In a new interview with talkSPORT, NXT Superstar Kyle O’Reilly spoke openly about his transition into the WWE’s underground brand and his desires to go to the main roster. Below are some highlights.
Kyle O’Reilly on making it 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 lets freaking do it!”
Kyle talks WrestleMania weekend:
It was surreal. ‘Mania weekend always is. I didn’t have too much to worry about because I didn’t have a match to plan out per se, so it was a little less stressful on my end. But just to be there, see everything, see how it was all put together – it’s unlike anything in the world, so it’s cool for anyone to make that Wrestlemania pilgrimage at least once!
O’Reilly on main roster aspirations:
“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.”
O’Reilly on adopting an MMA-based in-ring style:
“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.”
To read more excerpts and see a full video of the interview, click here.