Johnny Gargano will be in Chicago on the day of AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door, but he’s promised fans he won’t be on the card itself – or will he?
When Bryan Danielson declared himself medically removed from Forbidden Door, where he would be scheduled to face Zack Sabre Jr., he moved quickly to confirm Sabre Jr.’s new opponent. ‘The Technical Wizard’ will combat a mystery opponent, who’ll also be the newest member of Blackpool Combat Club.
Fan speculation has since run rife as to who, exactly, will face ZSJ at the 26 June pay-per-view. Claudio Castagnoli, Lee Moriarity, and Windham Rotunda have all been names thrown around, but Johnny Gargano is one name topping many people’s lists.
The former NXT Champion has been linked to an AEW debut ever since he departed WWE last December. Gargano has taken time away from the ring to spend time with his recently-born son and wife Candice LeRae, who’s also left WWE, restricting his wrestling bookings solely to signings for the time being.
This will be the same on the day of Forbidden Door, according to Johnny Gargano himself. He’ll be signing autographs at the Chicago Card Show the morning of the pay-per-view, leading many to believe he’ll be in action vs. Zack Sabre Jr.:
“This Sunday (June 26th) I’ll be in Chicago at The Chicago Card Show presented by Midwest Sports Buffet! I’ll be signing autographs in the morning! For more info visit midwestsportsbuffet.com.”
Understandably, this sent the wrestling world into a frenzy. Johnny Gargano is one of the hottest free agents in wrestling just now; if AEW had the chance to bring him in, you’d like to think they’d do everything in their power to make it happen.
Sadly, Gargano has confirmed his time in Chicago will last for only eight hours before he heads back home, addressing the situation as a “coincidental” booking:
“I promise you this is ridiculously coincidental and has been booked for months. I’ll only be in Chicago for like 8 hours! *I also realize in saying this that only like 5% of you are going to believe I’m actually telling the truth.”
I promise you this is ridiculously coincidental and has been booked for months. I'll only be in Chicago for like 8 hours!
*I also realize in saying this that only like 5% of you are going to believe I'm actually telling the truth. 🤣
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) June 23, 2022
Regardless of if the moment happens at Forbidden Door or further down the line, it seems highly likely that Johnny Gargano will indeed sign with All Elite Wrestling when he’s ready for a return to the squared circle.
It’s also been noted that whoever is the mystery opponent for Zack Sabre Jr. will also take Bryan Danielson’s spot in Wednesday’s Blood & Guts match. They’ll team with Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz to face Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Angelo Parker, and Matt Menard.