Systems of the Stars: WWE Superstar Johnny Gargano and his PS5 pre-order mayhem

Johnny Gargano
(Image credit: Johnny Gargano)

 Systems of the Stars is Laptop Mag’s new monthly series that pries into the systems that superstars own, whether it’s a snazzy laptop, a funky drawing tablet or a next-gen gaming console. 

WWE Superstar Johnny Gargano, also known as Johnny Wrestling, conquered the heck out of the wrestling ring as the first triple-crown champion in NXT history. Now, in our new Systems of the Stars series, Gargano is stepping back to allow two new ferocious rivals battle it out in the ring — the Xbox Series X and the PS5.

Ding, ding, ding! All the way from Microsoft, we have the Xbox Series X — the world’s most powerful gaming console — equipped with an eight-core, 3.8-GHz custom Zen 2 CPU, a 12-teraflop GPU, 16GB of memory, 1TB of SSD storage, up to 120 frames-per-second gaming and 8K support. 

Straight from Sony, we’ve got the PlayStation 5, sporting an eight-core 3.5-GHz custom Zen 2 CPU, a 10.28-teraflop GPU, 16GB of memory, 825GB of storage, up to 120 fps gaming and 8K support. 

Who will win this beastly battle? According to Gargano, the PS5 is the shining star of this bloodthirsty match — and he would know. He’s had his own battle with the PS5 during the pre-order pandemonium.

Johnny Gargano and his PS5 pre-order mayhem 

Just ask Johnny Gargano’s wife Candice LeRae —  another phenomenal professional wrestler signed to WWE’s NXT brand —  about Gargano’s devotion to snagging the next-gen PlayStation console.

“I spent the majority of my four-year wedding anniversary dinner freaking out on the phone trying to pre-order this freaking thing,” Gargano said in a hilarious tweet. “Luckily,” Gargano added, “Candice LeRae is very understanding. 

Like most gaming aficionados  — and half of the Laptop Mag staff — Gargano spent all of Sept. 17 losing his marbles trying to secure a PS5 pre-order.

“It was a pretty frantic experience as pre-orders kind of started popping up out of nowhere,” Gargano told Laptop Mag. “We were staying at a Disney resort waiting to go to our anniversary dinner. God bless her! She was more than supportive when they went live at various times.”

Imagine Gargano’s frustration when he scooped up a PS5 pre-order in his online cart at Target, but it was sold out before he could even check out. Gargano then hopped over to Best Buy to try his luck at securing a PS5 pre-order there, but no dice. “I finally called an audible and got a bundle from Gamestop, but I never got a confirmation email. So, I got a pre-order from Amazon just in case. It was quite stressful!”

When we asked Gargano if he purchased the Digital Edition PS5, he said, “Call me old fashioned, but nothing beats a physical copy!” I couldn’t agree more — there’s something ever-so-satisfying about popping a CD into the optical drive and watching your console gobble it up. After securing the highly coveted gaming console, the WWE NXT Superstar is relieved that he can finally rest easy. 

Will Johnny Gargano pre-order the Xbox Series X? 

When Gargano first spoke to Laptop Mag, he told us he was uncertain about whether he was going to join in on the Xbox Series X pre-order madness. “I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to get it or not yet. Might be a game-time decision! Pun intended.”

Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano (Image credit: Johnny Gargano)

After the Xbox Series X pre-orders went live, we — once again — asked the WWE NXT Superstar if he planned on purchasing the next-gen Microsoft console. He said, “I thought about it, but I did not!” However, Gargano isn’t opposed to purchasing the Xbox Series X at a later date if he’s compelled to do so.

What’s the story behind Johnny Gargano’s pivot to PlayStation?

Reminiscing about his childhood, Gargano said that, at first, he never had a preference for either console. The WWE NXT superstar feels extremely lucky to own every game system at some point in his life — it was the one gift he often looked forward to receiving on Christmas.  

Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano (Image credit: Future)

“I had both PlayStation and Xbox systems growing up. I absolutely loved my original Xbox, but my Xbox 360 got the rings of death, so that just left a bitter taste in my mouth. I’ve been strictly a PlayStation guy since,” he said.

