Johnny Gargano Comments Ahead Of First WWE Match In 281 Days

December 8, 2021, was Johnny Gargano's last live appearance on a professional wrestling program until he shockingly returned to WWE on the August 22, 2022, edition of "Raw" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Gargano cut a promo while many fans in the Scotiabank Arena chanted "Johnny Wrestling" for the former "NXT" Champion, but was eventually interrupted by Mr. Money in the Bank, Austin Theory, who Gargano was previously in a faction with, known as The Way, in "NXT."


Tonight on "Raw," Gargano will make his in-ring return and tweeted out prior to his match: "281 days later. Tonight. Let's get back to work. #JohnnyWrestling #WWERaw." This came along with a photo of Gargano from right before the last time that he stepped foot in a wrestling ring in WWE, with that being at "NXT" War Games 2021. Gargano teamed with Tommaso Ciampa, Pete Dunne, and LA Knight as Team Black and Gold to take on Team 2.0, a team that consisted of Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Tony D'Angelo, and Grayson Waller. Team 2.0 walked away with the win, signifying a change in the "NXT" product for the future.

Over his six-plus years in "NXT," Gargano found much success in championships, love from the fans, and headlining multiple "NXT" Takeovers. Gargano also has the distinction of being the brand's first ever Triple Crown Champion, winning the "NXT" Tag Team Championship, the North American Championship, and theĀ "NXT" Championship. Since achieving this feat, only Adam Cole has become a Triple Crown Champion in the brand's history, with others such as Roderick Strong, PAC, and Keith Lee being one title away from also achieving it. Gargano is the only three-time North American Champion in history, a title currently held by one of the men who defeated him in the 2021 War Games match, Hayes.