Johnny Gargano has spoken about the influence he had on his entrance themes in NXT, and the surprising inspiration for ‘Rebel Heart’.
Johnny Gargano became a free agent on December 10th after his NXT contract expired, bringing an end to an incredible six-year run on the formerly black and gold brand.
During his time in NXT, Gargano had several different entrance themes, including the much-loved ‘Rebel Heart’ which he used for many years. Speaking on his recent Twitch stream, the former NXT Champion detailed the evolution of his entrance themes and how “hands-on” he was able to get with them.
“So, Rebel Heart obviously holds a special place in my Rebel Heart. A lot of people don’t realize I’ve been very, very lucky, throughout my career, I’ve been pretty hands-on with a lot of my theme songs.”
Despite how much influence he would have later in his career, Gargano admitted that he and Tommaso Ciampa’s original theme, ‘Chrome Hearts’, was given to them with no consultation.
“So Chrome Hearts with me and Tommaso [Ciampa] that was just given to us. That was when we started and we were pretty much extras. We didn’t have a contract yet and they gave us that song as a, you know, just ‘here’. We didn’t hear our music, we didn’t see our [entrance video]. Things were a lot different back then. We didn’t hear anything like that until we came out, basically. So that was Chrome Hearts.”
For his next theme, which was similar to Chrome Hearts, Johnny Gargano said he sent in some songs to inspire the final song.
“Then for the Cruiserweight Classic, I got my own song, which was kinda like Chrome Hearts, but it was called ‘From the Heart’, and I sent them a couple of different songs for inspiration for that.”
When it came to ‘Rebel Heart’, he specifically requested a female singer because it was a rarity for entrance songs at the time.
“Then, for ‘Rebel Heart’, I specifically requested a female singer because I feel like a lot of guys just never had female singers. I know Christian did. I was a big fan of that. A couple other guys here and there, but I really wanted a female vocalist for my song.”
The former North American Champion then revealed that one song he sent which influenced Rebel Heart was ‘Time to Dance’ by pop punk icons Panic! at the Disco.
“Then I sent them another few songs to kind of go off of there. A lot of people don’t realize that I sent them Time to Dance by Panic! at the Disco. You can kind of hear a little bit of Rebel Heart in that. A lot of people haven’t referenced that. I know ‘The Bomb Dot Com‘ is what a lot of people say Rebel Heart sounds like. It does a little bit. But that was never something I sent them.”
“But yeah, I had a lot of input in Rebel Heart. I had a lot of input in ‘Coming Back For You’ as well when we went to that. It’s just so funny because I got so tired of Rebel Heart because I came out to it for forever. Then hearing it again recently, it just made me so happy to be able to kind of close that chapter with that song. Again, it made me very, very happy.”
Johnny Gargano has also touched on the subject of potential dream matches for the future now that he is a free agent, saying that former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega is someone he would like to face one day as he is “one of, if not the, best wrestler in the world”.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.