In the NXT episode of October 2nd, Johnny Gargano returned to action by defeating Shane Thorne. In the NXT episode of February 12, 2020 Gargano defeated Cameron Grimes. On February 16th, at NXT TakeOver: Portland, Gargano was defeated by Finn Bálor; subsequently, Gargano made a turn heel attacking Tommaso Ciampa during his match against Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.
In the episode of NXT on 8 April Gargano defeated Tommaso Ciampa in their last match, the One Final Beat, thanks to the intervention of Candice LeRae. Gargano started his professional wrestling career in 2005, working for the Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling (CAPW) promotion.
Over the following years, Gargano worked for some of the top promotions on the American independent circuit, including Chikara, Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), Evolve and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). Titles Gargano held include the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas, the Evolve Tag Team Championship and DGUSA's Open the Freedom Gate Championship, which he held twice with his first reign lasting a record 873 days.
During his independent days, Gargano also made appearances for national promotions Ring of Honor (ROH) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he reflected on the match not airing on WrestleMania: “I heard from a lot of people that wanted to see me and Tommaso at WrestleMania, and I appreciate that.
When you grow up a wrestling fan, your dream is to wrestle at WrestleMania, but me and Tommaso are NXT through and through. If this is going to happen anywhere, it needs to happen in NXT. We were both big proponents of moving NXT to the USA Network.
We wanted that stage, and now we have a chance to deliver the biggest NXT match yet on USA. Everyone is hanging out at home looking for something to watch. I’ve watched everything on WWE Network, I watched everything on Netflix, I watched everything on Hulu and Disney+, so I’m running out of things to watch, but WWE is still providing fresh, new content.
It doesn’t get any better than the grand finale of me and Tommaso, and it’s only right that it needs to happen in NXT”.