Johnny Gargano Addresses Not Appearing at AEW Dynamite: Beach Break in Cleveland

Johnny Gargano did not appear at AEW Dynamite: Beach Break on Wednesday night, despite many fans predicting online that the former NXT Champion would be jumping to the young promotion while it was in his hometown. Gargano, one of the most decorated wrestlers in the history of WWE's NXT brand, allowed his WWE contract to expire last month as he chose to take a break from wrestling as he and Candie LeRae prepare for the birth of their son next month. "Johnny Wrestling" noticed the fan speculation on Twitter and, shortly after the episode concluded, decided to put out a statement on Twitter. 

"I heard you and you have no idea how much it means to me that you're excited to see me back at it," Gargano wrote. "It's scary to step away because your insecurities say 'they'll forget about you'... but you haven't forgotten and I promise that I will make it up to you asap. #JohnnyWrestling"

In an interview with ComicBook earlier this month, Gargano addressed fans holding out hope of him returning to action soon. He explained, "...I just really wanted to take this time to get away from all that and not have to worry about all that. Not have to worry about who hates me or who doesn't like my matches or who does like my matches or just anything like that. I just wanted to completely break free of all that and refresh myself, and especially with a baby coming soon, I wanted to be in the best headspace I possibly could, not only for Candice, but also for the baby.

"I appreciate that people really want to see me wrestle again," he continued. "Right now, I'm focused on spending as much time as I can with Candice because people don't realize that this is the last about, I don't know, four to five weeks that it's just going to be me and her for a long time. Me, her and Pawdme for a long time. Then for 18 years, at least, we're going to have a little rugrat running around. So I'm excited to spend that time with her. I'm excited to spend that time with the baby, but I always do say this. I say this and I said it on my Twitch stream. I say it all the time. I do still watch everything. I do still listen to everything. So if you chant Johnny Wrestling loud enough, who knows what can happen?"