Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae were the mainstays of NXT for plenty of years. Now after taking time off to start a family, the two are back in WWE on the Raw brand and they are making an impression behind the scenes.
According to Sean Sapp behind Fightful’s paywall, Gargano and LeRae are in the good graces of WWE management currently based on their professionalism with leaving the company the first time around to help get over Austin Theory, Indi Hartwell, and Dexter Lumis.
They were talking to the major companies when planning their returns, but not considering IMPACT Wresting at all. Triple H taking over creative was a tipping point in their decision to come back to WWE,
One WWE source said that Gargano remained on most in WWE’s good side all the way through his contract expiring, not signing a new deal, and even free agency. We’re told that he’d made it clear to WWE that he would return on his time frame, and they were happy to follow that. Several NXT sources said that Gargano handled his exit from the company with “incredible professionalism,” mentioning that he went out of this way to work with and get over young talent like Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell, while helping to establish Dexter Lumis. It was well known within NXT that Gargano took pride in this, especially since he knew that he would be taking time off in December as far as a year ahead of his deal expiring.
We’re told that Gargano and Candice LeRae were talking to “the major companies” in the month prior to Johnny rejoining WWE, though we weren’t given much context outside of that IMPACT Wrestling didn’t seem to be a serious consideration.
When Vince McMahon lost power, several within the company had indicated to Fightful that they felt way more confident that Gargano would be heading back to WWE. They believed that Triple H being in power was a tipping point that accelerated the move.
Several times even before Triple H took power, there was interest in bringing Gargano to the main roster.
Johnny Gargano is currently involved in a feud with The Alpha Academy and Austin Theory with Kevin Owens, while Candace LeRae just returned last week to Raw with a win over Nikki AS.H.. We’ll see what happens next!
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