Johnny Gargano is the newest star on Monday Night Raw. The NXT icon left WWE at the end of 2021, and many thought he was gone from WWE for good and possibly going to AEW. The man they call Johnny Wrestling surprised everyone and came out to massive applause at the RAW event in Toronto.
JOHNNY GARGANO IS BACK!!!!!!!!!@JohnnyGargano has arrived on #WWERaw. pic.twitter.com/KmPs8c3OTG
— WWE (@WWE) August 23, 2022
But if you’re not entirely familiar with Johnny Gargano, here are a few fast facts.
He’s From Cleveland
John Anthony Nicholas Gargano was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 14th, 1987.
WE NEED CLEVELAND’S OWN JOHNNY GARGANO RIGHT NOW #AEW #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/tpuNoE8Yp3
— THE™ Jessi Davin (@jessithebuckeye) January 27, 2022
Even though he now lives in Florida, Cleveland still calls the Birthplace of Rock n Roll home.
Stopped in my FAVORITE donut shop and they surprised me with this beautiful assortment on this fine Sunday morning in Cleveland, Ohio..
❤ @brewnuts pic.twitter.com/4kyR990IYP
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) February 17, 2019
He Was A Big Independent Wrestling Star
October 16th Big Trouble In Little Cleveland: Johnny Gargano VS. The Amazing Red. pic.twitter.com/FGRfpJBqt4
— Absolute Intense Wrestling (@aiwrestling) October 2, 2015
Far from a product of the WWE Performance Center, Gargano began on the independent scene, where he became one of the top performers for local and international promotions. I saw him and a recently released Drew McIntyre tear the roof off a building in an Evolve wrestling show the weekend of WrestleMania 31 in the Bay Area. The two eventually became tag champions in the high-profile promotion that acted as a feeder promotion for WWE.
Congrats to Drew Galloway and Johnny Gargano on becoming the first ever Evolve Tag Team Champions! #Evolve pic.twitter.com/W6O0MRw4Pn
— Kayfabe Connection (@KFabeConnection) January 27, 2016
Johnny Gargano Wrestled His Way Into WWE
Gargano was thought too small to be a big WWE star but still impressed scouts during a WWE tryout in 2015. Even though he wasn’t signed for the next few months, he regularly wrestled for the developmental brand and developed a cult following for his incredible matches.
Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa
Cruiserweight Classic 23.6.2016 pic.twitter.com/5Hr1cc4LUd
— Pencil Neck Geek (@ineed2pi) August 10, 2022
Eventually, Gargano’s talent became undeniable, and he and Tomasso Ciampa were signed to complete NXT contracts. But it is fantastic that initially, WWE just wanted him on a per-appearance basis and saw little to no future for him.
He Integrates Comic Book Movies Into His Outfit
He loves to integrate his love of Marvel movies into his wrestling gear.
He’s included tributes to Captain Marvel.
Johnny Gargano’s Captain Marvel inspired gear though… #wwenxt #nxttakeover pic.twitter.com/gWH1F3PICM
— AUTHORS OF WRESTLING (@authofwrestling) June 2, 2019
Iron Man Johnny Wrestling @JohnnyGargano #NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/NVmHHcwGe7
— Kim (@kimberlasskick) April 6, 2019
WWE’S JOHNNY GARGANO Sports CAPTAIN AMERICA Gear For NXT TAKEOVER: https://t.co/jqTi3QoyWn pic.twitter.com/I0EE9ZzZrl
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) June 17, 2018
Johnny Gargano’s Wolverine-inspired gear at #NXTTakeOver Toronto pic.twitter.com/PvfCe2p2rf
— Wrestling Resource – The Sportster (@WrestlingSheet) August 11, 2019
And his childhood idol and now mentor, Shawn Michael
Love Johnny Gargano’s tribute to Shawn Michaels’ old gear.#NXTTakeOver pic.twitter.com/iN1vuDFaBK
— CONNER (@WrestleConner) June 14, 2021
He Was Lichenstein’s Wrestling Champion.
His first WWE appearance game was in 2007 when a 19-year-old Gargano (wrestling as Cedrick Von Haussen) fought against then US Champion MVP in a squash match.
The episode of Smackdown from March 23rd, 2007 will always hold a special place in my heart..
This 19 year old kid from Cleveland (by way of Lichtenstein) got a chance to live his dream in front of his family and friends in his hometown for the very first time..#SD1000 pic.twitter.com/cd3ne3yZ1e
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) October 17, 2018
Next, Read This: News On Johnny Gargano Return, Edge Hints At Retiring
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling