WWE Star Reportedly Never Got Big AEW Offer When He Was Free Agent

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A current WWE star apparently didn’t get a big contract offer from AEW when he was a free agent, which probably led to his decision to re-sign with WWE.

It was in December 2021 when Johnny Gargano’s WWE NXT contract expired. At that time, his wife Candice LeRae was pregnant with their son and Gargano made it clear he wasn’t going to rush into anything because he wanted to be around when his son Quill was born in February 2022.

In August 2022, Johnny Gargano signed a new contract with WWE and became a part of the Raw brand. It was an interesting time because it was one month after Vince McMahon retired as WWE’s Chairman & CEO, which led to Triple H taking over as the Chief Content Officer of WWE, which meant he gets to run the WWE creative team.

Since Gargano and Triple H worked so closely together for the previous six years in NXT with Gargano having arguably the best NXT run of anybody in WWE, there was a trust factor there.

In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that Gargano never got a big offer from AEW when Gargano was a free agent.

“When Gargano’s contract was expiring and he was wanting to go to AEW, they shot an angle regarding him leaving and Waller took him out of action. He never did get a big offer from AEW and then HHH replaced Vince and brought he and LeRae back.”

Back in September 2022, Gargano said this about his WWE return.

“There were conversations, for sure. We’d be dumb not to have those conversations, right? Especially given everything that was going on, the uncertainty around everything, who knows what could happen. That’s the crazy thing about the wrestling business. Literally, everything can change in the blink of an eye. The fact that I was able to be incredibly patient and be in no rush to do everything, that’s the big gain I had in all this. I could sit back and survey the landscape and make my decision on a timely basis.”

“I didn’t have to be like, ‘I need a job right now, where am I going to go?’ I believe everything happens for a reason. The fact that I was able to have my contract expire in December, have the baby in February, and spend as much time with him as possible and not being in a rush to do things and reach out or say, ‘I need to come back now.’ From December (2021) to December (2022), I was fine not doing anything. Totally fulfilled not doing anything.”

“Luckily, I have people around me to have conversations, so I didn’t have to think about business or wrestling, they can talk about that stuff, and all I can worry about is dad life. I watch everything, I’m a fan of wrestling, and for me, I want to go to the place that not only could utilize me best, but a place where I already have a relationship with Hunter and a lot of people backstage. That was a big thing for me, I’m all about relationships and familiarity. As soon as the change happened, there was only one option in my head.”

Johnny Gargano picked up a win over Finn Balor this past Monday on Raw. It doesn’t appear as though Gargano has a match for WrestleMania 39, but with three weeks to go, anything can happen in WWE.