Gargano has been on the wrestling scene for a few years now, and has been part of many of the most exciting matches in all the promotions he has been a part of. A former PWO Champion as well as a very highly regarded star in AIW, Gargano brings intensity and passion to his craft.
I was lucky enough to get to talk to Gargano about many topics of his career. From working in Japan, aspirations for the future, and his upcoming big weekend for Dragon Gate, Gargano tells all in a very good interview. Hope you enjoy!
Rallo: Hey Johnny, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Cutting right to the chase, I must ask on your feelings towards working DGUSA's big weekend, from September 9th to the 11th. One of those events, will be in, Chicago, an area you are very familiar of for, Untouchable 2011. You will be pitted against Akira Tozawa. Could you tell us of your feelings going into this match, as well as working a big event, live in, Chicago? It certainly is not your first experience working in this kind of situation, so are there any different feelings headed into this bout? Thoughts on working with Tozawa and expectations for your match?
Gargano: love wrestling in Chicago, of course! I wait all year for these midwest shots.. as being from Cleveland myself, I'm a midwest boy to my core. I'm very excited to take on Tozawa. If you're a wrestling fan in the year 2011, I'm sure you've heard the name Akira Tozawa. I've seen quite a bit of his work, and he deserves every bit of praise he gets. I expect we're going to bring out the best in one another, and it'll be quite the encounter. Now that he's a member of Blood Warriors, there's a little added fuel on that fire. I'm glad the people in Chicago get to see that bad boy live!
Rallo: Keeping on the topic of Dragon Gate, something I'd also like to bring up is your work for Dragon Gate in, Japan, which began this past March. DGUSA is known as an international extension to that product, but do you notice any real differences between working in Japan opposed to the USA? It seems more and more stars are becoming interested in working over there at some point of their careers, so could you tell us your feelings on the overall transition and growing accustomed to Japan? Did you find it a very difficult transition professionally? Personally? Overall thoughts of working in Japan and any favorite experiences?
Gargano: It was always a goal of mine to wrestle in Japan. So getting to go over there was really a dream come true. The over all way they treat professional wrestlers over there was really the only HUGE culture shock. They treat you like legitimate superstars. We'd be shopping in convenient stores before the shows and people would crowd around the windows just to get a look at us. It was crazy! Another cool little diddy is Chris Jericho is a huge idol of mine, and I pattern alot of my career after his.. So to find out that my tour was going to start in Korakuen Hall and end in Sumo Hall (Which is what Jericho did on one of his first tours) really blew my mind. Plus... Jericho actually Tweeted me "Good Luck, Have a great tour, and work SOLID!!!!!" which was something I really really appreciated.
Rallo: Moving back to the big weekend, ahead of you, it is known you will be working all three shows on that weekend. Besides your match on, Untouchable, you will be in a Special Challege tag team match with Chuck Taylor vs Masato Yoshino and YAMATO as well as a match with Naruki Doi. Can I have your thoughts on working with both of these men, as your represent the Ronin stable? Is there any match your really anticipating more than than usual at this coming weekend? A match, that you feel could ultimately "steal the show?" Overall thoughts on this?
Gargano: I'm looking forward to taking on Naruki Doi. He's a guy I've always looked up to, and thought our styles could mesh really well together. He's the ace of Dragon Gate. We were supposed to have a match in Atlanta on Wrestlemania weekend, but due to injuries, the card had to be swapped around a bit, so it never happened. I was a tad dissapointed, but I feel I've gotten even better since those shows, so the anticipation is growing day by day for that one. As far as the tag match goes... If you want to be THE GUY in Dragon Gate, you have to beat THE GUY. Right now, that guy is Yamato, he's the Open The Freedom Gate Champion. I ALMOST made him tap out in Long Island, and I KNOW I can... I get another chance in Indianapolis.
Rallo: Something I've really always wanted to know with an Independent wrestler, is their workout regiment for a "big match," if they have one. I've read at times that, wrestlers prepare for their matches with an MMA-like outlook. Most recently, it was noted that, Davey Richards, was one to train for a big match the way MMA fighters do with the same amount of time, weeks in advance, as well as taking a lot of different workouts. I just wanted to ask you, a very competitive wrestler, how your training regiment is for a more acclaimed match up? Do you change many things at all or do you have one game plan for all your matches? There's no doubt workouts must be intense either way, but is it ever any different for a big iPPV match?
