Johnny Gargano's Decision to Leave WWE Was a Long Time Coming

Chris Barilla - Author
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Mar. 31 2022, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

The departure of Johnny Gargano from WWE left an immeasurable void in many fans' hearts. The fan-favorite wrestler, who was last seen competing in WWE NXT WarGames 2021 as a member of the Old School team, has since departed the organization, and a lot of fans are still wondering exactly what went down that brought about this massive career shift.

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So, why did Johnny actually leave WWE? The wrestler has opened up about his major decision in the time since his departure. Keep reading to find out a bit more about his reasoning.

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Why did Johnny Gargano leave WWE?

After Johnny's WWE contract expired, he chose not to renew it. During a December 2021 appearance on the Iron-On Wrestling With Gregory Iron podcast, Johnny gave a bit more context into his decision and what his plans after WWE were.

"I definitely felt very complete. I felt complete for the past year," he told Gregory Iron at the time. "This wasn't a decision that came out of nowhere. This was a decision I decided a year ago. Luckily, it worked out to where me and Candice are having a baby."

Indeed, Johnny and his wife, fellow wrestler Candice LeRae, revealed on Feb. 18, 2022, on Instagram that they brought their son, Quill Gargano, into the world.

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Johnny noted on the podcast, "The baby really finalized my decision on what I wanted to do and how I wanted to take this time." He mentioned that fans shouldn't expect to see him back in the ring any time soon.

On what his life will look like going forward besides being a father, Johnny said that he's really looking to pivot his interests into some new things.

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"There are other mountains I want to climb and other things I want to try and do, not just in wrestling, but life in general," he explained. "Other avenues I want to try. I've always been enamored with creating content and things like that. Now I have free time to try to do that. I'm very lucky to have a loyal fanbase that has followed me and continues to follow me even though I'm not in NXT and am doing my own thing now."

Will Johnny ever return to WWE? He left the possibility open.

Although Johnny made it clear that he would be stepping away from wrestling for some time, he didn't tell Gregory that the move was permanent.

"I can go back whenever I want. WWE in general," he said, "I can go back whenever I want. I really appreciate that because I'm so grateful that the company I dreamed of working for my entire life still wants me for a very long time, which is really cool."

Fans will simply have to stay tuned to Johnny's social media pages for any news of future endeavors.

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