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Top NXT Star’s Sweet Gesture Made Shawn Michaels Tear Up

Published 04/06/2022, 3:00 PM EDT

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The black and gold brand of WWE saw many of its top talents leave the company in recent months. Of all of them, Johnny Gargano’s departure was the saddest for the hardcore NXT fans.

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WWE’s third brand, NXT, has risen extremely well in the last few years. The brainchild of Triple H in WWE made an abundance of future superstars for the Red and Blue brand. Gargano, too, was considered to be one of the big names for joining the main roster.


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Recently, Johnny Gargano appeared on The Sessions with Renee Paquette. He talked about his current fatherhood life, shared some details about his current pro-wrestling run, and also recalled NXT.

Johnny Gargano made Shawn Michaels cry at In Your House: TakeOver

The Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels is a mentor to all the WWE superstars on the NXT roster. He was really close with Johnny Gargano during his time in WWE. Shawn was in tears when Gargano, before his last NXT match, gave him a gift. He told Michaels to open it before he walked through the curtains.

Gargano talked about the gift, “I did like tribute gear to him at the In Your House: TakeOver. And I had a headband and no one in the world has a piece of the TakeOver gear I’ve worn.”


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He added, “Side by side pictures. Then I wrote a nice message on the back as well about how much he meant to me and how much he’s meant to my career. I was to give that to him right before I went through the curtain. Obviously, he started crying, I started crying, and then it’s funny because Candice has never seen me cry so that was kind of like the first time she had ever seen me cry.”

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This gesture from Gargano reflected how close he was with the Hall of Famer. Michaels since joining NXT has always been a pillar for the roster of the future WWE superstars.

Johnny Gargano about leaving NXT 


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Gargano loved his time in NXT as he was there full-time for the six years he spent in the WWE. Recently, he also shared the reason for leaving NXT in 2021. 

He said, “The way I saw NXT going with like Adam leaving, Kyle’s contract coming up, and everyone out the door. We were around these people for so long and then you look around the locker room and all your friends are gone and it’s one of those things that affect you, it hurts you because now you’re not seeing your friends anymore on a daily basis, it makes you sad,”


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Gargano felt he could not tell his story in WWE and it was time for him to take the next step in his personal and professional life. He left WWE on good terms and wishes to return to the company someday.

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Written by:

Tushar Deogharkar


One take at a time

Tushar Deogharkar is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. Tushar has done his Master's in Tourism Management and is an ardent fan of pro wrestling. He follows WWE and AEW very closely and wants to learn how the promotions are run.
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Edited by:

Paras Pande