WWE Star Drops Johnny Gargano Tease Ahead Of Raw

Ciampa paid his respects to both pro wrestling's past and his own.

Ciampa is set to face WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley on tonight's "Raw". He wrote in a tweet earlier today "#forharley", in reference to Ciampa's trainer, former United States Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race. However, Race wasn't the only homage in Ciampa's message.

Writing simply "Tonight...(-_•)" Ciampa used some punctuation tricks to create an emoji face that is closely associated with his friend and one-time bitter rival Johnny Gargano. Not only have Gargano and Ciampa held tag team gold together, but both men are responsible for a feud and series of matches that are lauded as the critical high water mark for the "NXT" "black and gold" vision of sports entertainment.

Gargano left WWE in December of last year, getting attacked by NXT Superstar Grayson Waller during an emotional farewell speech to the Performance Center fans. Gargano has been coy about his future. Outside of podcast appearances, meet & greets, and Twitch streams, not much is known about Gargano's plans. Gargano recently appeared in a taped message for Impact Wrestling, talking about his longtime friend Alex Shelley, but reports indicate that the kind word for a friend was just that, a favor for a friend, and not the start of a larger relationship with the company.

Gargano was most forthcoming in a recent Starrcast panel with Kenny McIntosh. It didn't provide a ton of insight into Gargano's future, but it was a fun reflection on his time in "NXT".

With the creative direction of WWE now being steered by Triple H, Karrion Kross and Dakota Kai have already returned to the company in surprise moments, shocking the world with the speed at which the formerly released talents were brought back. Could Gargano be the next surprise of Triple H's new creative era? And if so, is he coming to help his former DIY partner? Or hinder him?