Johnny Gargano has admitted that moving away from WWE crossed his mind, but said that he couldn’t have forgiven himself for not trying to get to win the WWE Title.
In early December 2021 Johnny Gargano allowed his WWE contract to expire and said goodbye to NXT where he had been a near constant presence since 2015.
The star later revealed that his departure was always part of a bigger plan so that he could spend more time with his family, and be present for the birth of his first child.
However, once ‘Baby Wrestling’ arrived fans immediately started wondering if and when Gargano would be back. The star had done it all during his time in NXT and some questioned whether he may take this opportunity to head to AEW, as he was unlikely to get a shot on WWE’s main roster with Vince McMahon in charge.
That all changed in July when McMahon announced his retirement and Triple H who worked with Gargano extensively in NXT took creative control. ‘Johnny Wrestling’ returned to WWE on the August 22nd edition of Monday Night Raw.
During an appearance on WWE After The Bell, Gargano reflected on his comeback and admitted that he did think about going elsewhere during his break earlier in the year.
“Obviously, it crossed my mind, but I was at the point to where I wasn’t ready to come back yet. I was enjoying myself. I have people that work around me that go out and talk to other places, and I have a great team around me that have those discussions so I don’t have to. That was a big thing too while I was gone. I was very focused on being a dad and letting the business stuff be handled by other people.
It was cool that promotions respected that and said, ‘Okay, we’re going to leave Johnny alone, but we’ll talk to his people about what could potentially happen.’ I’m lucky to be in that spot. It’s weird to say something like that given I’m from the Indies and I do everything myself,”
Continuing on, Gargano said that he wanted to try and climb to the top of WWE as it was what he had always dreamed of doing since he was a child.
Obviously, it crossed my mind, I watch everything. I’m a wrestling fan. We’ll all wrestling nerds at the end of the day. I’m a wrestling fan. It always just came back down to, and I said this in my return promo, when I was a kid, I dreamed of being Intercontinental Champion. I dreamed of being WWE Champion and wrestling at WrestleMania. Those things hold so much weight to me.
I don’t know if 20-30 years down the line, if I could forgive myself for not trying. I never really tried. I did everything in NXT and was fulfilled in NXT and proud of it, but I didn’t try on that scale yet. I haven’t done it and I wanted to do it.”
Johnny Gargano is set to wrestle his first match since December 5th on the upcoming episode of Raw on September 12th.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.