However, Gargano said he’s no PlayStation loyalist — he would have no reservations with switching over to the Xbox side in the future.

What does Johnny Gargano think about the PS5 design? 

When the PS5 design was unveiled at Sony’s June 11 PlayStation 5 showcase, Twitter was electrified with hilarious opinions about the next-gen console’s controversial design. Some said the PS5 looked like a black Wi-Fi router sandwiched between two white pieces of paper while others joked that it looked like an expensive performing arts center. But in Gargano’s opinion, the PS5 looks pretty fly.


PS5 design (Image credit: Sony)

“I’m all about futuristic-looking things,” Gargano told us. “I tell my wife all the time that our new home that’s being built is going to look like a freakin’ rocketship on the inside, so the sleeker, the better!”

This is the first game Johnny Gargano will play on his PS5

There are so many badass PS5 first-party exclusives one can get their hands on to enjoy the next-gen PlayStation console to the fullest. Among those is Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn which will allow gamers to, once again, be immersed in robotic wildlife. There’s also Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, an action-adventure platformer featuring PlayStation’s most iconic duo, as well as God of War Ragnarok, the sequel to the incredibly successful story of Kratos and his son Atreus. 

Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae and co. (Image credit: Johnny Gargano)

But there’s one PS5 first-party exclusive that’s just calling Gargano’s name. When we asked the WWE NXT superstar which game he’s got his eyes set on for the PS5, he said, “Marvel Spider-Man: Miles Morales 110%!”

Gargano is not only a professional wrestler of epic, entertaining battles in the ring, but he’s also a man of great taste. The ass-kicking, web-slinging, graphically stunning Marvel Spider-Man: Miles Morales sneak peeks we’ve seen during Sony’s PS5 Showcase events in mid-June and mid-September were indisputably seductive. The Laptop Mag staff is excited for its release, too. 

If Johnny Gargano could design his dream gaming console, what would it look like? 

As per Systems of the Stars tradition, we always ask our stars to tell us what their dream device would look like. Last month, YouTube tech star MrMobile humored us and described the aesthetic of his dream laptop, which included a scrolling LED marquee and a touchpad that could charge all of his devices. This time, Gargano is giving us his own take on what his dream system would look like.

“If I’m making my dream console, then it would have to be one system to rule them all, right?” Gargano asked rhetorically. Here’s Gargano’s dream gaming console:

Johnny Gargano

(Image credit: Future/Kimberly Gedeon)
  • A disc drive that supports every generation of Xbox and PlayStation games
  • A separate drive for N64 games (N64, according to Gargano, is GOAT)
  • A digital skin that adapts to your gaming selections like a chameleon. If Gargano is playing Madden, he’d love to see the Cleveland Browns’ team colors. If he’s playing Miles Morales, he’d love to see a Spider-Man skin. If he’s playing Pokemon, well, you get the point.
  • Unlimited storage and minimal load screens (hear, hear!)
  • A built-in camera to scan users for create-a-player/first-person story modes
  • No cords for smart TVs
  • A pyramid-shaped gaming console

Gargano’s dream console is fascinating and certainly speaks to the WWE NXT superstar’s gaming style. His dream console tells me that Gargano has a love for nostalgia-inducing gaming — the type of games who make you wistfully remember the simple times of your childhood. But at the same time, his dream system would support next-gen gaming experiences such as Miles Morales and Gran Turismo 7. 

Gargano says his first gaming experience, to his knowledge, was playing Nintendo with his dad when he was a kid. “He really loved Duck Hunt! I also, along with everyone else from that era, got down with some Mario,” he said. “As I got older, I would always freak out whenever a new wrestling game would come out and that would take over my life for a good portion.”

Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano in WWE 2K20 (Image credit: WWE 2K)

Now decades later, Gargano can watch himself on wrestling video games. 

Stay tuned for our next Systems of the Stars feature to take a peek into the lives of high-profile men and women through the lens of technology.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!