“Johnny Wrestling is back in WWE.” With those words, Johnny Gargano announced he has signed with WWE as he made his return to the company on Monday’s Raw.
Gargano last appeared on WWE television last December on NXT when he gave a farewell speech as his contract expired. For the last eight months, there have been a lot of rumors of what he might do and where he might go next.
During the third hour of this week’s Monday Night Raw, the name “Gargano” appeared on screen as his familiar theme song “Rebel Heart” played. Gargano made his entrance wearing street clothes and was greeted with “Johnny Wrestling” chants from the Toronto crowd. The fans even chanted “Baby Wrestling” when Gargano mentioned his six-month-old son. Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae tweeted a picture of the couple’s son Quill.
While he re-introduced himself to the crowd, Gargano mentioned his success in NXT as a man that won all the titles you could win there like the NXT Title, North American Title and the NXT Tag Team Titles. Gargano also noted that he won the Tag Team Titles in Toronto, which was at NXT Takeover Toronto 2016 when Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa beat The Revival in an all-time great tag team match.
Gargano’s promo on Raw was interrupted by Money in the Bank briefcase holder, Theory. The two men were on-screen allies in NXT when Gargano was a mentor to Theory as part of “The Way” stable in NXT. Theory was cocky towards Gargano while suggesting that maybe he should mentor Gargano. When Theory asked for a high five, Gargano knocked him down with a superkick instead.
Triple H, the WWE Head of Creative who booked Gargano during his entire NXT run from 2015 to 2021, welcomed Gargano to Raw with a tweet.
In another update on Gargano’s Raw appearance, Fightful Select reports that Gargano’s name was not listed on any of the rundown sheets for the show. That’s because WWE wanted to keep it a secret. It also notes that was noted other superstars as well as people that are part of the production of the show didn’t know Gargano was there until he appeared on camera. It was a surprise to the many WWE employees just like it was for the fans.
Gargano tweeted about how he told us he wanted it to be a surprise.
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) August 23, 2022
The WWE Raw brand was in Johnny’s hometown of Cleveland two weeks ago leading to a lot of speculation that he may return there. However, Gargano’s return happened on Raw in Toronto instead.