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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Kyle O’Reilly Explains Decision To Leave WWE, Why AEW Was ‘A New Frontier’

Kyle O’Reilly explains why he left NXT behind and decided to join Bobby Fish in All Elite Wrestling.

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were guests on Talk Is Jericho and spoke about their respective decisions to join All Elite Wrestling. Fish was released by WWE in 2021 and explained how he got a chance to test the free-agent waters, sharing a humorous story about how he got ‘booked’ for a Dynamite taping before he even agreed to a contract.

“The first week, there was an email about medical. You guys were in Rochester and it was as if I was supposed to be in Rochester. I was like, ‘Wait a minute—I haven’t even discussed anything with anyone!’ And then I had a few people iggy me, like ‘Hey, are you here?’ And I ignored them, like I don’t know what’s happening. And it came kinda like a week early, I don’t know where the communication would’ve mixed but the following week I got an iggy to contact Tony,” Fish explained, “and then Tony and I had a conversation and he had an idea to bring me in. It was going to be wrapped around some of the forbidden door thing with Sammy [Guevara] with the TNT title, and off to the races we went.”

Kyle O’Reilly left WWE by choice, electing not to re-sign after his contract ran out in December 2021. O’Reilly stuck around for another week to finish a feud with NXT’s Von Wagner, and told Jericho the reasons that AEW was appealing to him.

“For me, seeing Bobby come here, seeing Adam [Cole] come here, how could you not want to be back with these guys and part of a group like AEW where every week it’s like a TakeOver crowd, just on regular TV. We’ve talked about the natural progression and next steps in one’s career and it just felt like for me that this was the next logical step for me. The NXT 2.0 rebrand happened and it felt like before the rebrand happened, Kyle O’Reilly was a top guy in NXT, and after the rebrand it felt like plans shifted,” O’Reilly said. “That’s fine, that’s just business, I’m totally willing to do what I can to help anyone else get over, and for the last few months there I tried my damnedest to do so with everyone I worked with.

“It just felt like I wanted to be excited about going to work again and I felt like I left a ton on the table at New Japan as well. I know here [in AEW] there’s a good working relationship with New Japan and it just seemed like a new frontier that I just thought there’s so many talented guys there, there’s so many exciting matchups, so many exciting tag matches because the tag division here is stacked. I love tag team wrestling,” O’Reilly explained, “and my tag team partner [WWE] released and now he’s there [in AEW] and I want to [stick with him.] My deal was done, it was coming up in December [2021]. So I ended up signing like a week extension to finish up and do good business by them and finish up with the War Games and the TV to put Von Wagner over and do business right. I’m happy to do so, and just the opportunity to come here, I ended up sorting out a deal with Tony the day or two before my debut and here we are.”

Read More: Adam Cole On Kyle O’Reilly’s Move To AEW: ‘It’s Just Meant To Be’

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