Johnny Gargano On What Gimmick He Was Given For His First WWE Appearance

During an appearance on “Chasing Glory With Lilian Garcia”, Johnny Gargano recalled having to dress up as an elf for his first WWE appearance. Here are the highlights:

On Finding Out He’d Be On WWE TV:

That first time being there was crazy too … I got a call at like 5 PM. And I was training people at the time, at the training center in Cleveland. And I fell asleep because Smackdown was in Cleveland that day, so everyone went to Smackdown and no one was training. So I fell asleep in the ring, and I wake up to my mom running down the steps, because my phone was on vibrate so I couldn’t hear it. And she’s saying, ‘Johnny, Johnny, they called the house, you’re going to be on SmackDown.’ So they contacted my trainer, who tried to contact me but I was sleeping so he called my mom, who ran down to wake me up. So it’s 5 PM and I’m freaking out. Smackdown’s going live in three hours.

On Finding Out He’d Be Dressed As An Elf:

So we rush home, I grab my bag, I get to The Gund Arena, and I don’t know where to go, I’ve never done this before. So I go in like, the front door with the fans, and I’m like, ‘I’m here to wrestle, I think.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, I guess, come on.’ So I go and meet my producer, it might have been Arn Anderson or someone. And he introduces me to MVP and we talk a little bit. And they’re like ‘Okay, now we’re going to take you to wardrobe.’ I’m like, ‘Wardrobe, that’s weird. I’ve got my own gear, I don’t need anything.’ But they take me to the wardrobe area and said, ‘Here’s your gear,’ and it’s an elf costume. This Keebler elf-looking [thing.] Cedric Von Haussen, ‘You’re the champion of Lichtenstein, that’s what’s going on. Your name is Cedric Von Haussen, and I need you to wear this.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool.’ I didn’t even go to the locker room either. I changed in makeup, so all these girls are looking at me like, ‘What the heck is this guy doing?’

On Vince’s Reaction:

So I’m getting into this elf costume and makeup, and they’re like, ‘Okay, you look good. Now we’ve gotta take you to go see Vince. And I’m like, ‘Ohhh. Ohh, okay.’ So we walk into Vince[‘s office], they knock on the door and open it, and it was like a movie, I swear to God. Vince is like in a villain chair where his back is turned. And I just walk in, I’m standing there in an elf costume. And all of a sudden the chair turns, and he has a newspaper up. And he slowly lowers it, and there he is. He looks at me and says, ‘You look, good kid. He looks great! Thank you for doing this.’ And I said, ‘Thank you, sir,’ and I leave. And then the show obviously starts, and I remember standing, basically for some reason, this is the most distinct memory of this whole thing. Stone Cold Steve Austin had a movie, I think The Condemned just came out. So there was a trailer playing right before my match, so I was just standing in gorilla watching the Condemned trailer with Stephanie McMahon right there and Vince right there. I’m like, ‘This is so weird!’ I’m 19, 20 at the time, I’m like, ‘This is freaking weird.’ So I go out and do my thing, I get a bloody nose and everything because [MVP] kicked me really hard. Come to the back and Vince and Stephanie are like, ‘Good job, kid! You did great!’ So I’m like, ‘I did great, that was awesome.’ So that was my first time as an extra for WWE.

You can listen to the podcast below:

Credit: Chasing Glory With Lilian Garcia. H/T 411Mania.

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