Johnny Gargano had a brief run on the WWE main roster a couple of years ago, but he wasn’t a fan of the experience. Since then, he’s returned to NXT full-time and appears very happy there, and chances are he isn’t interested in returning to Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown in the near future. During an interview with the After the Bell podcast, by the way of 411 Mania, he opened up about his experiences in WWE thus far and the main differences between the black and gold brand and the other shows.
According to Gargano, NXT is a completely different environment and there is less pressure on the roster members. Furthermore, the NXT superstars and personnel are all closer to each other, while the main roster is very populated.
“I feel like it’s way more stressful on Raw and Smackdown for some strange reason. But in NXT it feels like home, and it feels like I’m very, very comfortable. So I think that’s the biggest difference for me, then what I felt. Over there, it just feels very, I don’t know. Like, there’s a million people. There’s literally a million people that I’ve never seen — I see new people all the time when I’m backstage at Raw and Smackdown. NXT, it’s just like a family environment where I know everyone, so I think that’s the biggest change.”
I made my choice.
I poured my heart and soul into this brand for YEARS. You think I'm gonna leave now that everything I helped work towards is finally happening?
Not a chance!
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) September 12, 2019
When Gargano was promoted to the main roster, he was put into a tag team with Tommaso Ciampa, whom he’d been feuding with for over a year on the black and gold brand. Their call-ups coincided with their rivalry reaching its climax, but they never got to complete their storyline, which upset many fans. Perhaps that’s why Gargano wasn’t pleased with his main roster run.
During the interview, Gargano also opened up about sharing a WWE locker room with several superstars that he came up with on the independent circuit. Gargano believes that nothing has changed too much as they haven’t been repackaged too much in NXT, and their styles are still the same for the most part. According to the superstar, the main difference is that they just get to do what they’ve always done on a grander stage.
Gargano has accomplished almost everything there is to achieve on the black and gold brand, but he recently rejuvenated his career by turning heel. Prior to the turn, he’d been predominantly booked as a fan-favorite babyface, and his change in attitude shocked the Full Sail crowd.