News broke back in September that Johnny Gargano's WWE contract was months away from expiring. Since then there haven't been many updates regarding his future with the company, but during the latest Wrestling Observer Radio Dave Meltzer stated that, as of a couple of days ago, the NXT Triple Crown Champion had not put pen to paper on a new deal. He's booked to challenge Carmelo Hayes and Pete Dunne for the NXT North American Championship on tonight's edition of NXT 2.0, and Meltzer pointed out the result of that match will likely give a hint as to what Gargano's status is.
Originally debuting on the NXT roster in 2015, Gargano wasn't signed to a contract until a year later when he and Tommaso Ciampa started building a following as the tag team DIY. From there he would become one of the most decorated stars in the brand's history, becoming the first NXT Triple Crown Champion, the first man to hold the NXT North American Championship three times, a five-time NXT Year-End Award winner and a nine-time NXT TakeOver main eventer. Shortly after a fumbled main roster call-up in 2019, Gargano began stating publicly that he never wanted to leave the NXT brand again.
"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 #4Life," Gargano wrote on Twitter back in 2019.
The past year has seen Gargano flip-flop between heel and babyface while leading The Way faction with Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory. He and LeRae announced back in September that they're expecting their first child.
NXT has seen quite a number of changes in 2021. Numerous wrestlers have either seen their contracts expire or get suddenly released by the company, while the brand itself has switched to a heavier focus on wrestlers trained at the WWE Performance Center. Gargano doesn't fit that description, as he spent years competing in promotions like Chikara, Dragon Gate and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla before joining WWE.