Johnny Gargano will reportedly become a free agent at midnight on Thursday, December 9 after rejecting WWE’s attempts to re-sign him.
Johnny Gargano has reportedly rejected several contract offers from WWE and is set to officially part ways with the company. Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp reports that Gargano’s current WWE contract is set to expire at midnight on Thursday, December 9, at which point the former NXT Champion’s WWE tenure will officially come to an end after five years.
Gargano’s deal was initially due to expire on December 3, but he signed a brief extension that allowed him to tie up some loose ends on-screen.
Gargano’s last WWE match was the men’s WarGames match at NXT WarGames on December 5. Johnny Wrestling teamed up with LA Knight, Pete Dunne, and his former DIY partner Tommaso Ciampa to represent the NXT old guard as part of Team Black & Gold in a WarGames match against Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller & Tony D’Angelo).
Gargano came out to his old “Rebel Heart” theme and was wearing gear that paid homage to some of his previous outfits. He had the adulation of the crowd, and the NXT commentary team appeared to imply that this was his last match in NXT … although they also used the word “if” a lot so it’s possible that Gargano hadn’t actually made a decision by that point.
The following Tuesday on NXT 2.0, Gargano cut an impassioned, emotional promo that felt very much like a farewell speech. Tragically, the NXT stalwart was unable to finish the speech because he was ambushed and brutally beaten down by Aussie upstart Grayson Waller. Waller’s attack on Gargano seemed to cause some confusion regarding whether Gargano was actually bidding NXT farewell, or whether the whole thing was just an angle.