Why did Johnny Gargano not make the jump from WWE to AEW?
Gargano became one of the biggest free agents in the wrestling industry on December 2021. Johnny Wrestling made his then final appearance for the company on December 7th, addressing his contract status to the NXT Universe. The former NXT Champion stated that in February he would be a father, which is the most important job of his life.
Johnny Gargano Turned Down AEW Following WWE Departure
The emotional farewell was interrupted by Grayson Waller, who wrote Gargano off with a vicious steel chair attack. The heart and soul of NXT would not be seen on WWE TV again until the August 22nd edition of WWE Raw.
During the hiatus, the future of Johnny Gargano was heavily speculated, as the former NXT star was not taking any independent bookings and signing appearances were rare.
As with the majority of WWE departures, many have been seen to either make one-off appearances or become permanent signings for All Elite Wrestling. Despite rumours of a shock debut, most notably in Gargano’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, the Grand Slam NXT Champion was never seen on Dynamite or Rampage.
Clarification as to why Gargano never became All Elite has been reported by Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It is being reported that Gargano was never made a significant enough offer to consider making the jump to AEW.
The report concludes by stating that Gargano and wife Candice LeRae were brought back to the company following Triple H taking over creative duties from Vince McMahon.
Gargano is set to make a return to NXT at the Stand & Deliver Premium Live Event on April 1st. Following Grayson Waller getting into a heated confrontation with Shawn Michaels, HBK introduced Gargano as the opponent for Waller. Gargano will be looking to get revenge for the last time the two wrestlers were in the same ring together.