Johnny Gargano Talks Tommaso Ciampa Rivalry, How He Felt After His NXT TakeOver: Phoenix Match


WWE NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano recently spoke with the Orlando Sentinel to talk about several professional wrestling topics. Gargano talked about not realizing how good his match with Ricochet was until he got backstage, being a part of NXT, and his rivalry with Tommaso Ciampa. Here are the highlights:

Not realizing how good his NXT TakeOver: Phoenix match with Ricochet was until after the fact: “When I’m in the ring, I can hear the reactions and know the people are enjoying themselves,” Gargano said. “They’re emoting in some way, so we’re doing something right. Do I realize, ‘Oh, this is going to be universally praised?’

“No. I came back through the curtain that night, and most nights, with very low energy, because that’s just how I am. I didn’t realize how good people thought the match was until after the fact. For me, it was exciting to win my first [singles] title in NXT. That’s validation for the hard work I put in.”

Being part of NXT: “I don’t know how many times we’ve all been in the locker room and said we can’t believe we’re all here doing this thing,” Gargano said. “We’ve all supported one another; some of us have known each other for 10 years and been around the world together. In a sense, we’ve grown up together, and to be a part of the NXT team together is truly special.”

His rivalry with Tommaso Ciampa“We’ve been able to make this a movie, a comic book come to life,” Gargano said. “People have been very invested in the twists and turns and we want to keep them guessing. When it’s said and done, people will be talking about it for years to come, and all of us involved in telling that story are very proud of that. We’ve taken people on a great ride.”

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