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Johnny Gargano talks timeframe on decision to leave WWE, final NXT promo

The 34-year-old knew a year in advance that he was not re-signing.
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Appearing on The Sessions with Renee Paquette, Johnny Gargano revealed his reasons for leaving WWE and the NXT brand.

"I felt like I was in a good place. I had felt this way for a while to where I felt like I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in NXT," Gargano said.

"It is kind of a scary thing to have a new baby on the way and decide I'm going to turn down this new contract that's a good contract, a safe contract that you're going to get money every single week coming in, to kind of go off and do your own thing," he explained.

Gargano continued to say that he is grateful for the way he was allowed to exit the company and say goodbye on his final show. 

"I was very lucky to be given that chance. It's so funny because so many people thought that I had re-signed, obviously, because they were like "no one gets this treatment.'" 

He continued to talk about the promo he gave on his final episode of NXT. 

"I went and I sat down with one of the writers but all the words that came out were my own. I wrote my own thing," he continued. "I wanted to thank people, I wanted to do things like that. I feel like I just have such a good relationship, a good rapport with everyone in NXT and everyone in WWE, in general." 

Gargano continued to reveal the reasons why he felt leaving WWE and NXT was in his best interest. 

"I kind of made my mind up a year in advance that this would be my last," he said. 

"I wasn't leaving to go to any particular place. I kind of just felt like I needed to go because I felt like if you watch a TV show or if you watch anything in general, if you see the same character - obviously, I changed character, I turned heel, I did funny stuff, I did things like that here and there - but if you see the same person on TV for five years, six years, it gets stale. I believe that being off TV and being away makes people miss you and I think people need to have a chance to miss you."

Gargano continued to say that he spent the last year in NXT trying to help out other talent. He specifically mentioned Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory from The Way. Gargano also noted he was happy to have a longer match with Kushida at Vengeance Day in 2021. 

"It was really important for me to try and help as many people as possible before I left to kind of set that place up for a good spot for the future."