Johnny Gargano has further explained why he decided to sign a new contract with WWE that led to his unadvertised appearance on Raw.
During the third hour of the August 22nd edition of Raw, Gargano’s name appeared on the video screen while “Rebel Heart” played in the arena. The Toronto crowd cheered for hte man that was arguably the “heart” of NXT for many years and the guy that made Takeover events must-see because of his matches.
When Gargano made his way down to the ring, he stared into the camera and said: “I missed you guys, so much.” Gargano proceeded to do a promo where he spoke from the heart talking about his goals in WWE after sitting on the sidelines for the past nine months.
The reason why Gargano was away from wrestling is because his NXT contract expired last December. Gargano chose to stay home along with his wife, former WWE NXT superstar Candice LeRae as the couple welcomed their baby boy Quill to the world six months ago. There was even a “Baby Wrestling” chant for the son of “Johnny Wrestling” on Raw.
Gargano’s speech was interrupted by Theory, who Gargano used to mentor when they were part of a group called The Way in NXT. Instead of Gargano giving Theory a high five like Theory wanted, Gargano gave him a superkick to knock Theory down in the ring.
After his appearance in the ring, Gargano talked to WWE about it in a Digital Exclusive that was shown on Youtube and the company’s social channels. Gargano spoke more about his decision to sign with WWE:
“I’m still at a loss for words. I don’t know. When you’re away for so long, I was away for nine months, like I said, and I was just kinda changing diapers and watching Bluey and doing the dad thing for a long time. It’s just one of those things where you just don’t know if people are gonna remember who you are. Yeah, I was here for a long time in NXT, and I did cool things.”
“But there’s still that big part of me who was just a nervous wreck all day because I was like hopefully at least one person remembers who I am. To stand there and watch my name come up on the Tron and see people go nuts, I’m like man, it’s really a relief. I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders now because people remember who I am, and now it’s time to get to work.”
When Gargano was asked about his ambitions in WWE, he talked about wanting to win championships while also getting excited about the “Baby Wrestling” chant that the Toronto crowd gave his son:
“Well, I said that I came back for a lot of different reasons, but first of all, I wanted to be Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, WWE Champion. I wanna wrestle at WrestleMania, and there’s only one place you can do that, and that’s here in WWE. That’s why I came back, that’s why I am beyond proud to be here.”
“I’m just a ball of energy because I just went out there for the first one. Literally, I’ve been sitting at home doing nothing for nine months. Just diapers, and you know diapers, there’s no good diapers, I promise. But yeah, I’m so over the moon, I’m so excited.”
“I’m really excited honestly now to go back home and see my baby. I think he was watching. He might be sleeping. He got a chant tonight. There was a ‘Baby Wrestling’ chant in a WWE ring. Yeah, score one for him. He’s gonna appreciate it when he gets older. I’m gonna be like, ‘Hey, watch this tape. Watch this VHS.’ Let’s go. Let’s go.”
Gargano also posted on Instagram about his return to WWE.
h/t Fightful for the transcript of his comments.