises.

We know the spinal fusion surgery Ciampa had done a few weeks ago resulted in changes to a years long tale he and Johnny Gargano have been telling in NXT (and the Cruiserweight Classic, and, however briefly, on Raw and SmackDown). That they won’t be able to wrap up that story at TakeOver: New York this week they way they envisioned it is heartbreaking.

But there’s so much more going on with Ciampa, his wife Jessie and their daughter Willow. It’s remarkable enough, in the world of social media and cameras in everyone’s pockets, that the family’s kept Willow’s birth completely under wraps while her proud father played an irredeemable bastard on-screen. It’s even more amazing they open up so completely now, their struggles to have a baby, living apart while trying to get pregnant, deciding to pursue in vitro fertilization, a miscarriage and more.

It’s easy to see why - despite his first word to Gargano upon learning he’d need surgery immediately were “sorry”, news which brought Triple H to tears - Ciampa is able to redirect his regret into gratitude, and hold his baby daughter up as his real prize in life.

Check out the video above. It’s worth it. You’ve invested time in his wrestling life. Accept the invitation into his real one.

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