Gargano comments on going from being a babyface to his current role in NXT:
Yeah, it’s all over the map, and I think that’s the pretty cool thing about it though, is kind of everyone’s picking sides, and all the sides kind of have to do with my side, so it’s all, “Oh, we want Johnny Wrestling, we want the Johnny Failure, boo, why Johnny why, oh I get it, oh, I don’t get it. Why’d he do this? Why’d he do that? Oh, he shouldn’t have done this. Oh, maybe he should’ve done this.” It’s so all over the map, and I think that’s kind of the atmosphere I get when I perform now, too.
I’ve only done one show since that, but I think The Staples Center is going to be madness. I think it’s gonna be wild. And I think that’s kind of the beautiful thing about NXT, is we can kind of tell stories like that, because at the end of the day, in real life, the world does change people. Certain situations do change people. I’m not the same person I was, same person I am now, that you saw wrestling back in whatever, 10 years ago. I’m not that person. Things have happened that have changed me. I’ve grown, I’ve changed, I’m different.
And I think characters need to change too, based on things that happen in their lives. For me, I feel like I’m still the same person, I’m still the same guy. I feel like I’m very justified in my actions, ’cause in my head, in my mind, I made a mistake, and Tommaso Ciampa’s NXT Champion because of me. It’s my fault, I’ve owned up to that, that’s my mistake. But it’s my mistake to fix. I’m gonna be the one to fix it. I have to be the one to fix it. Aleister Black unfortunately just got in the way. It’s a two person story, it’s me and Tommaso. Aleister Black was not supposed to be involved. Did I mess up by costing him the NXT Championship? Yes, but I was going to fix it.
In my head, the ends justify the means. The end is me defeating Tomasso Ciampa, for the NXT Championship, everyone celebrating, everyone going nuts, you’ll be happy. That is the end. If one person had to be jumped in the parking lot to make that happen, I’m sorry Aleister, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s basically what it comes down to.
Gargano comments on Becky Lynch’s injury, and how WWE can make the best out of the situation:
You can never control injuries. Accidents happen, that’s just how things go. But I feel like WWE, and as much crap as they get for whatever, I feel like they always make the best of really bad scenarios, and I will point the Tommaso Ciampa going away. I feel like it made people wait for me and Tommaso’s inevitable match. I feel like it made the story longer. And the thing is, I feel like in this day and age, we’re such a, “We want it now sort of culture.” Like I’m watching a YouTube video, and I fast forward if it’s … if there’s a 30 second ad, I’m losing my mind. I don’t want to sit and watch an ad.
We’re such a, “We want it now,” culture, so when you make us wait for something, we kind of throw a fit like children. ‘Cause we’re like, “We don’t want to wait, we want it now! They’re screwing up! Give it to us now!” Sometimes, things are worth waiting for. And I feel like it worked out really well with me and Tomasso, and I feel like it may work out really well with Becky Lynch, ’cause Becky Lynch has made the best of every situation she’s been given, and she’s the hottest thing right now in WWE, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. She’s been doing amazing work, and I feel like they’ll make the best of this as well. And things will turn out for the best.
Johnny comments on Candice LeRae getting her moment to shine:
So, I feel, and I’ve gotten this a lot, and I’ve seen this a lot, too, that they want Candice to be her own person, and she definitely should be her own person. She is not Mrs. Johnny Wrestling, she is not Johnny Gargano’s wife, that is not who she is. She is Candice freakin’ LaRae, she’s one of the best wrestlers in the world. And that is, I will preach that until the end of time. The thing is, it takes certain … it takes time for certain audiences to grow, and I think it takes time for certain characters to grow.
The Johnny Wrestling you got, at Takeover Philadelphia was not the Johnny Wrestling that was fighting Baron Corbin years before that on NXT. It takes time to get where you ultimately are. Yeah, it takes time, and I feel like, yes, was Candice brought in, was she introduced to the NXT audience at Takeover Philadelphia as my wife, coming to help me against Zelina Vega? Yes. Would she be effected if her real life husband was going through these issues? Would that effect her character? I feel like it would, I feel like in a real life scenario, like if she’s going through something, I’d be effected too, that’s just how it works.
Unfortunately, that’s just how stories are being told, but I know that Candice LaRae’s one of the best wrestlers in the world. I know everyone in NXT knows that Candice LaRae is one of the best wrestlers in the world. And when the time is right, Candice will shine, and Candice will get her moment, and it will all be worth it. I fully believe that, I fully believe everything happens for a reason, and I fully believe that at the end of the day, we’re gonna get Candice freakin’ LaRae.