One of NXT’s top women stars is now a free agent. Sean Ross Sapp of reports that Candice LeRae’s WWE contact has expired, making her a free agent. LeRae was an anchor of the women’s division during the latter part of NXT’s “Black and Gold” era and was a one-time NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion alongside Indi Hartwell. LeRae’s last WWE match was in June 2021 when she and Hartwell lost the Tag Team Championship titles to Io Shirai and Zoey Stark. Shortly afterward, LeRae went on leave as she was pregnant with her first child. LeRae is also notably the wife of Johnny Gargano, who was also an NXT mainstay who departed the WWE promotion last year shortly before the birth of his and LaRae’s child.

Assuming that LeRae plans to return to the ring, she instantly becomes one of the biggest free agents in wrestling. LeRae was a mainstay in the indie circuits before she signed with the WWE in 2018. Notably, she was a former PWG Tag Team Champions alongside Joey Ryan, making her the only female wrestler to ever hold a championship with that promotion. She has also had a series of must-watch matches against the Young Bucks. According to the Young Bucks’ Nick Jackson, LeRae and Ryan were at one point supposed to face against the Young Bucks at All In, the PPV that led to the formation of AEW, but that was scrapped when LeRae signed with WWE. Jackson noted in a tweet that “Candice is the best in the business,” and she’d be most assuredly would be a great addition to AEW’s women division.

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With LeRae and Gargano both free agents, the question becomes where the pair will appear next and if they’ll continue to work together or perform separately. The married couple were both part of NXT’s The Way faction, so there’s a precedent, and married couples often work together in various promotions.


As of press time, LeRae has not commented publicly about her current contract status, nor has she stated that she’s accepting booking queries.