The revelation that NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano was the man that attacked Aleister Black in August of 2018 came as a surprise to many WWE fans. The man known as “Johnny Wrestling” had been a babyface since he first came to the company in 2015. He had shown no signs of turning heel.
But now that he’s been revealed as the attacker, Gargano does appear to be an antagonist. The lines between good and evil have been blurred in WWE for quite some time and Gargano is no exception. He recently spoke to Uproxx about his shocking character change.
“I feel like I’m very justified in my actions, ’cause in my head, in my mind, I made a mistake, and Tommaso Ciampa’s NXT Champion because of me. It’s my fault, I’ve owned up to that, that’s my mistake. But it’s my mistake to fix. I’m gonna be the one to fix it. I have to be the one to fix it. Aleister Black unfortunately just got in the way.”
Gargano also spoke about his upcoming match with Black, which will take place at NXT Takeover: WarGames on Saturday, November 17.
“I think The Staples Center is going to be madness. I think it’s gonna be wild. And I think that’s kind of the beautiful thing about NXT, is we can kind of tell stories like that, because at the end of the day, in real life, the world does change people. Certain situations do change people. I’m not the same person I was, same person I am now, that you saw wrestling back in whatever, 10 years ago. I’m not that person.”
Black’s two month absence from WWE was actually the result of a real groin injury. That injury forced him to have surgery, which put him out of action. The ensuing storyline saw NXT General Manager William Regal conduct an “investigation” of the attack, which ultimately led to Nikki Cross claiming she knew who the real perpetrator was.
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Gargano’s war with former best friend and current NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa concluded around the time of Black’s attack. Johnny’s character has been at somewhat of a standstill since then. It’s unknown if Gargano and Ciampa will reunite as a tag team now that Johnny is a heel.