Johnny Gargano On Sharing The Royal Rumble With Candice LeRae, Remembers The Original Halftime Heat

WWE NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano recently had the opportunity to speak with Yahoo Sports about his eventful past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. Gargano had the opportunity to compete in both the WWE NXT TakeOver: Phoenix special on Saturday night and then follow that up with a performance in the men's WWE Royal Rumble the following night.

With such a stellar weekend behind him, Gargano now looks to the future and this Sunday's Halftime Heat special. As previously noted, Halftime Heat will air live during the halftime of this Sunday's Super Bowl 53 and feature NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole vs. Ricochet, Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream. WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels will be in attendance as well, serving as a guest commentator. Gargano sees Halftime Heat as a massive opportunity to show the world what NXT has to offer.

"This is such a big deal," Gargano said. "I remember when I heard about it, I wasn't aware of how big it would actually be. I'm a huge wrestling fan so I remember the first Halftime Heat. It was 20 years ago, I was 11 years old. I thought it was absolutely amazing. Now to be able to be a part of it and to show the world what NXT is all about and what we do. I believe what we do is put on a show unlike anyone else. I think it's extremely special and I use that word a lot because I believe that's what NXT is. I'm so excited for everyone from the non-wrestling fan to the hardcore fan to tune in and say, 'Wow, this stuff is cool, I have to check it out more.'"

Gargano is confident in the NXT superstars that were chosen for Halftime Heat and he mentioned how they've always proved they'll bring their absolute best whether it's a crowd of 15 or 15,000.

"I think we have the right six guys to do it.," Gargano explained. "Those are six of the best professional wrestlers in the world. If you look at our TakeOver events, our live events, our TV show, we always bring it. It doesn't matter if there are 15 people in the crowd or 15,000, we bring it. I know this Sunday we are going to bring it like only NXT can and we're going to open up a lot of eyes. We're hungry, we're excited and we're going to put on a show that no one has ever seen before."

Gargano then looked back at the incomparable weekend he had taken part in, where he competed in a breathtaking match with Ricochet at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix and then followed that up with an appearance in the men's Royal Rumble the night after. Gargano's wife, fellow WWE NXT superstar Candice LeRae, was able to share the unforgettable moments with Gargano as she was chosen to compete in the women's Royal Rumble match earlier in the night. Gargano says that life sometimes seems surreal now that he and LeRae are taking part in the shows they grew up watching.

"TakeOver events speak for themselves. I put them against any show in the world," Gargano said. "The fact that it's just main event, after main event, after main event, the electricity in the air is extraordinarily special. Then, as a huge wrestling fan, to get the opportunity to be in the Royal Rumble, it blows my mind. It's unthinkable. Those were my favorite events and I got a chance out of 30 people in the world to be a part of it this year. That's pretty wild. I got a chance to share it with [my wife] Candice LeRae, because she was in the women's Royal Rumble as well. What we do is so cool and I have a hard time believing this is my life, it's so amazing.

"It was a dream come true, and that's putting it lightly," Gargano continued. "It's so cool to get to share this with my wife [fellow WWE superstar Candice LeRae] because she is such a huge wrestling fan as well. We both know how big this is. What was also cool was that my mom came in for TakeOver and I got to tell her she had to stick around for the next day. Candice's parents also came and watched her perform. To have our family there and get to share it together, it doesn't feel real at times. It's super awesome."

Source: Yahoo Sports


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