Johnny Gargano was a recent guest on theÂ In This CornerÂ podcast with Brian Campbell; you can read a few transcribed highlightsÂ (credit to Bill Pritchard for Wrestlezone.com)Â below:
Johnny Gargano comments on the comparisons of Tommaso Ciampa turning on him to Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannettyâs infamous âBarber Shop Windowâ segment:
Thatâs crazy you say that. As a part of my childhood, âBarber Shop Windowâ was such a huge, monumental moment. Do I think about things that way? I am one of those people that I do something, and then years down the line Iâm like âoh that was pretty cool!â When Iâm in the moment, I donât think itâs special. I donât think itâs probably even good. Iâm not a fan of any of my own matches, my own work; Iâm my own worst critic, but when people say that to me, itâs wild. All of this is still soâIâve been wrestling for over 13 yearsâall of this is still so new to me. Coming around [Wrestlemania] Axxess and seeing The Undertaker, Randy Orton and Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, and then thereâs a picture of me hanging up with them? That doesnât make sense to me at all! Little Johnny Gargano, like little eight year old Johnny Gargano, he should be here as a fan, but Iâm here as a performer. Itâs mindblowing. That stuff isnât lost on me.
What does he attribute his popularity to?
Iâm just real. Iâm me. Thereâs nothing fake about anything I say or anything I do. I think about me as I know what itâs like to be a wrestling fan. I remember the little things, I remember things that as a fan would make me react, would make me go âoh, thatâs really cool.â Thatâs why whenever I see fans waiting at airports or fans waiting outside, I always make sure to go up and say hi to them. I know as a fan that would have meant the world to me. I thinkâIâm an undersized guy, undersized for this businessâpeople see me and they see the ultimate underdog. I think it helps that Iâve been wrestling for thirteen years. A lot of these fans, a lot of these NXT fans, have been along with me on this journey. They saw me when I was wrestling in front of 50 people, they saw me when I was wrestling in front of 250 people, and now theyâre going to see me wrestling in front of 18,000 people. I was the guy that always dreamed of being WWE, but youâd always see him and go âahh, but heâs not quite big enough, but Iâd really like to see Johnny get a shot.â Johnny got his shot, Johnnyâs here, and they feel like âweâre going to push him through that door.â
Gargano comments on his goal of always getting to WWE, if he had any advice for indie talents on the fence about joining the company:Â
I love independent wrestling; I always have and I always will, but I know as a child I grew up watching WWE. The moments and the memories that WWE created is what I remember the most as a wrestling fan. My dream, obviously, is to be a part of Wrestlemania, and to be a part of Wrestlemania weekend. Yes, you can do that, and Iâve done that multiple years on the indies, but to be here at Axxess and be a part of this companyâI know I sound like a real great ârah rahâ company guyâthis is the best company in the world. NXT has the best talent roster in the world.
It blows my mind mind how good everyone actually is. Like I said, itâs guys like me who have been traveling the world for a very, very long time, who finally get the shot to work for this company. When I wrestled on the indiesâ if I could say anything to fellow indie wrestlers, guys like that who are undecidedâmy goal was to go the âDaniel Bryanâ route, the CM Punk route. Where you do everything you possibly could on the indies, and then when you feel like youâre fulfilled, youâve done everything you can, then you come here. That was my goal, I felt like I accomplished a lot, I wrestled on the indies for over ten years, and now I want to be a part of this company. I canât wait to walk around the Axxess Superstore and look at all of the merchandise; itâs just bigger than all of us and itâs so cool to be a part of.