Despite the challenging year, Johnny Gargano has a lot to be thankful for like his wife Candice LeRae and regular work in WWE. And the holidays are a perfect time to reflect on these blessings.

Christmas in particular is the NXT North American champion’s favorite holiday. Onscreen we’ll have to wait to see if the Gargano fam will welcome us into their house for a segment or two on Wednesday nights. Off screen, Cleveland is where home is for the holidays.

“We spend Thanksgiving with Candice’s family. I’m always with my family during Christmas. For some reason, I need that wintery sort of cold for Cleveland and Christmas time,” Gargano, who lives in Orlando. ” I always make sure I at least drive by. I don’t go in it. I drive by the ‘Christmas Story’ house because it’s located there. It’s been a Christmas Eve tradition.”

There are other fun traditions as well. Ones of the dessert variety.

“Candice is obviously very good at baking, so she bakes tons of cookies and does all that stuff as well. That is our Christmas Eve sort of thing,” he said. “Christmas Day it’s Candice and I sort of have a tradition where we don’t put the presents out beforehand.

“We wait until each other go to bed and then sneak out and put them out kind of like how Santa puts them out. That’s one of our things. I’m very excited for the next couple of weeks even though things are a bit different now. We’re going to make the best of it.”

He chooses to focus on the positives in the turbulent environment right now. The brand continues to push forward and find new ways to innovate in its presentation similar to all pro wrestling across the board.

“I think all of us are excited to get back to somewhat normal. We have to make the best of things in this era,” he said. “We have been able to create new stars and create new people on the show that maybe wouldn’t have gotten a chance if there were crowds around.

When it comes to 2021 and the future of NXT, Gargano’s goals for the brand are simple. To keep building, growing and stay the course.

For NXT, I think we have to go back to hopefully having the best atmosphere in the world,” he said. “I put the TakeOver atmosphere with 15,000 people up against anything I’ve ever seen or been a part of. It is just special. Hopefully, we can get back to that. NXT in general I think we are really good at long-term storytelling. I think as long as we stick to that as our bread and butter, our future is very bright.”

Johnny’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.

counter