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Tommaso Ciampa is entering Phase 3 of his WWE status as an exclusively-contracted wrestler on the NXT roster.
Ciampa announced this week that his final independent booking will be September 25 for Progress Wrestling in the U.K. Ciampa will be facing Zack Sabre, Jr. in a fine farewell match.
Ciampa came to NXT on a “handshake agreement” wrestling a few TV taping dates (Phase 1), then upgraded to a mixed deal wrestling both NXT and indies (Phase 2).
Ciampa and Johnny Gargano recently broke out as a tag team on the NXT roster, prompting WWE to want to feature Ciampa as a regular wrestler on NXT TV.
Ciampa is now following the path laid out by Samoa Joe, who set the standard for WWE’s new way of working with independent talent at the NXT level.