Johnny Gargano believes NXT is a viable brand and not a demotion.
The man dubbed "Mr. TakeOver" has been part of the NXT brand since 2015, becoming a mainstay in 2016 as part of DIY with Tommaso Ciampa. During his time in NXT, Gargano has put on classic matches and been involved in some of the most memorable feuds in NXT history while arguably becoming the face of the yellow brand. And while many view NXT as the "developmental brand," Gargano disagrees.
"I definitely don’t think it is (a developmental brand). If you look at our shows, Takeovers, live events it’s definitely not a downgrade, ok? People want to be in NXT, people on the main roster want to be in NXT. NXT is the hottest thing going today," Gargano told Newsweek. "In some circumstances there is still a developmental side of the Performance Center. We do sign people from different backgrounds who are learning how to wrestle, and learn to do what we do. But you look at the TV show, those guys on television are TV stars. They are main event players and that’s where the developmental kind of goes away. In a way, you’re constantly changing and evolving."
Gargano continued, "Even the main roster is developmental because you’re learning all the time. NXT is looked upon as 'a lower brand,' but it should be like how when you move to RAW or Smackdown. Instead of 'moving up' it’s moving over to a different brand. You never know, guys can come back here, things can obviously change in the future. But how I see it, RAW, SmackDown, NXT. Those are the big three."
Gargano is confident that NXT will once again prove they are just as good as the main roster this Sunday at Halftime Heat. Gargano is scheduled to team with Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole to battle Aleister Black, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream.