If the reports and rumours are true, then Johnny Gargano is now the hottest free agent in the wrestling business. News broke that Gargano’s contract with WWE had expired, however, it was reported he agreed to an extension until NXT 2.0 WarGames.
The speculation surrounding Gargano’s contract status had the wrestling world buzzing about his next wrestling destination. Johnny Wrestling is a much-loved, respected and integral part of the NXT roster. His championship reigns, stellar performances and epic storylines were highlights of the black and gold era.
Where next for Johnny Gargano?
A wrestler of Gargano’s talent will find himself with plenty of offers and with several exciting places to go and play his trade he will undoubtedly be spoilt for choice. Here are 5 possible wrestling destinations for Johnny Gargano.
5. RAW / SmackDown
Johnny Gargano has been with WWE since 2016 where he became one of NXT’s most popular and successful superstars.
Alongside Tommaso Ciampa, they joined NXT as a tag team #DIY. Titles, accomplishments, and some of the best matches ever inside a wrestling ring followed. He became the first-ever three-time NXT North American Champion and one of the most important people in NXT history.
However, he has more than outgrown NXT and with the introduction of NXT 2.0, the time has come for him to move on. He has done everything he can do in the brand and more, therefore the only place for Gargano to go in WWE would be RAW or SmackDown.
There was a time in 2019 Johnny Wrestling appeared on the main roster. He wrestled in that year’s Rumble Rumble and appeared on both RAW and SmackDown. However, due to an injury to Ciampa, the run was cut short therefore, he may want another crack at the “big time” in WWE.
4. Independent Scene
Johnny Gargano made his name on the independent with a list of stellar performances wherever he went. His stints with Dragon Gate, CHIKARA, PWG and EVOLVE put him on the indie map.
Although Gargano experienced freedom in NXT, the indies provide wrestlers with the ultimate blank canvas upon which they can paint a wrestling masterpiece. The independent scene is experiencing a boom period with the talent available, internet exposure and streaming opportunities.
His name value from his time and success in WWE/NXT gives him mainstream recognition and a top-drawer talent for any promotion looking to big name to elevate their show. Plus the soon-to-be-father, Gargano could be in the market for a more flexible schedule as he experiences the joys of fatherhood.
Johnny Gargano is yet to wrestle for NJPW and would make an excellent addition to their roster either side of the pacific. If a spell for the biggest promotion in Japan were on the cards then the plethora of stars available for him to face present serious mega match possibilities.
Matches such as Gargano vs Kota Ibushi, Kazuchka Okada, Will Ospreay and Shigno Takagi is the stuff of wrestling dreams and never thought possible not so long ago.
NJPW is currently in a tough position will several big names missing and a lack of new faces to inject excitement and life back into the promotion. Gargano is the perfect person to do just that.
Japan would be the perfect post-WWE wrestling destination for any wrestler, but particularly Gargano who is a plugin and play main event star.
2. IMPACT! Wrestling
Johnny Gargano has never wrestled for IMPACT or its predecessor TNA and as the old saying goes there is a first time for everything.
IMPACT are certainly in the game to make a big (ahem) impact. Not only have they opened the “Forbidden Door” to work with other companies but they have brought in several big names as of late. Gargano would be a major coup for the promotion and one that will certainly turn heads.
If Gargano were to end up in IMPACT! then he would be the biggest name in the company and have numerous incredible talents to go against. Just imagine Johnny Wrestling vs Chris Bey, Josh Alexander or Rich Swan. Dream matches such as these would be a game-changer for IMPACT!
A Johnny Gargano is All Elite announcement would set the wrestling world on fire as it would mean another major signing for the promotion. In just three years AEW has made waves in the industry with CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Ruby Soho and Adam Cole.
His look, physique, and in-ring style are what makes AEW standout. The campany’s popularity as a real alternative to WWE is because of the way it books and portrays talent that doesn’t fit the WWE mould. Johnny Gargano would thrive in AEW just as he did in NXT.
Gargano has wrestled many of the AEW roster during his indie career and it would be the stuff of wrestling dreams if were able to do so once again. Johnny Wrestling going head-to-head with Danielson, Punk, Cole and the Young Bucks would be simply sublime.