Johnny Gargano is moving up and moving on.
Gargano wrestled at his last EVOLVE event over the weekend at EVOLVE 69, in preparation for his and the rest of the Cruiserweight Division’s arrival on Raw Sept. 19. He talked to WWE.com about his time in the indys and in EVOLVE. The 29 year old Cleveland native was on the indy promotion's first show in 2010.
“If it wasn’t for EVOLVE Wrestling, I wouldn’t be in WWE. If it wasn’t for EVOLVE, or WWN Live as a whole, I wouldn’t have made it as far in my career as I have. It started with Dragon Gate USA, where I started as a guy on the pre-show and wasn’t promised anything. I kept coming and doing what I do, and ended up on the main show and eventually won their championship. Gabe Sapolsky ran that. During that time, he started up EVOLVE Wrestling, which was the brainchild of him and Daniel Bryan, who named the promotion,” Gargano said.
Promos have aired announcing the arrival of the Cruiserweights to Raw. But Gargano didn’t get to see the one he was featured in live. But for good reason.
"I was actually at my bachelor party when the clip aired on Raw. My phone started blowing up with people saying they saw me. As a wrestling fan, Raw's the flagship, what we tune into every single week. When you think of wrestling, you think of Raw. To think that there's going to be guys like me, and when I say that, I mean the cruiserweights — I've known a lot of them and wrestled them before WWE. These guys are like me, they were told through their entire career that they were too small and would never make it or be on Monday Night Raw. For all of us to be coming there together is super cool. We're all excited to show the world what we can do. There's a New Era in WWE, and we're going to prove that," Gargano said.
At EVOLVE 69, Gargano teamed with former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes in a tag match against Chris Hero and Drew Galloway. Gargano and Rhodes won the match with Gargano using the Gargano Escape on Hero.