Johnny Gargano Explains How His WWE Return Was Kept Secret

Johnny Gargano recently appeared as a guest on Insight With Chris Van Vliet for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, Gargano commented on knowing his WWE return was coming:

“I had an idea. I always had an idea. People ask me all the time, did you think about going other places? Obviously, we all entertain the idea. But when I left, I always felt like I had unfinished business in WWE. And when the conversations were being had, it was one of those things where when I was a little kid growing up, I watched WWE. I dreamed of wrestling at WrestleMania. I dreamed of becoming Intercontinental Champion. I think all these things I said in my return promo, pretty much. They’re all very real, very true. Those are very real dreams I still do have to this day and I can only do that one place. And I am very lucky to call WWE my home because if you’ve watched my last night in the company it was sad for me because I spent so much time in NXT around those people. I saw them almost every single day for almost seven years and I wasn’t gonna have that anymore. And that was my own choice because I felt like I needed to move on. And I needed that time away to be with Candice, to be with the baby. And just step away from wrestling for a bit and just recharge. But luckily everything worked out. And I think everything happens for a reason. We’re back.”

On the return and why it was not in Cleveland:

“I just kind of felt it. It felt like that’s where the wind was blowing. And I’ve had such a great relationship with Hunter. I can’t say enough great things about Hunter and Shawn. It sounds like I’m gonna make it sound like I’m just going on and on about Hunter and Shawn, which I am, I will. I have such a great relationship with them. Like so much so that I always kept in contact with them. Even when I was gone. The day Quill was born I got a text from Hunter. I got a text from Shawn, like, unprovoked. Quill was born they reached out and said, Congratulations keep in touch. And Hunter literally said when Quill was born, I can’t wait to meet him, I’m very excited. And I literally said that day do me a favour though, when you meet him, you need to do the finger point picture okay? He said, You got it, would be my honour. So, like I said, I just enjoy them so much as human beings, I just really wanted to work with them again. And when the opportunity came up, where the world changed and everything went down Shawn reached out to me and said, Hey, are you open to coming back? And I’d say I definitely talk about it. And literally, a couple of hours later Hunter called me. Then we had a conversation and then he talked to my agent and things were in motion really, really quickly. He wanted Candice back as well. And then it is just one of those things, is Candice ready? Am I ready? And I wanted time to get ready too because I wasn’t ready to come back yet.

I needed to get in shape really, really quickly, things like that. But everything happens so fast. Because I think there was a Cleveland show. And then like two weeks later, I came back. [People asked] Why didn’t you come back in Cleveland? It’s because I wasn’t under contract. Those things are still being discussed. And luckily, it was fun to come back in Toronto, because everyone expected Cleveland. And to be able to come back in Toronto, in a building I’ve wrestled in before and have it be an absolute surprise. Like no one knew, the only people that knew I was back in the company, and I wasn’t even officially under contract yet. Terms were agreed upon and I was ready to go. But I wasn’t officially back back yet. That’s luckily the way it was kept under wraps too. The only people who knew was me, my agent, Candice and I think Hunter and maybe one other person in TR [talent relations], and that was it.”

How the return was kept secret:

“So funny too, is like people always talk about the reaction. And people are like, oh man, they should have given him a much better return. And that’s the reaction that’s awesome about it. It’s out of commercial. It’s not built up at all. Literally, the music hits. People are like wait a minute, that kind of sounds familiar. My name comes up on the Tron. They’re like, wait a minute, what’s happening, and I walk out and people are like, oh! Big Johnny Wrestling chants and things like that. And it was just such a cool moment to be able to keep that a secret and make that happen. Candice’s was also kept a secret. Like no one knew that me and Candice were at the Performance Center together training, getting her ready to come back. Having a child. So yeah, we’re incredibly lucky and incredibly cool that everything worked out the way it did.”

You can check out the complete interview below: