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Last week Johnny Gargano lost his North American Championship to Bronson Reed in a fantastic steel cage main event. The match itself was one of the best of the week, and the most recent in a string of matches reminding fans that Gargano is still one of the best at what he does. 

Johnny Gargano has been one of the major bright spots for NXT during the pandemic era, and now that he won’t be defending the North American Championship anymore, people are wondering what might be next for NXT’s first ever triple crown champion. 

Tag Team Run With Austin Theory

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The most obvious, and most likely option for NXT following Johnny’s most recent loss would be to focus less on Johnny the singles competitor and more on his leadership of The Way. Austin Theory and Gargano have teamed up quite a bit since the formal formation of The Way, but usually it has been as a part of a feud for Gargano’s title. 

NXT has been doing a solid job of featuring more tag team wrestling in recent months, and right now Theory and Gargano could make a solid addition to the tag team scene. Putting them in a brief feud with baby face teams like MSK or Breezango would reestablish The Way as top heels and keep them from going too far into the comedic elements of the group. 

Overall this could be a solid step for Gargano and maybe we could even seen try to become an NXT Grand Slam Champion. 

Feud With Karrion Kross 

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Another path that is right in front of Johnny Gargano is to move on to the NXT Champion, Karrion Kross, and see if he can’t recapture the biggest prize on the brand. We’ve already seen hints of this feud with a handful of interactions between Kross and Gargano as well as Kross’s squash match against Austin Theory. 

Kross’s role as a bit of an anti-hero would have him working face in this feud which would be an interesting change of pace, and might let us see a side of Karrion Kross we haven’t seen yet. Gargano on the other hand has an opportunity here to establish himself as a relevant force in the main title scene. 

If this is the way that NXT chooses to go right now, I wouldn’t expect to see Gargano pulling one over on Kross and getting the belt. If they wait and start to reestablish Johnny as a force in the ring, I could see things looking a little differently. 

Feud With William Regal 

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One of the best parts of Johnny’s heel turn in the last year has been his dynamic with NXT General Manager William Regal. Gargano knows exactly what buttons to press to get a rise out of Regal and it has lead to some of the more entertaining moments on NXT during the pandemic. 

Now, I don’t expect Regal to get into the ring for one more match but I could see him building a huge line up of young baby faces for Gargano to have to take on before he gets a shot at any other title in NXT. Of course, if Regal did want to lace up the boots one final time, that would be totally fine by me. 

This feud here is what is most needed to explore what the Johnny Gargano way is all about and how it is different from the status quo in NXT. Both Gargano and Regal are fantastic in their existing roles, NXT just needs to embrace this and give it the room it needs to be something great. 

So there are three paths that the leader of the way could go down. What do you think is next for Johnny Wrestling? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer

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