Fresh off the news that Kevin Owens' WWE contract is set to expire in early 2022, Sean Ross Sapp broke the news via Fightful Select on Monday evening that Johnny Gargano's current deal with WWE is set to expire in a few months. According to Sapp, the NXT Triple Crown Champion's current contract ends on Dec. 3, and that while WWE and Gargano have not started negotiations that is expected to take place in the next few months. Sapp also noted that, unlike with the situations surrounding Adam Cole and Pete Dunne, WWE officials were well aware of Gargano's contract status.
Signing with WWE in 2016, Gargano became the first wrestler in the brand's history to win the NXT Championship, North American Championship and Tag Team Championships. Though he and former tag partner Tommaso Ciampa were briefly called up to Raw and SmackDown in 2019, Gargano has repeatedly stated he has no intention of leaving NXT for one of WWE's other brands. In April 2020 Gargano turned heel to finally end his feud with Ciampa, then formed the faction The Way alongside his wife Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory.
"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! The phrase going 'up' is dead. We're THE Main Roster now. #WeAreNXT and when you're NXT.. you're NXT," Gargano wrote on Twitter back in 2019.
He's also publicly shot down the idea of being afraid to make the jump to another roster, writing last year, "Let's talk about this 'scared' narrative. I get to work side by side with my Wife and guys I've traveled the world with for years. I have a great relationship with everyone in the office, get to WRESTLE and help a product I truly believe in. That's my definition of 'success.'
The Gargano news comes right as NXT is gearing up for a relaunch beginning with this week's episode.
"We are doing a complete revamp on NXT, led by Triple H, who is really one of the architects of the original NXT. What we found — it's part of why we did the tryout yesterday — what we want to make sure is easy for folks who want to be WWE Superstars, is figuring out how to become WWE Superstars," WWE president Nick Khan said while explaining the changes to the brand in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani.
"In terms of an NXT re-brand, look for it in the next couple of weeks. It's going to have a whole new look, it's going to have a whole new feel — and we believe — because of a lot of the indie wrestlers, if you will, have come through our system and are in our system with SmackDown and Raw now. We don't want to just keep doing that same thing, we want to look elsewhere for great, young talent," he continued.