Just before the February 18 episode of Monday Night Raw in 2019, WWE shockingly announced on social media that Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black were all on their way to Raw.
In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport, Johnny Gargano spoke to Louis Dangoor about just how last-minute that call-up was, explaining that Tommaso Ciampa had to go into his apartment and get this gear for him:
"I got a call randomly on a Saturday morning, I was in Cleveland for my Dad’s birthday, and I was basically told I was going to be on Monday Night Raw on Monday. I didn’t have any gear or anything like that with me, I had to call Tommaso who was in Florida at the time, he had to go and get a key to my apartment and get my gear, so Tommaso had to bring me my gear and a suit and things like that, because literally it was so last minute, we were so not prepared for anything like this, and we didn’t know what was going on."
Gargano explained that it was challenging to find a common ground so what everyone could be happy, but he emphasised that he didn't want his long-term story with Ciampa to be rushed and immediately discarded:
"You mentioned yourself, during that time period we were in the middle of telling a story, I guess that now looking back, people aren’t going to get it because they threw a wrench in it, but it was a story we were both very proud of, and a story we were both very protective over. So, no matter what direction we were going to be given on Raw and on SmackDown, we wanted to protect the story and we wanted to honour the people that watch NXT, because it matters. I think that is a thing that is the hardest ball to juggle."
"For wrestling fans, I think they feel like they are wasting their time sometimes, they feel like they are not being rewarded. For us in NXT, for me and Tommaso, we want to reward fans for tuning in, we want to reward fans for watching. I’m a big Marvel guy, so I love long-term storytelling. I love things like that. I don’t want a long-term story to be thrown away for no reason, I want there to be a reason behind everything. I think like you said, we’re both wrestling fans, we want to be rewarded, so especially during that time period, it was such a fine line to walk for both of us.
"We were like ‘okay, we have this story we are going to tell and we need to tell, but we are also being asked to do this other thing’, I guess we had to kind of try and find common ground, a middle-ground for all of us so everyone can be happy, so where we can make NXT fans happy and give them what they want. It’s such an interesting time period, man. Luckily things worked out how they were supposed to and I came back to NXT and everything worked out, but yeah, it was so last minute"
During the same interview, Johnny Gargano also spoke about his feud with Tommaso Ciampa, stating that he and the former NXT Champion want to properly end their story with a match in front of fans, which you can read about by clicking here.
Also in the interview, Johnny Gargano spoke about finding out that Samoa Joe would be returning to NXT last month, which you can also read more about by clicking here.
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