Johnny Gargano Makes Strong Statement About Main WWE Roster vs. NXT

Johnny Gargano recently did a Q&A with Reddit. Here are the highlights:

Going to the main roster: “I get asked the question a lot of when I’m going up to the main roster, and I got a taste of that with Raw and SmackDown, and obviously you get into wrestling, your dream is to wrestle at WrestleMania and one day I hope to make that happen. But for me, I feel like in my heart, NXT is my main roster. It’s everything I ever wanted out of professional wrestling and my goal with NXT is to make people forget the question “When are you going up to the main roster?” NXT is a viable brand on its own. We sold out Barclays Center again. I put our locker room up against any locker room in the world, and tomorrow night at TakeOver, we’re gonna set the bar for WrestleMania weekend.”

How much of his match with Aleister Black was planned: “Luckily enough we had a deep, detailed story going into it that we could play off of … with a lot of different story points. And I’ve always been a fan of adding some sort of Shakespeare and some sort of drama, and creating a movie moreso than just an ordinary wrestling match. I feel like in this day and age, we do so much athletic, high-flying maneuvers, and it’s nice to add more depth to it. P.S. Why am I so violent? **stares at hands**”

Favorite Triple H story: “The craziest thing for me, since I’m a huge wrestling nerd at heart, I remember we were going through an area where security was going to hold me back, and Triple H had to show security guards how to hold people back properly. At one point Shawn Michaels got involved too. So at one point, Triple H is holding my waist, and HBK is holding my arms. I couldn’t fathom in my wildest dreams where D-Generation X would be pretending be security guards with me at the center. Another great story is after Triple H tore his bicep, I Photoshopped a special “get well soon” card with me and Tommaso’s faces on the card and texted it to him.”

If he hesitated in signing with WWE: “No, I wasn’t hesitant. I went through such a process getting a contract here, and my goal was to always be here. I wanted to follow in guys like Daniel Bryan’s footsteps where they accomplished everything they could on the indies and they felt like they were ready for the next step in their career. You grow up and dream of competing at WrestleMania, you grow up dreaming of being a WWE Superstar, and I’m lucky to live my dream every single day now.”

Meeting Vince McMahon: “I actually met him for the first time when I was Cedrick Von Haussen in 2007. I was 19 years old. They had to take me into his office to show him the Elf costume I was wearing, and it was almost out of a movie because he was sitting in a swivel chair with his back turned to me, and he slowly turned around when I entered the room, and he had a newspaper held to his face, and he slowly brought the newspaper down and said “you look great.” After the match, he said “good job, kid”, and I felt like I could retire right then.”

Favorite non-Takeover match: “I don’t like any of my own matches, I’m not a fan of my own work at all, so it’s hard for me to pick one since I’m my own worst critic. If I had to pick one, there’s a match that started getting resurfaced lately which is me vs. SHINGO from WrestleMania weekend in 2013 for DGUSA. That was my first big Mania weekend main event match on the indies and people seem to really like it.”

DIY name: “We initially pitched something like “DIY Trying” (pronounced “die”) , but ultimately we came to DIY as a compromise and it took off from there.”

What Otis smells like: “Smoked tenderloin and regret.”