Johnny Wrestling will always be a fan at heart despite reaching stardom.
The "heart and soul" of the NXT brand, Johnny Gargano, caught up with his hometown news publication WKYC.com in Cleveland, Ohio. During the interview, Gargano would recall the moment that he fell in love with pro wrestling and would also discuss the feeling of coming out to an NXT crowd every night.
Johnny Gargano has been grinding in the squared circle for the past 12 years. It is well known that Johnny Wrestling, like many other professional wrestlers began their love for the sport at a young age.
“The minute I saw a guy like Shawn Michaels, who is a smaller guy, but he has so much charisma, so much athleticism; when I saw what he could do in the ring, I immediately fell in love with it and I knew that’s what I wanted to be one day,” Gargano recalled. “Unfortunately, in real life, I can’t be a Power Ranger and I can’t be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but I can be a professional wrestler. It’s something that I am truly passionate about. I’ve done this since I was eight years old basically. I started very young and I’m 30 now, so going on almost 22 years of being around wrestling. It’s something that I love very much and that I care very deeply for.”
Although Johnny Gargano is regarded as one of the best professional wrestlers in the game today, he does not look at himself in that light, as he is just thankful for the opportunity to do what he loves everyday of his life.
“It’s unbelievable because in my mind, I’m still just a little chubby eight-year old kid from Cleveland, Ohio,” Gargano said. “In my head, I’m not doing anything crazy, I’m not doing anything that’s better than anyone else. But I’ve just been extraordinarily lucky and very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
During a recent episode of NXT TV, Gargano lost an NXT Championship match that also had his career tied to the result of it. Johnny Wrestling wrapped up his last stretch of live events over the weekend with NXT and is now going head first into the next stage of his WWE career. The former NXT Tag Team Champion has had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in NXT, but still manages to see the upside in situations.
“It’s been a crazy ride, a lot of ups and a lot of downs. The atmosphere, the electricity at NXT Live events is unlike anything I’ve seen before and for me, just to be a small part of something like that is one of the things that no matter where I go, no matter what I do, being a part of NXT in this time period and the things I’ve been able to accomplish is going to be one of the things I’m most proud of.”