Jake O’Reilly is a Canadian professional wrestler who has worked throughout numerous independent promotions in Canada
and has wrestled internationally, including for the American promotion Total
Nonstop Action Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Jake has learned a lot
while training with the likes of Dan Henderson, Eric Young and Randy Couture.
By following the Independent Circuit and reading about
the wrestlers and their storied careers, I am able to catch up with some of
them and conduct an interview which allows them to share with us their story.
Recently I was able to catch up with Jake and he was gracious enough to put a
halt to his busy schedule to discuss his career, future, and accomplishments. This
is what he had to say.
When did your pro wrestling career begin?
My career began in 2002. I drove from
Alliston to Cambridge, Ontario (4 hour round trip) two to three times a week to
train with Eric Young. My first match was June 30, 2003 in Toronto. I teamed
with Shawn Spears (Tye Dillenger in NXT) to face Los Jalapenio and Suicide Sean
you explain the life on an independent wrestler?
Man that will vary from person to
person. Some people will drive from Toronto to LA to Newfoundland for bookings
and to get noticed by the right people. They live in the gym. They work crap
jobs so they can get time off to wrestle. Wrestling is more important than
anything else in their lives. More important than work, relationships, family,
friends, anything! That’s the only way to be if you want to be noticed by a
major company. You can’t half ass wrestling if your goal is to make it your
full time job. You really have to hustle and be prepared to sacrifice.
But on the other hand, you have the guy who just
enjoys wrestling locally. He/she just wants to have a good time in the ring
entertaining the fans, while making a little grocery money on the side.
I feel like I am more like the second one now. I
lived the life of the first guy for a lot of years. It was fun, but it was also
very taxing. I just like being in the ring now and trying to have the best
match I can that weekend.
Do you pay attention to other federations or
follow other wrestlers?
I mostly watch anything my friends are
doing. Eric Young, Crazy Steve, Tye Dillenger, those guys are like my brothers.
So I go out of my way to watch them perform.
I watch alot of older stuff on YouTube (I just
got wifi last July, lol). I think current New Japan is the best product out
there right now. Those guys are really tearing it up.
I watch Shimmer too. They have really taken
strides in legitimizing women’s wrestling. Personally I hate how women’s
wrestling is portrayed as second class. The women at Shimmer, and shows like
that, are full of kick ass athletes! Courtney Rush, Kellie Skater, and Kana are
some of my favorites to watch.
would be your dream match?
My dream match, without question, would
be a singles match with Keiji Muto. A close second would be a tag team match
with my partner Anthony Darko vs. The Brain busters.
would you say is your greatest accomplishment in the sport of professional
Achieving my dream and wrestling for All
Japan Pro Wrestling is my biggest accomplishment by far. Wrestling in Japan was
my goal since day one. I never wanted to work for the WWE. It made all the
sacrifices worth it.
your most memorable match?
I have a few memorable matches that stand out. Once again
tagging with Tye Dillenger and wrestling Sanada and Manabu Soya in Korakuen
Hall is right up there. Just to wrestle in that building was special. The match
wasn’t very good though, lol! But being able to step between the ropes in the
same building as Muta, Dynamite Kid, Hulk Hogan, and a bazillion other greats
was a huge honor!
Likely my best match ever was myself and Darko
(the Piss Beaters) vs. Tye Dillenger and Crazy Steve in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Everything about that match was magic. Just perfect! I also had a whole series of matches with Cody Deaner
in a local Ontario promotion that were very special. We managed to get the
crowd to hate me so much that the police were legitimately called during
matches, more than once! Deaner and I took a crowd of 40 people, and in a
series of 5 matches, sold out the local fair grounds with a crowd of 400 people
to watch our steel cage showdown.
Who are/were some your favorite
wrestlers and why?
My Favorite wrestler is Keiji Muto/Great Muta. He is the
complete package. Athletic, entertaining, flashy, and technical; Muto-san is
the perfect blend of North American and Japanese styles.
needs to be accomplished in your eyes to be able to look back and call your
career a success when it’s all over?
In my mind my career has been a success, and that’s the most
important thing. I achieved my goal of wrestling in Japan. And I did it for a
major company like All Japan. My favorite wrestler was also my boss, doesn’t
get much cooler than that! I’ve made many friends, and a few enemies. My Indy
mentor, El Tornado, always says “if you can make it in wrestling, you can
make it in life”. Wrestling has taught me so much on how to deal with
people and run a business. Plus I get to fight my friends in my underwear on
weekends now, and get paid for it! Who could ask for more?
***Hopefully you enjoyed this interview and
learned some new and interesting things about Jake O’Reilly. I would like to
personally thank Jake for taking the time to share with me his stories so I
could share them with all of you. For more info on Jake you can follow him on
Twitter @IrishJake15 for all of his up-to-date events and information. He is
also active on FB via Rock Solid Wrestling.