On Saturday night’s episode of ROH TV we were treated to Tommaso Ciampa’s second ROH appearance of the year. After RD Evans and QT Marshall interrupted a chat segment involving Paul London and Michael Elgin, Ciampa hit the ring to batter the men who did him over last year. He knocked QT Marshall about in the aisle and then headed into the ring to dish out a Project Ciampa to ‘The Barrister’.
Elgin, who’d stayed behind in the ring to hold Evans in place, went to leave, presumably to give ‘The Sicilian Psychopath’ a moment in the spotlight but he was stopped. By Ciampa. They had an intense stare-off, each getting into the other’s face to speak directly into the other’s ear. They went nose-to-nose before being separated by a pair of referees.
This not only hints at a future match between the two but it also ties in nicely to the in-character article-slash-interview Ciampa posted on the ROH website shortly before his comeback. In that he spoke about seeing Elgin challenging then-ROH champion Davey Richards for the title at last year’s WrestleMania weekend event Showdown in the Sun, saying that he wanted to be in that spot at this year’s event.
Injury was obviously the reason he didn’t have the chance to earn that spot, it was nothing to do with ‘Unbreakable’. The mention was clearly designed to hint at a future confrontation between the two, with the basis seemingly being that ‘The Dominant Male’ believes he could have succeeded in climbing the ranks had he had the chances to shine Elgin’s had.
A match between the two seems inevitable. It could happen at Best in the World but that seems a little early. A handicap match pitting Ciampa against QT Marshall and RD Evans seems likelier. That would allow Ciampa to have an impressive return match that sets him off on the right track before progressing to the bigger challenge of Elgin.
At time of writing there are no iPPV events announced for after Best in the World but if the past six months are anything to go by we’ll be seeing one in July or August. I’d expect to see Elgin either face Ciampa or challenge for the ROH Championship on that show. If it’s the latter then Ciampa could get involved to turn their respectful rivalry into a full blown feud.
Whenever it happens it seems clear that an Elgin v Ciampa match is coming. For Elgin it’s a chance to show that he can work against a fellow powerhouse, something he’s not really had the chance to do before. For Ciampa it’s a chance to get his teeth into what could be a feature feud. If it turns out right the programme could be excellent, perhaps even a ticket to better things for Tomasso Ciampa.