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Name: John Gargano Ring Name(s): Cedrick Von Haussen, Joey Gray, Johnny Gargano From: Cleveland, Ohio Date of Birth: August 14, 1987 Working For: Dragon Gate USA, Chikara Mini Biography: Johnny Gargano's infatuation with wrestling skyrocketed at the age of eight-years-old, when he first stepped inside of a wrestling ring. Eight years later, the Ohio native would enroll in Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling's school, and since then the independent sensation has yet to quit. Making his professional wrestling debut in 2005, Johnny Gargano has since then torn through the independent wrestling world - making his name prominent in companies such as Dragon Gate USA and Chikara. The current Open The Freedom Gate Champion, Johnny Gargano, is "All Heart" and has a long history to prove it.
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We bet you noticed the quotation marks around loss in our post. That’s because, at Mercury Rising, Johnny got on the mic to tell us that we were all incorrect. He never lost the belt! So, he was gracious enough to offer a title shot to Low Ki. However, Low Ki was able to get the win with the Ki Krusher.. so we’re unsure if Johnny has truly lost the belt.
Johnny Gargano gets a mic before the match and says that last night, the fans saw a very special match…where he successfully retained his title in a hard fought match that saw old women jump out of their hospital beds in excitement. On the other hand, Low Ki lost last night, but he would still make a great challenger, so he’s officially declaring this an impromptu match for the Open The Freedom Gate Title. I kinda figured Gargano would have a tough time swallowing that one. Low Ki says he doesn’t know what world Gargano is living in, but he’s in a different reality, one where he was the NXT Season 3 Champion.
Low Ki quickly takes Gargano to the mat, Gargano rolls through and tries to cradle Low Ki, but Ki kicks Gargano’s shoulder to get away. Gargano takes Ki down with a top wristlock and goes for the Gargano Escape, but Ki blocks the hold and gets away again. Ki opens up with the strikes, chopping and forearming Gargano, but Gargano takes Ki down with a waistlock and catches Ki with a kick to the face. Ki responds by kicking Gargano hard across the chest, then hits a snap elbowdrop for 2. Gargano takes Ki to the corner and shoulderblocks him hard in the ribs, then hammers Ki with a hard chop. Ki mulekicks out of a corner and covers Gargano for 2, then charges him in the corner and snapmares him over and covers for 2. Ki continues hammering Gargano, but Gargano counters a Dragon sleeper attempt by elevating him and hitting the lawn dart into the corner.
Gargano finally slowed Ki down with that one, and quickly follows up with a hangman’s neckbreaker for 2. Gargano slams Ki hard and covers for 2, then gets a side Russian legsweep and ties Ki up in a modified Royal Octopus hold. Ki rolls out to the floor to try and catch a break, but Gargano goes after him, picking him up in a fireman’s carry and dumping him face first on the ring apron. Gargano gets a short kick to the back of Ki’s head and covers him for 2, Ki quickly tries to get Gargano up for the Ki Krusher, but Gargano snaps his arm down over the top rope and hits a divorce court for 2. Gargano hammers the arm with elbows, but Ki catches Gargano charging into the corner by getting both boots up, then leaps over Gargano and kicks him in the back of the head.
Low Ki is back in business and starts to rally, but Gargano catches him completely unawares with a superkick and covers for 2. Gargano goes for Hertz Donut, Ki victory rolls through, then leaps into the air and double stomps Gargano on the chest. That never stops looking nasty. Gargano is slumped over the middle rope, so Ki kicks him in the chest and goes for a top rope double stomp. Gargano dodges it and slingshots into the ring with a DDT for 2, then gets Ki in the Gargano Escape. He has Low Ki right in the middle of the ring, and Ki fights his way to the ropes, but Gargano uses the absolute fullest extent of the five count before breaking. Ki blocks another Hertz Donut, and he gets Gargano with another series of kicks and hits the Ki Krusher for the win.
Tonight, Johnny went one on one and defended his title against Ricochet at Open the Ultimate Gate 2014. This match was highly anticipated by not only the fans, but by those in the back and even the two themselves. But who won? Is Johnny Gargano still your Open the Freedom Gate champion? Or did Ricochet somehow defeat him?
Thanks to PWInsider, we have results. Click for quick results!
The two fought hard against each other and pulled out the stops, however, Ricochet was able to pick up the victory and dethrone Johnny, who was the longest reigning Open the Freedom Gate champion in history. Congratulations on the win, Ricochet, but we’re positive that Johnny will take back the title soon enough.
