Article written by Dylan McGuire Devine (11/24/21)
Johnny Gargano has been one of the top guys in NXT for what feels like forever. He has had an extremely successful career in NXT as he is a one time NXT Champion, three time NXT North American Champion, one time NXT Tag Team Champion, and was the first ever Triple Crown Champion in NXT history. He has been apart of many key matches and storylines in NXT and has been a fan favorite since arriving in the company. But fans may be seeing him in a different setting real soon.
Sean Ross Sapp of fightful.com reported earlier today that Gargano has signed a ten day contract extension with WWE. Yes. A ten day contract extension. Fans were a bit confused earlier this week when Gargano was announced to be apart of this years NXT War Games match as his contract was set to expire two days before the War Games PPV. So basically, Gargano signed that ten day extension just so he can participate in the big War Games match. There have reportedly been talks with Gargano regarding re-signing with WWE on a longer and more secure deal.
We all know that there are going to be plenty of options for Gargano if he ultimately choses to not re-sign with WWE, but where would Gargano fit in best?
All Elite Wrestling
This is the most obvious option. AEW is the best professional wrestling company in the world right now and they are red hot. The only catch or issue with Gargano signing on with AEW would be that there is a high chance he would get lost in the shuffle and would become just another guy on the roster. They have a stacked roster full of plenty of big name talent and Gargano may not fit in like most believe he would. The possibilities for opponents for him would be endless in AEW though. If Gargano isn’t concerned about being a top guy in whatever company he goes too, AEW is his best option.
Impact Wrestling is without a doubt the most underrated company in professional wrestling right now. They may not have the big names that AEW and WWE have, but they have some very talented guys and gals on their roster. They put on good shows and have been fairly consistent through the pandemic. I honestly could see Gargano going to Impact for some time. Not for the long run, but maybe a short term deal until AEW is even more established than they are now. Gargano would fit in well and there are plenty of names that he would be able to put on great matches with. I could even honestly see him immediately inserted into a program with Moose challenging him for the Impact World Championship. Gargano would without a doubt be a top guy in Impact and if he were to sign on to a relatively short term deal until AEW is even more established as the top company in wrestling, I think that would be a great option for him.
Honestly, I truly do not see Gargano re-signing with WWE. It is a similar situation to Adam Cole’s departure where it simply just isn’t in his best interest career wise. Now, a big factor in Gargano’s future may be his wife, NXT wrestler Candice Lerae. Her contract doesn’t expire until 2022 so if they want to continue to work together that would mean Gargano would have to re-sign. If Gargano were to re-sign with WWE and be moved to the main roster I really do not see him fitting in well or immediately. I feel like Vince would just not know how to properly utilize him and he would become just another NXT guy. At most I could see him being a IC title or US title type of guy and if he were to hold either title I could see him being the type of guy to elevate whatever title he is holding.
Gargano is one of the top talents in NXT and I would even go the lengths of saying in all of WWE. He has a big decision to make in a few weeks regarding the future of his career and I’m sure he will make the right choice. Myself and every other Johnny Gargano fan will support him no matter what decision he makes. I will update this article in a few weeks once we know what Gargano will be doing.
*UPDATED (12/6/21) *
It looks like tomorrow night will most likely be the last time we see Johnny Wrestling on NXT/WWE TV. WWE has been continuously trying to re-sign Gargano over the past few weeks, but sources within the company believe he is gone. If he isn’t gone, he definitely will at least be weighing his options and will not immediately res-sign with the WWE.
Gargano addressed the crowd after NXT WarGames last night and confirmed he would be appearing on this weeks episode of NXT to “explain everything”. We’ll have to wait and see what Gargano says on NXT tomorrow night, but with many reliable sources saying they think he’s gone, this may be his goodbye to the WWE/NXT universe.