Chris Van Vliet passed this along.
Van Vliet interviewed Johnny Gargano following his NXT Championship victory at NXT TakeOver: New York this past Friday. Gargano talks about winning the NXT Championship, competing in the Royal Rumble, how he considers NXT the “main roster”, and more.
When asked about the main roster, he says “NXT is the main roster”:
“I get the question a lot of when are you going to the main roster and I absolutely hate that question. I hate it so much. I get tweeted that a lot and people say ‘I can’t wait to see you on the main roster’ and I tell them you are seeing me on the main roster. NXT is the main roster. I do believe that Raw, Smackdown and NXT are the three brands and I think that people can come from Raw or Smackdown to NXT and I think that people from NXT can go to Raw or Smackdown. It’s very interchangeable. Obviously there are different worlds there in people’s minds but for me, this is my main roster title. This is my main roster moment. NXT to me is the hottest thing going not just in WWE but all across professional wrestling. I think NXT is the hottest brand in sports entertainment and I’m not just saying that because I am biased, I’m not just saying that because I’m me, I’m saying that because I was at TakeOver. I watched the show. I’d put TakeOvers up against anything in the world.”
What Candice LeRae said to him in the ring after he won the NXT Championship:
“I think she said she was going to fix my hair for me. It wasn’t anything like ‘I’m very proud of you’ (laughs). She told me she was going to fix my hair.”
At first he didn’t realize Candice was congratulating him and thought it was a run in:
“I was on my knees and I grabbed the belt and I felt someone tackle me and I was like ‘what is happening right now?’ and I had no idea who it was. I didn’t know if a fan got in the ring, I didn’t know if one of the member of Undisputed Era jumped me afterwards, I didn’t know if anything had changed, I didn’t know what was going on and then I was like ‘Oh, it’s Candice’. She hit me hard, I was like ‘Oh my God!’.”
Shawn Michaels inspired his celebration after winning the NXT Championship:
“Honestly, when I got down, it was very Shawn Michaels like, and that was the defining moment of my childhood, the boyhood dream and I think it’s the defining moment of a lot of people’s childhoods. A lot of people are saying this to me and it doesn’t seem real, they say remember when you watched Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 12, the boyhood dream, you always remember that moment, there are going to be kids that my win will be their Shawn Michaels moment. And that is mind blowing to me, that’s bonkers to me that that’s possible.”