When Johnny Gargano left WWE following his contract expiring in December 2021, many fans were aghast. One of their favorite sons appeared to be on his way out the door.
While many of his fellow NXT stars had departed for All Elite Wrestling, Johnny Gargano let his contract lapse for a much different reason: He wanted to focus on the birth of his first child. He and his wife Candice LeRae were on deck in terms of parenthood. They both stepped away from the industry to focus on their expanding family.
Still, most believed that after years of being left on the third brand, the man who had delivered its Match of the Year three different times was all but gone. They envisioned him popping up on AEW Dynamite eventually.
Oh, what a difference one year can make. Now fully back in the fold, the proud poppa is making some noise in the big leagues now. And quite frankly, he looks better than ever.
Johnny Gargano was considered the ‘Heart & Soul’ of NXT
Anyone can be given a nickname. Very few actually earn one. But Gargano, who seemingly put his blood and guts on the line every time he stepped into the squared circle, is worthy of his moniker. He truly exemplified the greatest era in NXT history. His legacy there is unmatched.
He was the first-ever Triple Crown winner for the yellow brand. His feuds with Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole are the stuff of storybook legend. He was as decorated as any performer who ever compete in NXT, yet never got the call-up.
That all changed when Triple H took over the creative team for WWE. He had faith in the star, and the feeling was mutual. Gargano returned with a better deal and a bigger spot in the company. Quite frankly, it was a smart move on WWE’s part. And a situation that Gargano had certainly earned.
Will we ever see DIY team again?
Of course, Johnny Gargano is known by many fans as being the partner, and later rival, of Tommaso Ciampa. The pair made a name for themselves as DIY during their amazing NXT run. The story of their triumphs and ultimate fallout captivated the WWE Universe.
Is it time for that same kind of magic again? With both men now on the main roster, it’s possible. It’s also something the fans would go crazy for. Despite being considered the ‘third brand’, NXT was considered the best division of the company just a few years ago. That was when DIY was on top of the mountain.
So, for nostalgia purposes, it should happen. These two work perfectly together. The chemistry as a team is one part of the equation, but the continuation of their storyline would be a natural progression. A way to put a bow on things.
It will likely happen. Ciampa is primed to return soon. Keep your eyes open for a much-anticipated DIY reunion at some point in 2023.
What is Gargano’s ultimate destiny in WWE?
While it’s still hard to picture Johnny Gargano defeating someone like Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar in the main event, he’s still going to cement his legacy. As he approaches the latter stages of his career, that should be the focus.
It’s very easy to see him winning the US or Intercontinental championships on a handful of occasions. And reforming DIY or tagging with Dexter Lumis would likely lead to some tag team gold. So, he’s still got a few mountains to climb.
After that? It could very well end someday with a WWE Hall of Fame induction. If Gargano has just a few really strong years on RAW and Smackdown, he will have crafted a career for the ages. The ultimate underdog, who reached the peak of pro wrestling prominence.
With his positive attitude, incredible work ethic, professionalism, and poise, that would be the perfect ending to The Legend of Johnny Gargano.
His career has already been like a hero’s tale, and there’s no doubt that he will write the final chapters accordingly. Because every time he steps into the spotlight, he proves that (sometimes) you really can get ahead by doing things the right way.