Johnny Gargano was with Triple H’s NXT for six years. The Rebel Heart was involved in stellar matches during his time on the black and gold brand. His tremendous in-ring performances earned him the title of Mr. TakeOver. Gargano was loved by fans and peers alike and there’s no denying that.

Gargano parted ways with NXT last year. He said goodbye in a heartfelt promo on a December episode. The NXT Triple Crown Champion recently appeared on The Sessions with Renée Paquette to elaborate on his decision that ultimately led to his departure from the brand.

“To be able to do that and have that moment, I wasn’t going to miss the place, I was going to miss the people. The thing is you’re around these people for six years and then you’re just gone. You’re in this bubble for so long, I was in this bubble for six years and I was extremely lucky to where I never had any injuries.

“I was on TV with storylines consistently for six years to where I’m just around it at all times. Especially with the performance center, it was like a weekly thing, I would go in and out and work out and go and see people and that’s a thing that would happen for me for six years. Now it’s just gone.

“In wrestling, it’s a weird thing where we all still live in Orlando but you don’t see people anymore, you don’t see them anymore and that was the hardest part with the way I saw NXT going with Adam [Cole] leaving, Kyle [O’Reilly] contract coming up and everyone out the door.

“We were around these people for so long and then you look around the locker room and all your friends are gone. It affects you, it hurts you because now you’re not seeing your friends anymore on a daily basis, it makes you sad.

“At that point, I felt like I don’t know, I got a chance to tell my story and end it the right way and also leave on great terms to where whatever happens in the future happens but I can take this time now to be around Candice, to be around Quill, enjoy dad life for a little bit.

“It’s just funny how things work out to where I was able to kind of time that out, it was not on purpose, definitely not on purpose but I think everything happens for a reason and it gave me a great opportunity.”

Gargano has been taking independent bookings following his NXT exit. He made his first public appearance at the Wrestlecon event during the WrestleMania weekend. The former NXT champion has yet to wrestle his first match post-NXT exit.

Transcription WrestlingInc

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Manik Aftab

Manik Aftab is a news writer at Ringside News. He has been an avid fan of professional wrestling since 2000. His earliest memories of pro wrestling involved The Rock taking on The McMahon-Helmsley faction in 2000. Outside of his writing responsibilities, Manik is a fan of fiction, thrillers, comics, manga and anime. He’s an occasional journalist and likes to spend his free time watching movies and reading stuff about politics, science, medicine, etc. Manik also enjoys jogs in the park and workouts in the gym.  Manik is also a big of rock bands including Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Metallica, Drowning Pool, Breaking Point, and Skillet. His current favorite wrestler is Kazuchika Okada and his favorite wrestler of all time is The Rock.

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