Tommaso Ciampa will be undergoing neck surgery in the next couple of days and will be out for a “long, long time,” according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. Meltzer said that WWE confirmed to him that the surgery would be happening.
It’s not known how long he’ll be out, or what the nature of the neck injury is, but Meltzer said that historically, neck surgery has kept wrestlers out from anywhere between 6-14 months.
Ciampa will not be able to wrestle against Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver next month and will almost definitely have to vacate the NXT Championship.
The next NXT TV tapings are on Wednesday, March 13, so they’ll explain what’s going to happen then. Ciampa is having surgery this week, so he may or may not be able to even be at the tapings.
Meltzer speculated, just based on his own fantasy booking, that Adam Cole could be a possible opponent for Gargano instead. It seemed like Cole was originally going to be booked in a three way match for the North American title against Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle at TakeOver.
Ciampa had been working with the neck injury for a few weeks and the expectation was that he would be able to continue to work through it until after TakeOver and would get the surgery then, but it seems like it got so bad over the past week that they had to do the surgery now.
You can listen to Wrestling Observer Radio talk about the injury below:
WWE announced the following on their website:
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa to undergo neck surgery
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa will undergo neck surgery tomorrow, WWE.com has confirmed.
Following a medical evaluation today, Ciampa has been scheduled for an anterior cervical fusion.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 6, 2019