wrestling / News

Kyle O’Reilly on His Life Long Journey to Perform at WrestleMania, Wants to Face KUSHIDA in NXT

May 15, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
NXT - Kyle O'Reilly NXT

talkSPORT and Will Gavin recently interviewed NXT Superstar Kyle O’Reilly. Below are some highlights.

Kyle O’Reilly on WrestleMania 35 and the crowd at MetLife: “Oh yeah, it’s unreal. It makes you hungry to experience that. That’s pretty much what my life long journey has been about, to one day perform at Wrestlemania. Who knows when, or if, that will happen, but it’s what drives me every day – and it doesn’t mean when it does happen I’ll be done. Everyone as performers, and they may not admit it, but everyone who is a professional wrestler in the back of their mind, their heartest of hearts and in their soul – they want that experience.”

His thoughts on the transition to NXT: “When I was a kid and I wanted to be a wrestler it was all WWE – I didn’t know about this whole subculture of independents, the scene in Japan and the scene in Britain – once I figured that out and started to get my feet wet then that’s what I wanted to do, I just loved performing at the independent level. I really wanted to go to Japan and do the New Japan thing, I got to do that and it was the greatest time of my life, some of the best experiences I’ve had in my career where there – and I honestly, truly miss it. But once you get that opportunity at WWE, at NXT – because for the longest time guys like me, we weren’t getting signed by WWE – but then things started changing. The Daniel Bryans, the Sami Zayn’s, the Kevin Owens – they started getting signed and they were former Ring of Honor guys – And I was a former Ring of Honor guy! So it started to become a real possibility, and when the call came I was like – I guess we’re doing this! And doing it with my best friends in the business, so if we’re doing it then let’s freaking do it!”

Kyle O’Reilly on adopting an MMA style: “Right! When I broke in originally in 2005 I was just a straight up pro wrestling guy, and around a year in I started training kickboxing and jiu-jitsu and really liked how that helped my in-ring cardio, my timing and my footwork – but also helping me throw legitimate techniques into a match, which I think helped round my style out. I think that’s something missing today from people who try to do the martial arts style – they think it’s cool and they do the moves in a match, but they don’t necessarily train it in their spare time – that’s when you can tell the difference. I have an eye for it, and I feel if I’m going to do that style I need to be training on the side to supplement it. I don’t want to go in and start throwing kicks when I haven’t trained properly to throw kicks.”

His thoughts on crowds in the UK vs. North America or Japan: “The crowds in the UK influence the crowds in the US. Certain chants and the way the crowd interacts in the US never used to happen until the scene started breaking out in the UK like it has. I love coming to the UK because the crowd are so lively, so into everything, singing and chanting – little pieces of that would start to merge into the American crowds and influencing the American culture – I think it’s really interesting. I’ve certainly noticed that since working over here and over there.”

Kyle O’Reilly on an opponent he’d like to work with in NXT: “Certainly another match under the NXT banner with KUSHIDA would be ideal. A singles match with Matt Riddle would be awesome. There’s so many guys I think I’d mesh well with, but I’m such a fan of that pseudo-MMA style that those are guys I feel I could tear it down with.”