NXT star Kyle O’Reilly recently spoke to the New York Post to hype this weekend’s Takeover 31 special, where O’Reilly challenged Finn Balor for the NXT title. Highlights from O’Reilly’s interview can be found below.
What it would mean to him to become NXT champion:
Fifteen years of loss, of hardship, of sacrifice, of uncertainly of moving my life around the continent for a chance for an opportunity with zero money in my bank account and then to find success, to find friendships, love and meeting my wife. My life changing drastically over these last 15 years makes everything seem worthwhile. I think of every match that I ever had in front of fricking 20 people and me going, this is biggest match of my life, means everything. At the time it did mean everything. Looking back, I know it was nothing, whatever. It’s kind of the mentality I’ve always had. Specifically going into this match, becoming NXT champion it would be pretty crazy. I don’t have any other words to describe it. It would mean a lot, not just my career but just for my life and everything I’ve believed in basically my entire adult life.
What he’s looking forward to in his matchup with Finn Balor:
I think it’s going to be a huge test for me in the sense of he’s a guy I’ve looked up to for a while and admired from afar and been a fan of. I mean, what’s not to like about Finn Balor? He’s got all the tools and he’s NXT champion for a reason because he’s freaking good. A lot of what I do in this industry and in my career, it is a personal test, it’s about personal growth. I plan on beating Finn as efficiently as possible, but I know just being able to hang with Finn is something that I’ll be able to hang my hat on and be proud of that I was able to do.
On his four months away from wrestling due to COVID-19 and being asymptomatic:
As for everybody, it’s been a weird few months, it’s been a weird year. At first, when this whole thing broke out it was scary for the reasons like you said, health being a huge part of that. As we learned more about what going on, I became more confident. As time progressed, I started chomping at the bit to return. You could only do so many garage workouts in a day to keep the cabin fever away. After a while, I was ready to come back. The company had my health in their best interest. They weren’t going to risk anything with me. Once the opportunity finally came around to come back, all the precautions had been taken and continue to be taken. I felt confident and yeah, it was a long few months. I was ready to come back a lot sooner, but that’s the way things work out and I’m glad to be finally back.
If he ever sees himself facing off against his Undisputed Era brother Adam Cole:
I honestly don’t think so. We’ve had our past. We fought tooth and nail and, dare I say, been enemies in the past, but that’s in the past. We’ve really grown as performers and individuals. The four of us are best buddies and brothers and I think that’s what makes the Undisputed Era different. When there is a faction in pro wrestling, everyone’s waiting for the shoe to drop. Well, OK, when’s he getting stabbed in the back? I think that’s what’s gonna be different about the Undisputed Era is that this is for real. It’s not just four guys that were tossed together. These four dudes who are legitimately super tight and have each other’s back through thick and thin. So I don’t think … man, I don’t think that’s gonna happen here. I honestly don’t.
On tag wrestlers getting singles opportunities:
I think so because sometimes there’s a lot left on the table for said tag team to accomplish. That’s kind of the beautiful thing about the Undisputed Era is that any combination of the four of us can be a successful tag team. So this is Kyle O’Reilly’s chance for a main event singles opportunity. That doesn’t mean any other member can’t step in with Bobby (Fish) and be the best tag team in the company. I think having that is a means for me to not worry about leaving anything on the table or worried about what’s going to happen to the tag division. I know it’s in good hands.