On August 22, Johnny Gargano made his return to WWE when he made a surprise appearance on WWE Raw.
Gargano took time off to be a father and a husband in December, finishing up his run with NXT before his contract expired and he became a free agent. During his free agency period, Gargano hinted at returning multiple times and trended on social media every time a promotion teased a surprise.
Speaking on WWE After The Bell, Gargano was asked if he ever considered going elsewhere while he was a free agent.
"Obviously, it crossed my mind, but I was at the point to where I wasn't ready to come back yet. I was enjoying myself. I have people that work around me that go out and talk to other places, and I have a great team around me that have those discussions so I don't have to. That was a big thing too while I was gone. I was very focused on being a dad and letting the business stuff be handled by other people. It was cool that promotions respected that and said, 'Okay, we're going to leave Johnny alone, but we'll talk to his people about what could potentially happen.' I'm lucky to be in that spot. It's weird to say something like that given I'm from the Indies and I do everything myself," he said before joking with host Corey Graves about how Mr. DIY has people to help him.
"Obviously, it crossed my mind," he continued. "I watch everything. I'm a wrestling fan. We'll all wrestling nerds at the end of the day. I'm a wrestling fan. It always just came back down to, and I said this in my return promo, when I was a kid, I dreamed of being Intercontinental Champion. I dreamed of being WWE Champion and wrestling at WrestleMania. Those things hold so much weight to me. I don't know if 20-30 years down the line, if I could forgive myself for not trying. I never really tried. I did everything in NXT and was fulfilled in NXT and proud of it, but I didn't try on that scale yet. I haven't done it and I wanted to do it."
Gargano is set to return to the ring on Monday's WWE Raw for his first match since NXT 2.0 WarGames on December 5, 2021.
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