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Tale of the Tape: Johnny Gargano
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 05:00pm EDT

As we countdown the days to the 11th Best of the Best Tournament, we at have decided to introduce or in some cases re-introduce you to this year’s competitors.  Today’s “Tale of the Tape” will introduce you to one of our Ohio-based competitors, Johnny Gargano.

Many in the Combat Zone should be familiar with “The Whole Shebang” already as this is not the first time Gargano has stepped into the Combat Zone.  Gargano competed in CZW as early as last year’s Best of the Best Tournament.  Unfortunately for Gargano, he was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.  Despite the loss, Gargano is no stranger to championships and is definitely one of the favorites going into Best of the Best 11 on April 14th.

Gargano is another star who got his start in professional wrestling at a young age.  In fact, he entered a professional wrestling ring for the first time at age eight, when Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling owner J.T. Lightning, who ran events behind Gargano's father's catering business, allowed him to roll around in the ring. While studying in St. Edward High School, Gargano decided to enter CAPW's professional wrestling school in order to become a professional wrestler. At age 16, Gargano began training at the Cleveland All Pro Training Center under J.T. Lightning and Josh Prohibition.

Gargano made his professional wrestling debut for Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling in 2005. Gargano calls his wrestling style "Lucharesu", a mix of British chain wrestling, lucha libre and puroresu.  On October 8, 2006, Gargano defeated Josh Prohibition, M-Dogg 20, and Zach Gowen in a four–way match to win his first of many Championships, the CAPW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Beginning in 2006, Gargano has made most of his appearances in Absolute Intense Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Ohio.  Most of the accolades he has won has been for those two Ohio-based promotions.
Gargano then received a tryout match for CZW business partnering promotion, Dragon Gate USA, on July 25, 2009, at the tapings of the Enter the Dragon pay-per-view, wrestling in an eight–way elimination dark match, which was won by fellow Best of the Best 11 competitor, Lince Dorado.  Since that time, Gargano has become the top competitor in Dragon Gate USA winning the promotion’s Open the Freedom Gate Championship.

After failing to win last year’s Best of the Best, Gargano has returned as a heavily favored competitor.  Can Gargano prove that the laundry list of accolades is deserved?  It will be more difficult to prove that as this year’s tournament is not only bigger, but also has a wider range of styles that Gargano may not be use to. has done further research on Johnny Gargano and has compiled this list of accomplishments:
Height: 5 ft 10 in
Weight: 199 lb
Born: January 5, 1987 (age 25)
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Trained by: Josh Prohibition, J.T. Lightning
Debut: 2005

Finishing moves
Crosston Crab (Cross-legged Boston crab)
Garga–No–Escape (Chickenwing over the shoulder crossface)
Hurts Donut / Uniquely You (Lifting full nelson twisted into a reverse STO)
Swinging reverse STO

Signature moves
Baby Ace Crusher (Running cutter to an opponent on their knees)
Double high knee strike to a cornered opponent
Double knee backbreaker to an opponent seated on the top rope
Spear, sometimes while slingshotting
Springboard dropkick
You're Dead / Lawn Dart (Running powerslam thrown head first into the turnbuckles)

"(The Bee's Knees, The Cat's Pajamas and) The Whole Shebang"

Championships and accomplishments:
Absolute Intense Wrestling
AIW Absolute Championship (1 time)
AIW Intense Division Championship (2 times)[
Gauntlet for the Gold (2012)[
Jack of All Trios (2010) – with Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon

Championship Wrestling Experience
CWE Undisputed Championship (1 time)

Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas (1 time, current) – with Chuck Taylor

Cleveland All–Pro Wrestling
CAPW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Dragon Gate USA
DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Championship (1 time, current)

International Wrestling Cartel
IWC Super Indy Championship (1 time)
IWC Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Michael Facade

Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI ranked him #268 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2011
Pro Wrestling Ohio
PWO Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Be sure to get your tickets NOW for the BEST tournament of 2012 at the CZW Pro Shop.  If you cannot join us at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, head over to and pre-order the iPPV stream and watch all the action LIVE from the comfort of your own home!

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