Johnny Gargano reflected on his brief WWE main roster call-up alongside Tommasso Ciampa in February 2019 while speaking on The Sessions with Renee Paquette.
Gargano and Ciampa wrestled as a team on Raw and SmackDown while their storyline was also playing out on NXT.
“I believe we were at Raw or SmackDown and Tommaso (Ciampa) saw the doctor and Tommaso pulled me aside and said, ‘They’re pulling me. They’re making me go get surgery’ and then when that happened. I was like, ‘Okay, well what do we do now?’ Because I think the ultimate plan was for us to do Raw and SmackDown stuff but keep doing NXT stuff as well because Tommaso’s the NXT Champion and I was North American Champ. I just lost it so, but, Tommaso had to get neck surgery.
I remember as soon as I heard that, I texted Shawn (Michaels), I texted everyone and I was like, ‘Hey, Tommaso’s out. If there’s no plan –’. If the plan was just for me and him to be a tag team and then I think the plan was for me and him to be a tag team, the turn to happen, me and him to feud up there. I’m not really sure logistically, but, ‘If you don’t have plans right now, just send me back to NXT so they have somebody that could main event this TakeOver’ and then everyone agreed that.
‘Okay, we’ll send you back and then we’ll bring you back eventually’ and then luckily, the USA (Network) deal happened and then they’re like, ‘We need Johnny on USA’ and then it was just one of those things where it never got talked about again. It’s just such a stressful environment and some people are great in that environment, some people love the stress, some people love that atmosphere.
I really like to know what I’m doing, I really like to know how much time we have and if time gets cut, that’s fine. But I just like to know and have a hand in the story and the process and things like that. But like I said, everyone in WWE is great, they’ve always treated me great. But, it’s just the environment sometimes is a little wild, as you (Renee Paquette) know.”
Transcription via POST Wrestling.