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Johnny Gargano on changes to NXT over the past year

WWE Network

Johnny Gargano wrapped up his time in WWE (at least for now) early last month, and is currently a free agent. There’s a lot of speculation about where he’ll go next, but in a wide-ranging interview with ComicBook.com this week, Gargano was by Connor Casey about the place he just left — NXT.

Asked if there was a point last year when the talent realized “things were shifting in a big way”, the man was known as Johnny TakeOver responded:

“It’s just one of those things where I don’t think there was any moment in particular that was like, ‘Oh wow, things are way different now.’ We knew that a rebrand was coming, but like anything in wrestling, things change all the time. Things constantly evolve. We just talked about earlier in this interview, how if you do something for so a certain way, things get boring and you kind of need to refreshen things sometimes. I think honestly, it definitely needed a little bit of a kick. I feel like they’re incredibly happy with how things are going and you have to be happy with how some of those guys have already developed on, in front of your very own eyes. Like I mentioned Bron Breakker for instance. Bron Breakker’s a guy that I think I mention all the time, you can pay people to learn how to wrestle, right?

“You can pay people to do this, but you can’t pay someone to genuinely love it or you can’t pay people to want to be better at it. There’s one thing to say, ‘Okay, teach me how to do a wrist lock’ and you’re going to pay me to do that. And I’m going to learn the wrist lock and that’s all I’m going to do. It’s another thing to genuinely want to be better. And when you find someone who has both those qualities where they want to be better and they are getting better, that’s a diamond. I feel like Bron Breakker is a diamond. There’s so many people I can name that I feel like are really taking advantage of the opportunities they’re given right now but Bron is definitely one of them that I believe in.”

If you were thinking Gargano would say he decided to leave WWE because the company’s developmental philosophy shifting away from average-sized independent stars and towards recruiting larger men from other athletic backgrounds, he doesn’t give you much. There’s something there when he basically says “you can’t teach passion”, but Johnny uses that to go back to praising the star of WWE’s new approach.

We don’t know if this interview was conducted before or after the cuts which saw one of Gargano’s mentors, William Regal, lose his job. But either way, like Regal, he demonstrates why WWE trusted him to be a face of one of its brands for several years.

Let us know what you think of Johnny Wrestling’s answer, and where you think he’ll be wrestling next, in the comments below. And check out his entire chat with ComicBook.com here.