During the latest episode of The Sessions with Renee Paquette, former NXT superstar Johnny Gargano joined the show to talk about his future in wrestling, his relationship with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, and the reason he felt it was time to leave NXT after six years.

The former NXT Champion also spoke about NXT 2.0 and rumors that the brand is moving away from signing independent wrestlers. Johnny Gargano revealed what he knows about that rumor and why he’s always been someone who believes in independent talent over other sports athletes turned pro wrestlers.

“From what I understand, they’re still going to sign indie people but they want to go away from the sole full classes of indie people,” Gargano said. “Which is how it was originally as well, which I completely understand in the sense of where any NCAA person they sign, someone who comes from a different walk of life that are just genetic freaks, are just a lottery ticket.

“Like you’re buying a lottery ticket, this person could turn out to be the next Kurt Angle, you never know. I totally understand bringing those people in, giving them opportunities, and seeing what they turn out to be. I am always going to go more towards the indie wrestling route because that’s where I’m from, that’s my background, that’s what I believe in.

“I believe in my heart, that’s why I kind of lean towards the more kind of Indi Hartwell, Cora Jades of the world. I think that’s not taking anything away from [the other] guys but I firmly believe that you can pay someone to learn a headlock, learn a wrist lock but you cannot pay someone to love this, you cannot pay someone to love wrestling.

“When you’re an indie wrestler and you had to pay to train, you had to travel all over and take five dollars, you have to love this because if you don’t love this, you ain’t going to be doing it. I’m always going to be leaning towards giving those people opportunities and I feel like they just want it, and I relate to them so much.”

Johnny Gargano continued to talk about his WWE career and about his experience getting called up to the main roster in February of 2o19 with Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black, and Ricochet. Gargano revealed what happened that day and why it lead to him being on “one of the saddest flights” he had ever taken.

“During that time period, we were doing this story in NXT and everything was going great, and then the next minute I know, I’m getting a call saying I’m getting called up to Monday Night RAW and SmackDown,” Gargano said. “It was completely out of left field, we had no idea. I was literally in Cleveland Ohio. I was at my dad’s birthday party, I was like, ‘this is going to be a great weekend, I get to enjoy myself, I’m not going to wrestle for a bit, it’s going to be fantastic.’

“Then I get a call from Matt Bloom that says ‘you’re going to be on Monday Night RAW on Monday.’ I’m like ‘what?’ they’re like ‘yeah, you’re officially called up.’ I’m the North American Champion right now, Tommaso is the NXT Champion, we’re literally building to a match between us at TakeOver New York, what is happening? Ricochet, Aleister Black, Me, Tommaso, we get called up randomly in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“Not the best place to debut for NXT people as well, maybe New York, Chicago, or one of those markets that are kind of smart, but no. I literally had to text Tommaso and say, ‘can you go to my apartment,’ because I didn’t have gear. I was in Cleveland, I had to fly from Cleveland to Lafayette the next day, so I’m like, ‘can you go to my apartment, get my gear, get a suit for me to wear,’ because I had to wear dress clothes for this occasion. He got it, brought it to me in Lafayette and I think it was one of the saddest flights I’ve ever taken.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Sessions with Renee Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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