The Undisputed Era's Kyle O'Reilly was a guest on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness recently. Among many other interesting things, O'Reilly talked about whether he would have been satisfied working in Japan for the rest of his professional wrestling career, when WWE became a viable option for him, when he got the call from WWE, and what making it to WWE meant to his family as O'Reilly's mother struggled with terminal cancer.
According to O'Reilly, he would have been satisfied wrestling in Japan for the rest of his career. Moreover, WWE did not always seem like a real option for the Canadian grappler.
"It's something that I've always wanted to do, was wrestle in Japan because I was just such a fan of the style and such a fan of Japanese culture and how pro wrestling was so highly regarded over there and how wrestlers are treated with such respect. It was a dream come true to get to go over there," O'Reilly recalled. "Oh yeah, absolutely [working in Japan forever would have been fine]. And for a lot of my career, I loved wrestling and I still would be doing it if I never made a dime doing it. I just love to do it so much. But I really felt at peace and at home in Japan. Like, the fans were really getting behind us and I had really important matches throughout my body of work, I guess, stuff that I can be proud of looking back. I wrestled in some famous venues in some famous tournaments and against some famous guys. And I was really proud of that and I would have been happy to have been a lifer over there, 100%."
O'Reilly revealed that seeing former ROH World Champions go on to be WWE Champion made him think WWE was a real possibility.
"I mean, I guess, like, anything is possible, but you see guys that have gone the same route that we had gone that were making big waves in WWE, like, guys that were the Ring Of Honor Champion of the World," O'Reilly explained. "Like, they were now the WWE Champion, so it was like, 'whoa, maybe this is a possibility.' And it wouldn't be for quite some time after that that call came, but once it did come, it was like, 'wow, this is really going to happen.' I don't know. It's really hard to put into words about how it felt and how it still feels to know that I work for WWE because it was the company that I loved since I was a kid. So it was a really cool thing to finally happen for us and for me and just for my family to see how much I put into this and how hard it was to get to this point."
During the podcast, O'Reilly joked that he is the shortest reigning ROH World Champion in history because William Regal called O'Reilly to join WWE as soon as he won ROH's top prize. Apparently, a legal dispute between ROH and WWE put O'Reilly's WWE deal on ice for several months. O'Reilly shared that the time was actually serendipitous because allowed him to spend with his terminally ill mother.
"When I did finally get the call, it was when I finally won the Ring Of Honor World title and William Regal called me up and said that they wanted to hire me and I was like, 'oh, but I'm the Ring Of Honor World Champion now' and he was like, 'isn't there something you could do about that?' I was like, 'oh, I can read between the lines,'" O'Reilly laughed. "So I'm the shortest reigning Ring Of Honor Champion in history. And then, the weekend after dropping it, I get a call saying, 'oh, I guess there's some kind of legal dispute between our companies' or whatever it ended up being, 'but we have to go radio silent for six months.' It's not that my deal was up in the air, but it was, 'you're going to have to wait six months,' so I was like, 'okay' and now I was kind of like, 'oh, so now what do I do?'" O'Reilly asked. "It's so crazy to think back now at what kind of blessing in disguise and it really was the universe looking out for me because my mom had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so those six months were precious time that I got to spend at home for those final months, so it really did work out."
O'Reilly getting to NXT and his mother being alive when he main evented NXT TakeOver: War Games were the only bright spots of the year for the young martial artist when his mother passed.
"My mom wouldn't pass until November of that year, so she did get to see me realize my dream," O'Reilly remembered. "She did get to know that I had made it and I had signed on the dotted line. And our first TakeOver was that War Games in November, so she knew that I got to main event a WWE 'pay-per-view', so that was just so huge for my family. Me getting to NXT was the one good piece of news that happened for my family that entire year. Like, it was a lot of pain and hardship and everything like that, but it was the best medicine possible."
Don't be a Matt Tardy - check out the pod here! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness