Johnny Gargano is reportedly set to become a free agent at midnight tonight.
As we’ve noted, Gargano’s original WWE NXT contract was scheduled to expire last Friday, December 3, but he signed a one-week extension to work last Sunday’s WarGames event, and this week’s NXT 2.0 episode. The extension would make the contract expire tomorrow, December 10. There was speculation on Gargano possibly re-signing with WWE after this week’s show ended with an attack by Grayson Waller as Gargano was addressing the fans on his future, but a post-show emotional farewell segment was held after NXT went off the air, and Gargano was joined by Kyle O’Reilly, who also reportedly has his contract expiring this week or early next week. You can click here for photos and video of the Waller angle, or click here for photos and video from the post-show farewell.
In an update, word now via Fightful Select is that Gargano will become a free agent as he will not sign a new WWE contract before midnight.
Gargano will be free to work anywhere he wants because the contract is expiring. There will not be a non-compete clause for Gargano, which means he can immediately show up on any TV show.
While WWE wanted Gargano to stay, his WWE departure is said to be “incredibly amicable” and the door was left open by both sides to work together in the future. People within WWE of influence are still hopeful that Gargano comes back to the company.
There has been some speculation on Gargano taking a few months away from pro wrestling as he and wife Candice LeRae prepare to welcome their child first child together, a baby boy, in February. However, this is just speculation and Gargano has not outright said that is his plan, but it was possibly implied during his speech on Tuesday night. LeRae’s WWE contract is set to expire in the spring, but there’s been talk that WWE will likely add time to the deal to make up for the time she’s missed while pregnant, which would put her under contract into 2023.
Gargano has reportedly been private about his decision backstage, but some people knew of his deal expiring as far back as one year ago. It’s been reported that WWE made a strong contract offer to Gargano, which would’ve kept him signed to the company for a few years. WWE reportedly made repeated efforts to get Gargano to sign that new deal, but he’s opted for free agency.
Gargano and other top NXT names passed on new contract offers back in 2019 when NXT premiered on the USA Network. It was noted that there was not sufficient incentive for top stars to take those offers. However, in October WWE officials began reaching out to Gargano to gauge his interest in a new deal, which was said to be “much better” than what was offered in 2019.
Regarding Gargano’s NXT speech this past Tuesday night, he was reportedly allowed to say what he wanted. People within NXT were said to be very happy about how Waller’s attack came across on TV.
There’s no word on what Gargano will do next, or if AEW has interest in adding another top talent to their roster, but we will keep you updated.
For those who missed it, you can click here for the Waller – Gargano angle, or click here for Gargano’s post-NXT farewell with O’Reilly, and you can click here for what Gargano had to say on social media this week.
Stay tuned for more.