Ciampa, AJ Styles
Ciampa pinned AJ Styles for a shot at the United States Championship currently held by Bobby Lashley on the August 1, 2022 episode of Raw. WWE


  • Ciampa believes his longtime friend will return to pro wrestling soon
  • Johnny Gargano has remained on the sidelines since his contract expired in December 2021
  • Triple H leading the main roster could entice Gargano to return to WWE

WWE fans have been experiencing great weekly programming ever since Triple H took the reins as head of creative, and released superstars have since made their way back to WWE.

It is a list that includes Dexter Lumis, Karrion Kross, Scarlett and most recently Hit Row–minus Isaiah "Swerve" Scott who decided to sign with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in March of this year.

Seeing such names return to WWE has given fans new hope that a beloved NXT superstar will also make an appearance very soon in the form of former NXT Champion Johnny Gargano.

Ciampa recently spoke with SE Scoops and hinted that "Johnny Wrestling" cannot stay on the sidelines as a free agent forever.

"You are 100% going to see him in a ring again. I don't know which ring. I would think it's tough to say... He has got to be getting close to wrestling somewhere. The itch has got to be getting there," he said.

"We're almost at a year in now since he has been in the ring. I think at some point he'll make his way back to WWE. I feel like everyone does at some point. Never say never."

Ciampa and Gargano formed the pillars of NXT as they carried the then-black-and-gold brand to prominence in the mainstream alongside other big-name independent performers that were signed to the brand.

They initially started their time in NXT as a tag team called "DIY" in the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where they fell in the second round to Baron Corbin and Rhyno.

The pairing would last until NXT TakeOver: Chicago in May 2017 after Ciampa attacked Gargano following their loss to the Authors of Pain in a ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Ciampa and Gargano's feud captivated fans for the better part of their NXT tenure because of their storied history, and WWE fans grew to have a soft spot for both performers.

Gargano and his wife, Candice LeRae, have not been seen on WWE programming since December of last year as the latter was pregnant with their first child, while the former also opted to become a free agent and be a father.

His last appearance at NXT saw him getting attacked by Grayson Waller after saying his farewell promo to the fans.

While Ciampa is highly optimistic about Gargano returning, the same could not be said for LeRae.

"I don't know if Candice is interested in wrestling again or not. It's a lot of decisions to be made with a child at home," he mentioned.

With former NXT showrunner Triple H leading the charge on the main roster plus Gargano continuously hinting at his pro wrestling return, it may only be a matter of time before fans hear his theme "Rebel Heart" blaring through the speakers again.

Johnny Gargano
The first-ever NXT Triple Crown winner Johnny Gargano was part of Team Black & Gold that took on Team 2.0 at NXT WarGames on December 5, 2021. WWE