Johnny Gargano’s recent proclamation that he’s NXT for life isn’t just a catchphrase, the former champ tells us he meant it.
During a recent conversation at the Performance Center with Editor-in-Chief Ryan Satin, Gargano talked about making the famous hand gesture on a recent episode of NXT in regards to where he’d stand after losing the NXT Championship.
“In my mind, when I said I’m ‘NXT for life,’ I meant it,” he explained. “I believe just because things have always been a certain way doesn’t mean they have to stay that way, just because that’s always been the norm. I said it in the promo too, but they don’t tell you you have a choice. You DO have a choice! Like, I’m staying here. I love this place. I’m staying here. That’s what it comes down to.”
“This is the team I believe in. I’ve worked with a lot of these guys for over 10 years. We’ve all travelled the world together. I am so incredibly proud to be on this team. I don’t wan’t to go on another team,” he elaborated.
As you may recall, Johnny was announced as part of the Cruiserweights who were coming to Monday Night Raw in the summer of 2016. That never happened though. Three years later, Gargano was briefly called up to the main roster as well … but returned to NXT after only a few matches.
“I like my life here, I like working with this team,” Johnny said while talking about staying in NXT. “Not just the roster, but also the locker room, also the writing staff. I have such a good relationship with all these people. Shawn and Hunter, they are incredibly good at letting talented people be talented and not taking the talent out of them. Enhancing that talent, that is what they are great at.”
Gargano also says he’d like to help shed the idea of NXT champions having to get moved to Raw or SmackDown immediately after losing the title.
The full video below features additional discussion on Superstars at the PC poised to breakout, long-term storytelling in NXT, Tommaso Ciampa and more.