Injured WWE Raw Star Returns In Live Event Dream Match!

House show fans saw in-ring return and a blockbuster first time WWE meeting between NXT icons.

WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano was back as 'Johnny Wrestling' this weekend, and "celebrated" his return with a match (and loss) against WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther.

Gargano was drafted to Monday Night Raw in WWE's most recent roster split, but hasn't wrestled on the show yet due to recovering from a nagging shoulder injury that he'd first suffered at a December house show. The former NXT Champion worked a handful of television and live event dates between the Royal Rumble and a Stand & Deliver victory over Grayson Waller over WrestleMania weekend, but the latter was his most recent in-ring appearance until the weekend's loss to Gunther. The Imperium leader and current Intercontinental Champion also moved from SmackDown to Raw in the latest shake-up, which could forecast an upcoming programme for the pair.


Expect Gargano's in-ring return to extend to television in the near future, with him toasting the reunion of former NXT stable The Way on last week's episode. Real life wife Candice LeRae as well as on-screen friends Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis all came together on the red brand on the May 8th episode.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett