Chris Van Vliet is featuring an interview with Johnny Gargano over WrestleMania 34 weekend in New Orleans following his match with Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver.
Gargano discusses a number of topics including the WWE main roster, comparisons of his character to Daniel Bryan, the Johnny Wrestling nickname and more.
Here are some highlights from the interview.
If he is concerned his character will be watered down when he gets called up the main roster:
“People are really worried about that. I get that on Twitter a lot that people like ‘I don’t want to see Johnny go to the main roster because he’s going to get messed up’. Look, I’m just me. I’m just Johnny Gargano. I’m the same Johnny Gargano I always have been so if you see anything I’ve done in NXT, you’re seeing the real me and they’ve treated me very good so I have no worries about where we’re going in the future.”
Being compared to Daniel Bryan:
“I get a lot of comparisons to Daniel Bryan and trust me, I am flattered by all of them because we mentioned New Orleans and WrestleMania, I watched it at home and watched Daniel Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania achieve his dreams. I’ve said this numerous times, I’ve been in the ring with Daniel Bryan and he’s the best wrestler in the world, bar none. So to be able to see him come back this year, and I know he recently said in an interview that he wanted me to lose so he could steal me to go on Smackdown Live which I very much appreciate. I’m going to give him a raincheck on that one because I still have a couple of things I want to accomplish in NXT.”
Working with his wife Candice LeRae in NXT:
“It’s amazing how everything has worked out. It’s literally a dream come true to be in the position I’m in. To be able to main event Takeovers but also to have my wife there with me now . Candice has worked just as hard as I have if not harder. Especially for what she did on the indies, she was an absolute trendsetter. So me being biased as her husband, I’m pumped to see her in NXT so I can be with her, but as a pure wrestling fan I am so excited to see her in NXT because she’s one of the best wrestlers in the world.”
How and why he transformed his body:
“I went away for a little bit after Tommaso turned his back on me. I’m always of the mindset that when you come back you have to be better than yourself and that’s my mindset from watching Triple H who went away and tore his quad and came back with those “Beautiful Day” videos and looked like a million dollars. You can’t go away for a long time and come back looking worse. You just can’t do that. I realized in myself, look I’m a small guy, I’m never going to be 250 pounds, I’m never going to be 6’5″, but I can get as jacked and as lean as humanly possible. And luckily enough for whatever reason I genetically have great abs. So I decided to go all in on being lean and going all in putting my best foot forward and looking the best I can. I hired a nutritionist, Austin Current on Instagram, he’s working with a lot of people now in WWE because they saw how well it worked for me and people were like give me your nutritionist’s info because it works. That along with Sean Hayes at the Performance Center who has amazing workouts and got me to where I need to be.”
How Johnny Manziel inspired his nickname “Johnny Wrestling”:
“It was just a tweet that I sent out one day when Johnny Manziel was still in college and the Johnny Football thing was starting to catch fire. I just randomly said, if he can be Johnny Football why can’t I be Johnny Wrestling? And then like the next weekend at shows I started getting Johnny Wrestling chants and the weekend after that I got Johnny Wrestling chants and they kept getting bigger and bigger. And as soon as the NXT thing happened, it blew up. It was inspired off Johnny Manziel because I am a Cleveland Browns fan so I was pumped about Manziel Mania coming to town but now it’s taken on a life of its own and people don’t even make that correlation anymore.”