Johnny Gargano On How WWE Raw Debut Happened

johnny gargano wwe debut raw

Johnny Gargano has revealed untold details behind his WWE Raw debut.

The former NXT Champion made his surprise return to WWE on the 22nd August 2022 edition of Raw after eight months away from the company to focus on the birth of Quill, the first child of Gargano and fellow WWE Superstar Candice LeRae.

An impressive six-year stint in NXT ahead of Gargano’s 2021 departure for the company saw the Cleveland native complete the NXT triple crown, adding both the NXT North American and NXT Tag Team Championship to his singular reign as NXT Champion, a title won in a bout with Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: New York in April 2019.

During a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Gargano had high praise for WWE Executives Triple H and Shawn Michaels:

“I’ve had such a great relationship with Hunter. I can’t say enough great things about Hunter and Shawn. It sounds like I’m gonna make it sound like I’m just going on and on about Hunter and Shawn, which I am, I will.

I always kept in contact with them. Even when I was gone. The day Quill was born I got a text from Hunter. I got a text from Shawn, like, unprovoked. Quill was born they reached out and said, Congratulations keep in touch.

And Hunter literally said when Quill was born, I can’t wait to meet him, I’m very excited. And I literally said that day do me a favour though, when you meet him, you need to do the fingerprint picture okay. He said, You got it, would be my honour.”

Johnny Gargano Lifts Lid On WWE Return

Gargano would go on to reveal that a call received from WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels soon after the birth of Quill Gargano would lead to the WWE return of both he and Candice LeRae:

“Shawn reached out to me and said, Hey, are you open to coming back? And I’d say I definitely talk about it. And literally a couple hours later Hunter called me. And then we had a conversation. And then he talked to my agent and things were in motion really, really quickly.

He wanted Candice back as well. And then it just one of those things is Candice ready? Am I ready? And I wanted time to get ready too because I wasn’t ready to come back yet. So I needed to get in shape really, really quickly.But everything happens so fast.”

Whilst Gargano’s return to WWE had been anticipated, many believed it would happen in his home town of Cleveland. During his interview with Van Vliet, Gargano revealed that the return would ultimately happen after WWE had rolled through Cleveland because contracts were still being finalised:

“[People asked] Why didn’t you come back in Cleveland? It’s because I wasn’t under contract. Those things are still being discussed. And luckily, it was fun to come back in Toronto, because everyone expected Cleveland. And to be able to come back in Toronto, in a building I’ve wrestled in before and have it be an absolute surprise.

Like no one knew, the only people that knew I was back in the company, and I wasn’t even officially under contract yet. Terms were agreed upon and I was ready to go. But I wasn’t officially back back yet.

That’s luckily the way it was kept under wraps too. The only people who knew was me, my agent, Candice. And I think Hunter and maybe one other person in talent relations and that was it.”

If you use any quotes from this article please credit the original source and H/T TJR Wrestling.