Johnny Gargano bets on himself.
Johnny Gargano was, for a majority of the rise of NXT, the face of the brand. Johnny Gargano matches are synonymous with what many fans think of when they think of NXT TakeOver. After several years with NXT, Johnny Gargano left WWE altogether following NXT WarGames.
Johnny's final appearance was on the December 7 episode of NXT where he emotionally said goodbye to the brand before being laid out by Grayson Waller. One of the major talking points for Johnny in that final promo was the importance of betting on yourself.
Now, Johnny is taking those words to heart as he once again becomes a free agent, as first reported by Fightful Select.
Big Johnny Gargano update
NXT Triple Crown Champion Johnny Gargano is now officially a free agent.
Fightful Select has learned that Johnny Gargano's WWE deal officially expired, and he's now free to work anywhere he wants. As his deal expired, there isn't a non-compete attached to it, and he could appear on any televised program. Gargano has been private about his decision backstage, but some knew that his contract was coming up as far back as a year ago. We're told that WWE made repeated efforts to sign Gargano to a new deal over the past few weeks, but Gargano opted for free agency.
In 2019, Gargano, among other top NXT names, passed on new deals offered to them by WWE when NXT landed on the USA Network. Several that we spoke to within NXT said there was not sufficient incentive for top stars to take the deal. In October, WWE sources told us they began reaching out to Gargano to gauge his interest in a new deal, which were said to be "much better" than the previous deals offered in 2019. Despite the fact that Gargano left NXT, it was said that the split was "incredibly amicable" and the door was left open by both sides to work together in the future. On the WWE side of things, people of influence in the company have said they're still hopeful that Gargano comes back to the company.
During his farewell, NXT sources had indicated to us that Gargano was allowed to say what he wanted, and given a "reasonable overrun" as he mentioned during the promo. Those we spoke to were very happy about how Grayson Waller's attack came across on TV.
Johnny Gargano has now relaunched his Pro Wrestling Tees shop and released five new shirts, several of which feature the slogan, “Bet on Yourself.” See more here.
We will continue to have more information on Johnny Gargano’s future in wrestling as more is known.
Check out the free-agent status of many of the top names in wrestling by using our resources section.
A portion of this report first appeared on our premium service, Fightful Select. Subscribe today for early access to breaking news, podcasts, interviews, and more.