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The Champ Speaks
and he addresses the rumors
Our staff recently had a chance to sit down with Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano to discuss his title defense and I Quit Match this weekend, his title reign and the rumors surrounding his contract status. Here is our exclusive interview with the champ:
Question: We are 8 months into your title reign, what has been the hardest part about it and the best part?
JG: When I won the Open The Freedom Gate Championship, I knew the work was just beginning. We were just getting started. I wouldn't have a night off in that ring, as I'd always be matched up against the best talent in the world, hungry to make a name for themselves by taking me down, and that's 100% fine. I expect them to want to do that.
The hardest part? My nagging back injury has been a bit of a burden here and there as it gives guys a clear cut bullseye to aim for when they get in the ring for me, but what can I say? That's professional wrestling, ya know? I have a weakness, it's smart to target it.
The best part? Probably the looks I see from the younger guys who do the ring crew, or do the seminars, or are on the bonus card. Whenever I go up and introduce myself, or shake there hands I see a look of hope. I see a look of inspiration almost. They see a guy like me, who started right where they are currently. They see a guy who worked extremely hard, and took his opportunity, and rose from a bonus card nobody, to the face of the company. I think that shows them that anything is possible. If Johnny Gargano can do it, then it can be done, and nothing can stop them from doing it too.
Question: You have perhaps your toughest title defense yet this Saturday in the Detroit area against Akira Tozawa, a man who has pinned you twice in the last year, what is your game plan going into this one?
JG: Well, he's had my number twice, so obviously I have to do something different now don't I? I think that Akira Tozawa has quietly become my greatest rival in Dragon Gate USA. I've watched him grow into one of the absolute best professional wrestlers in the world and I know all too well what he's going to bring to me on Saturday. We had a war against one another at Untouchable 2011 in Chicago, and I'm sure it'll be no different a year later in Taylor, Michigan. He's gotten better. I've gotten better, but at the end of the day only one man can be the Open The Freedom Gate Champion, and If I have any say in the matter, MY title is going nowhere.
Question: Then on Sunday in Chicago it is an I Quit Match vs. Chuck Taylor. What are your thoughts on this one?
JG: This is it. The is the end. The storied feud of Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano comes to an end this Sunday in Chicago. We both have wins over one another, and while our last match had a bit of craziness to it, this time there are NO rules. The only way to win is to inflict so much physical damage on your opponent that he has no choice but to utter the words "I Quit". We were partners, we were best friends, and we were like brothers, but Chuck Taylor quit on me, he quit on Ronin and he quit on Dragon Gate USA a LONG time ago. I've never quit ANYTHING a day in my life, and I don't plan on starting now. I'm all heart, and as long as my heart is still beating, I don't give up, and I don't stop. Chuck Taylor is going to have to kill me to make me say those words.
Question: Ok, we have to ask this. It's been reported on the wrestling news sites that your DGUSA contract is coming up. Is this true and if so, what's your next move?
JG: I don't know. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Right now, I'm just focused on this weekend. I think something will happen this weekend.