Even if we hadn’t heard that Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly’s current WWE contracts were ending next month (December, 2021), there would be a fair amount of speculation about their future in NXT.
One of the things the 2.0 revamp is designed to do is make the company’s developmental system younger, and filled with larger male talent from backgrounds other than independent wrestling. Gargano and O’Reilly are both cruiserweights in their mid-30s who were signed off the indies. They’re valuable members of a pro wrestling roster - especially Johnny, who’s proven to be a versatile performer outside the ring in addition to being a great wrestler. But if that roster wasn’t a Vince McMahon-managed one, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Which is why it’s interesting that Post Wrestling’s John Pollock is reporting that Gargano & O’Reilly will be working a dark match at the SmackDown taping in Evansville, Indiana tonight (Nov. 5).
It’s not unusual for NXT talents to get a look in this manner. Raquel González and Diamond Mine’s The Creed Brothers worked untelevised matches before last Friday’s SmackDown. But given their specific situations, and the latest wave of cuts WWE made yesterday, there’s an added level of intrigue for Johnny Wrestling and Kool Kyle’s trip to the main roster.