After Johnny Gargano Stay away from NXT Last year to focus on Becoming a new parent With wife Candice LeRae, every time a wrestling company stopped in Gargano’s beloved hometown of Cleveland, speculation about Johnny Wrestling’s return to the ring began.
When raw It was at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on August 8th, and a lot of fans were spinning about the date. Of course this was where new Head of Creative and Talent Triple H would re-debut one of the favorites of his era in black and gold. But this offer came and went. Gargano will appear, but not even August 22 in Toronto.
why? To hear Gargano say it, as he did to Cory Greaves and fellow Clevelander Vic Joseph WWE’s after the bellhas been an almost test of its popularity:
“A big part of me didn’t want to go back to Cleveland because I knew that if I was going to go back to Cleveland it would have had an amazing reaction but people would be like, ‘You know, he’s this little kid from NXT and he got the reaction because it’s his hometown’ .
“So to come back to Toronto in an arena, I think, for example, 16,000 people might be in that arena. It was really cool because there was a commercial break, we came back from the commercial hiatus and then my music started playing. It was a response. The act was such a great reaction to the experience because it was like, the music hit and everyone was like, ‘Wait a minute, that’s familiar, what’s this?’ Then my name came across Tron and everyone was like, ‘Wait a minute, what’s going on now? What’s going on?’ And then I walked out And everyone lost their minds, and then the wrestling cheers for Johnny started, and everyone was so much fun to play with.
“This, for me, one of the lasting memories for me will be that gradual pop and gradual reaction when people realize what was going on.”
It was also the challenge of surprising fans in the 21st century:
“That was the most important thing for me for this secret, because this comeback was a complete surprise. Obviously I could have been back a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland but everyone thought it would, everyone thought it would. Maybe that’s why it didn’t… It was really important to me to keep this whole thing as secret as possible, the fact that we were able to do it, the fact that I flew into Buffalo and slipped across the border.
“Legally sneak across the border. We’re not in trouble here — we snuck across the border into Toronto.”
The surprise was nice, and seeing how a crowd of people in a big city with no vested interest in Gargano reacted was helpful to Johnny and the behind-the-scenes decision makers in WWE.
Johnny also says signing with a company other than WWE “crossed his mind”, but Netflix’s final season Weird things And the 40-year-old’s song that’s back on the charts (Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill) helped him decide what to do:
“That’s when I knew what I wanted to do. I was watching Weird things The song came and the first thing that popped into my head was, “Wait a minute, this Shawn vs. The Undertaker song from WrestleManiaThe placebo covered it up.
I watched the noise video of Sean and Tucker from ‘Mania and she sat there in the kitchen, Candice was there she could tell you this, she sat there in the kitchen and watched this noise video of her doing the baby stuff, and he just hit me by watching this video, I was, like, that’s what I want To do, this is where I want to be and this is what I want to do. That’s why I got into this, to get videos like this about me but also to get these WrestleMania stories and matches and I haven’t gotten them yet. I didn’t have that WrestleMania moment, I didn’t have that WrestleMania match.”
We’ll see how Gargano’s first match as a member of the main roster will end In Portland, Oregon tonight (September 12)? Will this lead to Johnny becoming WrestleMania in the next few years?
Tell us what you think below, and check out Corey & Vic’s full conversation with Gargano over here.
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