Ricochet is currently the Open The Dream Gate Champion, the top title in Dragon Gate in Japan, and now he wants to add the Open The Freedom Gate Title to his collection since it’s literally the only Dragon Gate-branded title he has yet to win. Gargano, meanwhile, has been the champion for nearly two and a half years and has shown no signs of slowing down. They go to the mat right from the start as Lenny talks about how far they’ve come since first appearing in Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE. They briefly get back to their feet for a Greco-Roman knucklelock before going back to the mat. They pick up for a moment and do a Jackie Chan sequence before going for each of their finishers right off the bat, and Gargano rolls to the outside to catch a break after nearly getting caught by Ricochet. They go back inside and Ricochet takes over on the champion, working him over in the corner with chops and kicks. Ricochet gets a jackknife cradle for 2, then a crucifix faceplant for another 2. Ricochet gets a headscissors and a dropkick, but Gargano avoids the dive, so Ricochet does back handsprings to show off for the fans and doesn’t see Gargano come in with the spear through the ropes. Really bad time to screw around.
Now Gargano is in control and proceeds to begin wearing Ricochet down before putting him in the Texas Sunrise. Gargano turns it into a cradle for 2, then just puts the boots to Ricochet. Ricochet sweeps Gargano’s legs and tries for a standing moonsault, but Gargano sees it coming and kicks Ricochet off in midair. They go outside where Gargano dumps Ricochet face first on the ring apron, then rolls inside to try for a countout. Ricochet beats the count, so Gargano wedges Ricochet in the corner and charges in with a dropkick. Ricochet catches Gargano with an Ace Crusher, but is too worn out to follow right up. Gargano tries to escape to the floor again, but Ricochet runs and dives over the ropes to wipe Gargano out.
We go back inside where Ricochet hit a springboard splash for 2, and then I get knocked off the webcast for some reason. I come back in just as Gargano tries to slingshot over the ropes for a DDT, only to be caught in midair and dumped before Ricochet hits a brainbuster. Ricochet hits a Zig Zag, but Gargano dodges a running shooting star press and gets the Gargano Escape. Ricochet gets right out, so Gargano hits the ropes, Ricochet tries to hit a flying headscissors coming back, but Gargano countered to a sitout powerbomb for 2. Ricochet blocks the lawn dart and nails Gargano with a Pelle kick, then he quickly drags a dazed Gargano out to the middle of the ring before going to the top rope. Gargano is up and tries to stop Ricochet, but Richcoet catches him with a kick to the head and goes for a shooting star press. Gargano sees him coming and superkicks him on the way down (which Ricochet sells like a MFer), then hits the lawn dart for 2. Great sequence.
Gargano is frustrated and spits on Ricochet, but that only fires Ricochet up as they begin to trade shots in the middle of the ring. They go nuts hammering each other with superkicks and Yakuza kicks until they both go down. They wind up on the apron where they trade blows until Ricochet begins nailing Gargano with kicks to his chest. He steps into the ring to break the count, then comes out to the apron for a couple more. Gargano knocks Ricochet to the floor and tries a dive, but Ricochet catches him and counters to a death valley driver on the floor.
Gargano is out on his feet as Ricochet hauls him up and goes for his finish. Gargano tries elbowing Ricochet in the face to get out, but Ricochet literally carries him up the ropes and tries to counter to a Frankensteiner. Ricochet blocks, but Gargano hits it any way and then hits Hertz Donut. Gargano only gets 2, but goes right into the Gargano Escape. Ricochet tries countering to a cradle, but Gargano rolls right back into the hold. Ricochet tries to suplex out of the hold, but Gargano holds on and takes Ricochet right back to the mat. Ricochet picks Gargano up again and suplexes him into the corner. Gargano lands on his head coming down and is on another planet as Ricochet hits the 630 splash. He drags Gargano out to the middle of the ring and hooks both legs, but Gargano is still out at 2.
The crowd is on their feet doing a “this is awesome” chant as Ricochet is back to his feet and gets Gargano up on his shoulders again, but Gargano holds the ropes to save himself. Gargano pulls the referee in front of an IED dropkick from Ricochet, and he is out as Ricochet hits his version of Go To Sleep and covers Gargano. There’s nobody to count (other than the fans who counted to 10 or so), and Ricochet goes to check on the ref as Gargano rolls out to the floor and grabs the belt. Ricochet sees it coming and ducks, but Gargano gets the belt up as Ricochet goes for a kick, hurting Ricochet’s leg, and then whacks him with the belt and knocks him out. Gargano covers, but Ricochet is out at 2, so Gargano takes the tape off his wrist and chokes Ricochet with it. Ricochet gets out of that too and goes for Go To Sleep, but he has trouble completing the move and Gargano takes him down into an STF version of the Gargano Escape. Ricochet desperately crawls to the ropes, but Gargano drags him back out to the midle of the ring…and gets rolled up for a very close 2. Ricochet immediately picks Gargano back up and hits Go To Sleep again and covers Gargano to win the match and FINALLY end what was the longest title reign in modern wrestling history.
