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WWE Already Has The Perfect Feud Set Up For Johnny Gargano’s Return

Johnny Gargano and Ciampa didn’t get the finish that their blood feud deserved. Next week’s WWE Raw just so happens to be taking place in Cleveland.

Ciampa is set to challenge Bobby Lashley for the United States Title next week on WWE Monday Night Raw, and the show is set to take place in Cleveland. For most people, that’s just the second-most populated city in Ohio and home of the Browns, but for Johhny Gargano, that’s home. Anyone watching NXT during its boom period—when Triple H just so happened to be booking the show—will recall that Ciampa and Gargano maintained one of the best rivalries in company history. So this episode of Raw occurring in Gargano’s hometown could mean nothing. Or it could mean everything.


AEW gets a lot of credit for its long-term storytelling, as it should. The old NXT had some lengthy, dramatic sagas as well, though. The twists and turns of Gargano and Ciampa took place over several major events, and the buildup and breakup of their DIY tag team was masterfully executed. Triple H made the crowd fall in love with the duo as they struggled to dethrone some tag team called The Revival. Wonder what they’re up to these days.

Related: AEW Giving Chris Jericho A Shot At Jon Moxley Is A Waste

Then, at the peak of their popularity and with the crowd surging behind them, Ciampa betrayed his friend Gargano at TakeOver: Chicago in 2017. It was undoubtedly one of the most well-done heel turns in recent memory. Just listen to the crowd’s reaction when Ciampa grabs Gargano and begins his assault. That’s shock and awe happening in real-time, and it’s professional wrestling at its absolute best.

That began what can only be described as a blood feud, with both men taking turns as the heel. Gargano vs. Ciampa had their blowoff match in an empty arena due to the pandemic, which just doesn’t feel right for one of NXT’s signature and defining feuds. They can’t go back in time and redo that cinematic match, but they can give it another shot on a much bigger stage in WWE. Johnny Wrestling decided not to renew his contract with the company back in December of 2021, claiming that he felt complete and that he’d climbed the mountain. It’s also worth noting that his wife, Candice LeRae, gave berth to their first child back in February.

That’s kept Gargano away from companies such as AEW and Impact, even though anytime All Elite teases a big debut, Johnny is a name that always comes up. With Triple H booking WWE now, it stands to reason that one of his first calls would have been to Gargano. Fans already saw Hunter bring back one of his favorites in Dakota Kai, and she’s already involved in a significant angle on the red brand. Ciampa has also seen his stock rise tremendously, going from The Miz’s attack dog to United States title match in just one week. Gargano attacking Ciampa and costing him his championship opportunity on Raw is fantasy booking, but it’d also be perfect.

Next: How Triple H Has Changed WWE’s Creative Direction In Just 1 Week

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