From 2016 until 2021, Johnny Gargano was a staple of “NXT,” whether he was a hero to the fans or a villain. Now, like so many wrestlers from the brand’s “black and gold” era, he’s gone. During an appearance on “Good Karma Wrestling,” Gargano revealed why he didn’t sign a contract with WWE following his successful stint in “NXT.”

“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,” Gargano said. “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 really only getting one shot at this. Me and Candice 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.”

Gargano left “NXT” as one of the promotion’s most decorated stars, appearing on a record 23 Takeover specials and becoming “NXT’s” first-ever triple crown champion, winning the “NXT” Tag Team Championships alongside #DIY tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa at Takeover: Toronto in 2016, the “NXT” North American Championship at Takeover: Phoenix in 2019, and the “NXT” Championship at Takeover: New York the same year. Gargano left a lasting impression on the “NXT” brand, consistently proving himself as one of “NXT’s” top talents by putting on the match of the night on multiple occasions.

Gargano last wrestled at “NXT” Takeover WarGames 2021, teaming up with old rival Tommaso Ciampa, LA Knight, and Pete Dunne to take on, but ultimately lose to, the team of Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo, who represented “NXT’s” change in direction following the debut of “NXT 2.0.” Gargano’s wife, Candice LeRae, is also no longer affiliated with WWE, as her contract expired in May. LeRae is a former “NXT” Women’s Tag Team Champion alongside Indi Hartwell, a reign that came while the two were associated with Gargano in the stable known as The Way.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “Good Karma Wrestling” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.

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