Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Johnny Gargano, Kyle O'Reilly and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2021

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Johnny Gargano, Kyle O'Reilly and More

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    WWE's developmental brand dominated the pro wrestling rumor mill ahead of Sunday's NXT War Games on Peacock.

    The contractual statuses of Johnny Gargano and Kyle O'Reilly have long been topics of discussion but as we near their conclusion, what exactly does the future hold for the two respected competitors and just how eager is WWE to keep them?

    Those are two questions answered by new rumors and innuendo, as well as which young breakout star has the potential to be called up to the main roster already. 

WWE Working to Re-Sign Johnny Gargano

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    Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select reported negotiations between Johnny Gargano and WWE officials began back in October as the company looks to keep the former NXT champion on board.

    He continued, "WWE wants to keep him onboard, and applauded his work with The Way before the group split, even mentioning that he helped progress several new stars even if he does leave."

    There is no denying that Gargano was key in the development of both Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell.

    The Aussie is a prominent player on NXT 2.0, where she is currently married to Dexter Lumis and competing alongside Persia Perrotta in a newly formed tag team. Theory has made a major impact early in his main roster career, working alongside the likes of Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio before challenging Big E for the WWE championship as part of the payoff to the company's tie-in with Netflix film, Red Notice.

    That Gargano is one of the best wrestlers in the world and has a proven track record of putting others over certainly makes him that much more valuable to the company's efforts both between the ropes and in developing talent.

    How much he wants to break free from the reigns and wrestle top stars in big matches, rather than relative unknowns in a developmental setting, will determine how likely he is to stay put.

Kyle O'Reilly's Contractual Status with WWE

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    Gargano's contract is not the only one Sapp had an update on this week as he also reported Kyle O'Reilly's contract is currently set to expire before the end of the year, earlier than many thought. However, "this was not a surprise to WWE, however, as they looked over their contracts this summer after the Pete Dunne and Adam Cole deals all came due in surprise fashion."

    WWE has an interest in re-signing O'Reilly, the report stated, and company officials have reached out to him on the matter.

    O'Reilly has recently teamed with Von Wagner in pursuit of the NXT Tag Team Championships. It is a far cry from where he was earlier in the year when it looked like he might actually win the brand's world title.

    One has to wonder if management appearing to lose faith in him as the top star on the brand will influence him to take his talents elsewhere. Could he end up in AEW, with longtime friend, partner and adversary Adam Cole? Might a Red Dragon reunion with Bobby Fish occur?

    We will know the answer to those questions sooner rather than later as 2021 is nearing its end, as is O'Reilly's contractual run in McMahonland.

Update on Odyssey Jones

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    Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats reported there is some internal interest in bringing Odyssey Jones up to the main roster.

    If that proves to be the case, it would be a meteoric rise for Jones, who only debuted in NXT this year and has not been a fixture with the brand for a long stretch by any means. It isn't a surprise, though. The young performer is big, charismatic and athletic. He also performs well in front of a live audience, knowing when and how to fire up so that the crowd reacts accordingly.

    Vince McMahon and main roster officials likely see dollar signs in the former collegiate football player. At just two years in the industry, though, time would tell if he is ready to make the jump and perform on a regular basis against guys who have competed much longer and all over the world.