Johnny Gargano on how NXT 2.0 compares to the black and gold version, he and Candice LeRae being free agents, what’s left to accomplish in pro wrestling

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Good Karma Wrestling with guest Johnny Gargano
Hosts: ESPN Chicago’s Jonathan Hood, ESPN Milwaukee’s Gabe Neitzel, and ESPN West Palm’s Brian Rowitz
Twitter: @gkw_wrestling
Interview available at YouTube.com (interview starts at roughly 40:00)

On he and wife Candice LeRae being such hot commodities as free agents: “I’m on the record, I am a wrestling fan. I enjoyed wrestling a lot during the Attitude Era where the internet wasn’t as wise, there was a lot of uncertainty, and you never knew who was showing up where and when and what was going to happen. Anything I can do to bring a little bit of that uncertainty to the table and hopefully bring about a cool surprise for people one day, I am going to try to protect that as much as I can. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for wrestling fans. It’s scary. You have to think about it, it’s a scary thought process.

“I had this guaranteed contract with WWE I could take for a lot of money, and I could come back and keep doing what I’m doing. I just knew with the baby on the way, I didn’t want to have anyone else to be in control of my time because I’m really only going to get one shot at this, me and Candice are only planning on having one kid. I want to be there and try to experience everything that I can with Quill for his first year before I do anything else because I think I would regret if I missed his first words or if I missed his first steps if I was out wrestling in a town somewhere. I’m very lucky that fans do want to see me and it is scary to step away because you think you are going to be forgotten so it is a nice reminder sometimes, every time I trend on Twitter or my name pops up that I haven’t been forgotten yet.”

What is left to accomplish in the wrestling business: “The obvious answer is I never got to wrestle at WrestleMania, that was always something on my bucket list and it still is on my bucket list. Still, something in the back of my mind that I haven’t done yet. Getting a chance to wrestle at a WrestleMania is something that I want to accomplish. But also, any of those titles over there, I know it’s a usual answer for a lot of guys of my size and from my era, but the Intercontinental Title, especially the white strap Intercontinental Title that I used to love, that is always something that has been in the back of my mind as that I would like to have one day.”

As a wrestling fan how does he feel about NXT 2.0 and how it compares to NXT: “I don’t think you can compare them. Honestly, I think it’s a completely different product and they are doing something completely new, something completely different than what the black and gold era was. Which I totally understand it. They went to a strictly more developmental program, which I totally get, they’re building people for the future. They have a lot of great gems there that should turn out and hopefully become superstars one day. I am very on record about guys like Bron Baker, Cora Jade, Roxanne as well.”

Other topics include Gargano’s thoughts on Triple H, his dream matches, AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door, Cody Rhodes returning to WWE, FTR, and more.

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