A new report provides details about Johnny Gargano’s surprise return to Monday Night Raw.
Johnny Gargano was last seen on WWE programming last December, when he cut a heartfelt promo to say goodbye to the NXT audience before being attacked by Grayson Waller. Since then, there’s been plenty of speculation about a potential WWE return, but the crowd in Toronto was certainly surprised when the sounds of Rebel Heart rang throughout the arena on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
After making his entrance, Johnny Wrestling told the Toronto crowd that he knew there was plenty of speculation about his future after he chose not to renew his WWE contract, and he even considered giving up wrestling altogether – until one day when he was playing with his son, who he lovingly called Baby Wrestling. As the crowd responded with a loud “Baby Wrestling” chant, Gargano continued, talking about how he always dreamed of being a champion in WWE, and that he needed to prove to his son that even the most impossible dreams can come true.
Gargano was interrupted by his former NXT ally Theory, who was his “son” during their time in The Way. Theory boasted about his accomplishments in the nine months since Gargano has been gone, and indicated that he was now the veteran and Gargano was the rookie. When he invited his former NXT dad to do their signature high five once more, Gargano instead superkicked Theory before exiting the arena.
According to an update from Fightful Select, Gargano’s return to Raw was kept a surprise and wasn’t listed on any rundown sheets ahead of the show. Many people backstage, including both talent and production, didn’t know that the return was happening. A large number of people found out about the return only when Gargano walked through the backstage area shortly before making his entrance.
The report continues, noting that WWE kept up communication with Gargano throughout his free agency, maintaining interest in re-signing the star while patiently respecting his wishes for time off. Fightul notes that Johnny Gargano’s chances of returning to WWE went up when Triple H came into power following Vince McMahon’s retirement.
Fightful hadn’t heard of any negotiations between Johnny Gargano and AEW, and they also stated that IMPACT Wrestling was never a serious consideration for the star. Sources in AEW told Fightful that they didn’t expect Gargano to sign with that company despite numerous people in All Elite Wrestling pushing for him to join.
After Johnny Gargano appeared on Raw, his wife Candice LeRae posted a heartwarming image of their son reacting to his father’s WWE return.