Just as he promised, Johnny Gargano addressed the NXT Universe to discuss his future–but he was viciously attacked by an up-and-coming star who declares it’s his show now.
Speculation has been swirling about Johnny Gargano’s NXT future amidst reports that his short-term contract extension would expire on December 10th. After his team’s loss at NXT 2.0 WarGames on December 5th, Johnny Gargano cut a tearful promo in the ring and promised that he would “tell everything” on Tuesday night.
Instead of his more recent theme music, Johnny Gargano entered to his signature babyface Rebel Heart theme on tonight’s episode to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. After quipping that “Heartbreak” (NXT showrunner Shawn Michaels) had given him as long as he wanted for his promo which ran well into the overrun of the show, the leader of The Way began to say goodbye as the crowd chanted “please don’t go.”
“I’m sorry, this isn’t gonna be my most eloquent promo, because I didn’t really wanna think about what I said before I came out here because I wanted to live in this moment with you.
Because if there’s one regret I have over the past six years, I didn’t enjoy this more. I really should have. I was always worried about was my match good enough, was my promo good enough, was I good enough, because I always wanted you guys to have the best.
You guys deserve wrestling you can be proud of and I wanted to give you that and I really hope I did. I hope I did.
Johnny Gargano continued by thanking the fans in the Performance Center for what they’ve meant to his career in NXT.
Because you have no idea what you guys have given me. The first time I was in this building was in 2015 in a WWE tryout when I was told I would never be in NXT.
I obviously haven’t been blessed with the best genetic gifts but because of William Regal, I was brought back to Full Sail to do a dark match against Apollo Crews, and you guys at Full Sail chanted ‘Johnny Wrestling’ so loud that they brought me back every single week even though I wasn’t under contract.
You guys have given me all this. This is all because of you.
In a heartwarming moment of authenticity, Gargano revealed that he’s always struggled with insecurity, but the NXT fans have made him feel special more than any other time in his career.
I’ve dealt with self confidence issues my entire life. I doubt myself constantly. I’m doubting myself right now. But the only place that I’ve ever felt important, that I’ve ever felt special is in this ring in front of all of you.
And for years people have asked me why I’ve been in NXT for so long, and it’s because I truly truly love this place. And I believe in it so much. I believe in this place.
Johnny Gargano went on to thank the people he considers family in NXT, saying that while Hunter and Shawn mean the world to him, there are also people behind the scenes and named the likes of Matt Bloom, Steve Corino, Sara Amato, Vic Jospeh, and others.
The tide shifted when he mentioned that change is difficult, but sometimes change is necessary.
This is my family. That’ll never change. And I know change is scary, but sometimes it has to happen.
And if there’s one message I want to leave for you guys, it’s you will never fail if you bet on yourself.
Gargano made it clear that while change is scary, he’s about to start the most important job of his life: taking care of his wife Candice LeRae and becoming a father to their soon-to-be-born son.
And I don’t know what my immediate future holds, that’s up in the air still. I may do some things here or there, but I do know one thing for sure. And that’s in February I’m gonna start the most important job of my life. Cause I’m gonna be a dad… [crowd chants Baby Wrestling]
He’s gonna watch this back one day and thank you all. But I’m so excited for that, because I’m gonna love that little guy so much. But right now the most important thing for me is to worry about Candice, to worry about my son, and show my son… teach him to be the best man that he can be. Because that is….
Before Johnny Gargano could continue, Grayson Waller entered the ring and hit the departing Superstar with a chair. Grayson continued the brutal attack by throwing Gargano out of the ring and putting a chair around his neck before throwing him into the ring steps, and added insult to injury by powerbombing the soon-to-be father through the announce table.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 8, 2021
After the vicious attack, Waller looked into the camera and shouted:
“If you want feuds, you come to Grayson Waller. This ain’t his house no more; it’s mine.”
It remains to be seen whether we see Johnny Gargano in NXT again any time soon, but the attack certainly provides a way for him to make a storyline exit from the company if he’s choosing not to renew his contract. Inside the Ropes will provide updates on the situation as they become available.
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