AEW Champion Rejects WWE Raw Return

Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland has rejected returning to WWE. When a fan asked if the AEW tag team champion will come back, he responded, “Nope.”



The former NXT Champion Johnny Gargano had been an integral part of the black and gold brand. Back in December last year, Gargano had made it clear that his contract had expired and he would depart the company. He soon parted ways with the company. He noted during Starrcast V that he was still undecided about his future in wrestling.

Gargano made his huge surprise return on the latest edition of Monday Night RAW. It has come to light that the plans for his return were kept a secret.

Many did not know about Johnny Gargano return

Sean Ross Sapp reported on Gargano’s WWE return via Fightful’s paywall. He said that Gargano’s name did not appear on any rundowns prior to the August 22 show. Many of the performers present did not know, and many members of the production team were not informed of his appearance.

Many others there found out when Gargano strolled through backstage a few minutes earlier. WWE had been interested in re-signing him ever since he became a free agent. Fightful was informed that throughout the procedure, the business was understanding and considerate of Gargano’s needs and vacation time.

When Triple H took over the charge, WWE believed they had a much stronger chance of re-signing Gargano. IMPACT Wrestling was never given significant consideration, and there wasn’t any ongoing conversations between Gargano and All Elite Wrestling. When questioned, AEW sources said they didn’t think Gargano would join the company this year, despite the fact that he was being supported by a number of people there.

It was noted:

“Gargano’s name didn’t appear on any rundowns ahead of the show as to keep the appearance secret. There was much of the talent that was there that didn’t know, and much of production was not briefed on him appearing. When Gargano walked through backstage a few minutes before is when many people there found out.

We’re told that WWE maintained continued interest in re-signing Johnny Gargano throughout his free agency period. During that process, we were told that the company was patient and respected Gargano’s wishes and time off. Gargano was another name (obviously) that WWE thought they had a significantly higher chance of re-signing when Triple H gained power.

We haven’t heard of any advanced negotiations between Gargano and All Elite Wrestling, and were told that IMPACT Wrestling was never a serious consideration. AEW sources when asked told us they didn’t believe that Gargano was going to end up coming into the company throughout this year, though he did have several people in the company pushing for him.”

Gargano had a segment with his former The Way stablemate in NXT, Theory. The former NXT Champion laid down Theory with a massive superkick to conclude the segment.

Barry Russell
Barry Russell
A dedicated pro wrestling follower for more than a decade

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