Johnny Gargano gives his reasoning for not re-signing with WWE.
Johnny Gargano was a staple of NXT for half a decade and one of the brand’s most decorated stars. When NXT became NXT 2.0, Gargano departed, much like many other stars from the original incarnation.
He’s appeared in the most Takeover events with 23, making many memorable matches, some of which were rated five stars. Gargano is also the brand’s first triple crown champion, having won all three men’s titles.
He won the NXT Tag Team Championships with Tommaso Ciampa as part of DIY in 2016. He also won the North American Championship twice in 2019, both at Takeover events.
His crowning achievement was winning the NXT Championship in the same year against Adam Cole. The two would go on to have a remarkable trilogy of matches for the title, with Cole ultimately being the victor.
Gargano’s last match came at Takeover: Wargames 2021, where he teamed with Ciampa, LA Knight, and Pete Dunne. They lost to the team of Bron Breaker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo.
It was a match of new school vs. originals, with the result indicating the changing landscape of NXT. Gargano and his wife Candice Larae have been free agents for some time now.
While speaking with Good Karma Wrestling, Gargano explained why he chose not to re-sign with WWE. They had offered him a large sum of money to stay, but he chose to spend his time with his family.
“I had this guaranteed contract with WWE I could take for a lot of money, and I could come back and I could keep doing what I’m doing. I just knew that with the baby on the way, I didn’t want to have anyone else being in control of my time, because I’m only getting one shot at this,” Gargano said. “Candice and I only plan on having one kid, so I want to be there and try to experience everything I can with Quill for his first year before I do anything else.” (H/T WrestlingInc.com)
Only time will tell if and when Gargano and Candice will wrestle again, but for now, they are enjoying life.