Johnny Gargano was considered the face of NXT by many fans due to his excellent feuds with the likes of Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole. He has had various nicknames such as Johnny Wrestling, Johnny TakeOver and more and they are all for good reason. Gargano also opened up about an NXT contract he almost signed long ago.

Gargano left NXT earlier this year and since then has been enjoying his time away from pro wrestling. Prior to that, Gargano accomplished a lot during his time in the former black and gold brand.

While speaking with Renee Paquette on The Sessions podcast, Johnny Gargano revealed that he almost signed a very weird NXT contract in 2016. This would have allowed him to work in independent companies while also competing in NXT when needed. To him, it was a second-tier contract.

“I was very lucky. Obviously, from the time I started, until the time I ended in NXT, things were vastly different. When I first started, I was brought in as an extra, me and Tommaso, our story has been told a million times, but literally, we had a tryout where we were told, ‘No, there isn’t a spot for you in NXT, but we might be doing this Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament that maybe we will put you guys in for like a one-off.’ So we did the Dusty Classic, it went well, and William Regal was, obviously, a big liaison for us that would always try to get us on the show every week because he knew there was potential there. He knew what he had in us. Every week, I had to either text William Regal or text the writer at the time, Ryan Ward, and say, ‘Hey, are we going to be used?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, will bring you down for another extra spot.’”


We would always hear this thing like, ‘Maybe we’ll give you this weird contract where you can still do indies and we will also have you do NXT,’ like when that was being discussed at the time,” he said. “[Samoa] Joe was gonna be under it when he was initially brought in. It was a weird thing that never ended up happening because legal was like, ‘Wait a minute, what are we doing here? We can’t do this.’”

Johnny Gargano is also set to be part of WrestleCon soon. It remains to be seen when Johnny Wrestling will be making his return to the squared circle.

h/t to Fightful for the quotes

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Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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