Prior to his match, Johnny was on commentary alongside Lenny Leonard for Anthony Nese vs. Ricochet!
However, once Ricochet defeated the incredible Nese, Johnny took to the ring to confront his opponent for tomorrow night. It eventually led into Johnny getting the better of Ricochet and beating him down until Rich Swann made the save, and that’s when the match began!
They exchange punches. Swann connects with corner punches and hurricanranas Gargano on the floor. Swann lays in more strikes around ringside. Gargano elevates him and Swann crashes down on the apron. Gargano takes over in the ring, biting Swann’s fingers at one point. Gargano avoids a middle-rope hurricanrana and hits a suplex into the ropes. Swann comes back with an implant DDT. They trade punches and Swann hits a neckbreaker. Gargano slows him down with a sit-out powerbomb. They trade strikes again and both men fall to the canvas after some superkicks. Swann connects with kawada kicks and another superkick. He hits a handspring ace crusher for a nearfall. Gargano crotches him on the top rope but Swann fights him off. Swann misses a frog splash and Gargano applies the Gargano Escape. Swann is able to reach the bottom rope. The action goes to the apron where Swann connects with a superkick. Gargano trips him up on the apron and lawn darts him into the ringpost. Back in, Gargano lawn darts him into the turnbuckles for a nearfall. Gargano grabs the FIP title which the referee takes away. While his back is turned, he grabs his title and hits Swann with it. Gargano covers for the win at 15:00.
It’s just about time for Wrestlemania, but more importantly?
It’s almost time for the WWNLive Experience! SHIMMER, Kaiju Big Battel, A Wrestling Odyssey.. and of course, DGUSA and EVOLVE!
And what will Johnny be doing during these events? Well, of course he’ll be wrestling. He’s got to grace the crowd, doesn’t he? Not to mention, the rest of the world since all these events will be broadcast live on iPPV!
On Thursday, April 3rd, it’s EVOLVE 28 and Johnny will be facing an opponent that Ricochet has chosen for him. That opponent? Well, it’s Rich Swann!
Swann has been itching to get his hands on Gargano for months now, and his wish has been granted.
But on Friday, April 4th, its Open The Ultimate Gate 2014 and Johnny will again be defending his title.. but this time, it will be against the Open The Dream Gate champion, Ricochet!
Then, here comes Mercury Rising on Saturday, April 5th!
Mercury Rising is best known for their Six Man Tag Team Tradition. This year, it’s brought to a whole new level. It’s going to feature a six man tag tournament and participants include: Ricochet, AR Fox and Rich Swann, Tony Nese, Trent Baretta and Caleb Konley and many more.
But where does Johnny fit in with this? Originally, he was meant to be teaming with the Bravado Brothers, however, due to changes, instead it will be the Bravados and Moose.
So.. where does that leave Johnny?
Well, Johnny will be going against the one and only, extremely talented Low Ki!
..we’re not kidding, he’s seriously wrestling Low Ki on April 5th, live on iPPV!
We’re sure it’s going to be absolutely killer, and we certainly can’t wait for the match up.
Another PWG event has come and gone, and this time, it was Mystery Vortex II!
We weren’t sure who Johnny’d be facing, but we were positive it’d be an amazing match with whoever it turned out to be.. and last night, it turned out to be Kyle O’Reilly. And have an amazing match they did.
It’s DREAMWAVE day! Or, well.. it was. Today was the Road to ANNIVERSARY: Misfortune, which featured the Misfortune Tag Team Lethal Lottery. Partners were randomly drawn, whether they were friends, enemies or even family. Partners had to coexist together to make it all the way to the Battle Royal at the end of the night. If they won, they would receive a very lovely trophy, as well as earn any match they wanted at the upcoming event Retaliation in May.
Any person. Any title. Any stipulation. Whatever the winner so desired.
So, where does Johnny fit in?
Well, if you must know, he was teamed up with recent foe, Nic Brubaker and they faced off against Colt Cabana and Darin Corbin!
But did they win? Of course they did. After a good match, Brubaker hit a Fisherman’s buster and it was all over. The two advanced into the Battle Royal. But that wasn’t all, nope, not even close!
Brubaker challenged Johnny to a 2 out of 3 falls match for Anniversary V on April 12th, 2014! And Johnny even accepted!
Onto the Battle Royal itself, Johnny made it to the Final Four – which also included Michael Elgin, Nic Brubaker and CJ Esparza. All that talent, but who would win? First Esparza was gone, then Elgin was distracted by Christian Rose, and was eliminated via Brubaker. He slid back in to lay out both Johnny and Brubaker twice. (How rude.)
Both made their comebacks, but it all leads to Gargano throwing Brubaker like a lawn dart, and then later, a kick to the junk to eliminate him.
So, there you go! Johnny’s now got himself any match he likes. He got ‘dat power. Hope it doesn’t go to his head!