WWE Rumors: Johnny Gargano Won't Have Contract Renewed; Will Become Free Agent

Doric SamDecember 10, 2021

COLOGNE, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 07: A WWE Logo at the WWE Live Tryout  at the Motorworld on November 7, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

A longtime NXT superstar is reportedly leaving WWE.

According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Johnny Gargano is set to become a free agent at midnight after he and WWE decided not to extend his contract. Gargano, a former NXT champion, started working for WWE in 2015 and officially signed a contract with the company in April 2016.

Gargano also held the NXT North American title three times and NXT tag team belt once alongside current NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa. Gargano became the first triple-crown champ in NXT history.

The 34-year-old is known for his spectacular in-ring work in NXT. Gargano had a critically acclaimed yearlong rivalry with Ciampa after their tag team broke up. The two had a trilogy of matches that headlined three NXT TakeOver events.

Gargano also had long-term feuds with Adam Cole, Aleister Black and Andrade "Cien" Almas, all of whom now wrestle for AEW. Black and Almas are now known as Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo.

WWE rebranded NXT to "NXT 2.0" in September and started focusing on developing younger talent. Gargano still remained a featured superstar until the end of his contract, wrestling as a part of the eight-man main-event tag team match at NXT WarGames this past Sunday. It was the first time Gargano participated in a WarGames match during his NXT run.

On Tuesday's episode of NXT 2.0, Gargano said goodbye to the crowd in attendance before he was attacked by up-and-coming wrestler Grayson Waller. After the show ended, pictures surfaced online of Gargano and fellow veteran NXT star Kyle O'Reilly having an emotional farewell. O'Reilly's contract also expired recently.

Johnny Gargano @JohnnyGargano

<a href="https://t.co/qJVLq71Ci7">pic.twitter.com/qJVLq71Ci7</a>

Gargano is married to fellow wrestler and NXT superstar Candice LeRae. LeRae is currently away from the company because she is pregnant with the couple's first child, which they announced is due in February and will be a boy.


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