Johnny Gargano has revealed he took a lot of inspiration from Evolution when putting together the original plan for his WWE NXT faction, The Way.
Gargano and wife Candice LeRae began working with Austin Theory and Indi Hartwell towards the end of 2020, officially naming their stable 'The Way' in early December.
The former NXT North American Champion has revealed the faction idea came about after discussing him and Candice working together as a heel unit with Triple H, with The Way initially based off of The Game's old group, Evolution.
Speaking on Ryan Satin's Out Of Character Podcast, Gargano said: "Towards the end of my face run...you do something for so long, you just get bored with it and I was creatively stifled to where I was like, 'I feel like I need to turn or change.'
"Hunter felt the same way. The pitch originally came with 'What about Candice?' She felt the same way and we felt together, as a package, could refresh both of us. Then came the idea of doing the Gargano Way and a faction would be a cool thing.
"The idea of Evolution came to my mind. Austin Theory was a guy I worked with in EVOLVE and I pitched it as him being the Randy to my Hunter and I could help him improve and get comfortable while giving him a spotlight. Indi was someone that we were big fans of and we likened her to Dave Batista. We call her 'Big Dave' all the time. We likened it to Evolution to infuse these characters on-screen and give them a platform to grow and get comfortable.
"It's worked wonders for Indi and Austin. Having the chance to get comfortable in a group, but also get comfortable in the ring and on pre-tapes, they've grown so much. I'm so proud of them because they are immensely talented and they're going to be stars for this company for a long time."