Johnny Gargano has revealed that his current time away from the ring was far from a snap decision, explaining that it was all planned a year ago.
On December 7th, Johnny Gargano stood in an NXT for what yet may turn out to be the final time. In an emotional promo, Gargano thanked fans for their support before saying goodbye to his home for the past six years. Although the farewell didn’t pass off without incident as Gargano was attacked and left laying by Grayson Waller.
Less than a handful of days later, Gargano’s WWE contract expired leaving him a free agent. The timing of the break couldn’t be better with Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae due to give birth in February.
During an appearance on Iron-On Wrestling with Gregory Iron, the former NXT Champion has revealed that he planned to set away from the action a year ago.
“This wasn’t a decision that came out of nowhere. This was a decision I decided a year ago. Luckily, it worked out to where me and Candice are having a baby. The baby really finalized my decision on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to take this time.
I’m very much a guy where I could have stayed comfortable for a very long time and I love NXT, the door is open, I can go back whenever I want. WWE in general, I can go back whenever I want. I really appreciate that because I’m so grateful that the company I dreamed of working for my entire life still wants me for a very long time, which is really cool.
It’s one of those things where I am a competitive person and I feel like I’ve climbed that mountain. There are other mountains I want to climb and other things I want to try and do, not just in wrestling, but life in general. Other avenues I want to try. I’ve always been enamoured with creating content and things like that. Now I have free time to try to do that. I’m very lucky to have a loyal fanbase that has followed me and continues to follow me even though I’m not in NXT and am doing my own thing now.”
December 7th was a night of farewell’s with Kyle O’Reilly also appearing on NXT 2.0 for the final time. However, while Johnny Gargano’s future may be up in the air, O’Reilly has already headed to pastures new.
On the December 22nd episode of AEW Dynamite, Kyle O’Reilly made his shock debut helping Adam Cole overcome Orange Cassidy and completing the Undisputed ERA reunion alongside Bobby Fish.
With the situation between O’Reilly and Cole on an already delicate knife-edge, the Young Bucks then arrived in the ring to muddy the waters even further. With his Elite teammates to one side and his former Undisputed ERA boys to the other, Cole was clearly conflicted. Although the former NXT Champion wasn’t quite ready to pick a side, simply rolling out of the ring.