Gargano: I can honestly say, Thanks to diet and killing myself in the gym, I'm in the best shape of my career. Being a fat kid at heart, dieting sucks!.. But I have alot of big opportunities coming up and I'm highly motivated. I always train hard, but for the past couple of weeks I've been doubling up on the cardio. Those Dragon Gate guys are fast, man! Ha.
Rallo: Something else, I'd really like to point out, is the recent challenge thrown out there by Davey Richards made for anyone on October 2nd....Now while it's in speculation whether or not you will take that bout or not (most of us really hope you will), but it seems you have shown a good amount of interest. How do you feel about a potential match with someone touted as, "The Best in the World" at the moment? Think you will step up for it? Speaking of, I'd really like to know your opinion on what you, personally feel, makes a wrestler the "best in the world," a catchphrase being used very often as of late. Who do you feel fits that title the most at the moment and what it takes to hold that title?
Gargano: I saw that challenge, and you know... I've never wrestled Davey Richards. Ever. We've NEVER been in a ring together. I'm really enamored by the title of "The Best in The World".. the way I see it is that title is very subjective, wrestling is like art... who's to say that "abstract" art is the best? We all have our own likes and dislikes. Where as someone may say Davey is the best in the world.. someone could say that I (believe it or not) am the best in the world. Davey's awesome though, don't get me wrong, I highly respect him. He may in fact be one of the best wrestlers in the world bar none. As far as a potential match up.. I mean, the people would like to see it, and me being a wrestler wants to be in the ring with the best competition possible. I went 30 minutes with Bryan Danielson and I can honestly say he's the best wrestler I've ever been in the ring with, no doubt. Maybe Davey can make me change my mind on that. We'll have to see.
Rallo: I know you must be asked this a lot, but I would like to ask you about any "career defining moments" and future aspirations. Being very young into your career, you already are a very decorated resume which does include appearances in WWE, a 30 minute match with Bryan Danielson, and so many countless moments in AIW, CHIKARA, and PWO. Do you have one particular moment you feel and hold to your heart the closest? Also, seeing as guys like CM Punk and "Daniel Bryan" have found their way in WWE, do you feel as though WWE is a major goal down the line? What do you think of the former-Indy guys and their success in WWE as of late? And for the heck of it, any thoughts on TNA?
Gargano: I've have the awesome opportunity to have alot of cool moments throughout my career. The match with Bryan was a huge moment for me, I've had alot of cool moments in PWO, those two stick out in my mind because they were in my hometown of Cleveland, with people who watched me grow up. I got a standing ovation in NYC at quite possibly my favorite place to wrestle, BB Kings in Times Square for DGUSA a couple months ago after making two of the best in the world in CIMA, and Austin Aries tap out back to back, and that feeling was really really special to me. It made me feel very accomplished. I think if you get into wrestling, you're ultimate goal is WWE, that's the place you want to be. I'd love to go there eventually down the line when the time is right.
Rallo: Back to Dragon Gate, I'd love to know your opinion on the promotion as a whole, today. Dragon Gate has been a very highly regarded organization in Japan and its extension into the US, really has done much good as well. In your opinion, what are your feelings on what exactly makes DGUSA such a unique and captivating promotion to watch and recommend? For those maybe, who don't know of, DGUSA as much as they should, how would you explain what makes the company so special and worth watching? What sets DGUSA from other companies?
Gargano: DGUSA is the future of wrestling. It's THE wrestling of 2011. It's just so fun to watch, and having been on pretty much every show, and seeing them all, I still get blown away by how good they are. You're taking the best, most athletic wrestlers from Japan and mixing them in with the best independent wrestlers from America for an amazing experience either live, on iPPV or DVD. Do yourself a favor and go to WWNLIVE.com right now and check it out if you haven't already. It'll blow your mind.
Rallo: Before I let you go, is there anything you'd like to address to your fans? How can they learn more about finding yourself as well as the information for DGUSA's big weekend coming up? Where can they find you? Where will tickets be availiable for purchase and where will other fan be able to go to watch it online (for those who don't know)? Any last words before heading to Indianapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee? Also, are there any matches out there, besides yours, that you truly recommend out of all the others?
Gargano: When you watch me wrestle this weekend, just know... you are getting 100% of my heart and soul in that ring. I love DGUSA, and I feel it truly brings out the best in me. You can find me on Facebook (and buy one of my awesome new shirts! (plug), or on Twitter @JohnnyGargano. For information on DGUSA for tickets or whatever, go to DGUSA.TV or go to WWNLIVE.COM to check out the iPPV's live if you can't make the shows. Any other matches? Hmm.. Pac/Ricochet's series all weekend. Need I say more?