Monday, June 18, 2012

13 Questions with Kyle O'Reilly!

Kyle O'Reilly is one of the best young talents on the independent wrestling scene today.  He's appeared for all of the major indy promotions, and currently makes his home in Ring of Honor, alongside his trainer and training partner, Davey Richards.  O'Reilly sat down with Two Spot Monkeys to talk about his career, his "Hybrid Rules Match" coming up against Adam Cole on iPPV this weekend, and so much more!  

1. Tell us about your earliest memories of wrestling, and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

O'Reilly:  My earliest memories of wrestling consists mainly of early 90's WWF. I didn't watch wrestling regularly but I knew the characters synonymous with the sport like Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior very well. When I was finally old enough to watch wrestling my favorites included Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Steve Austin. I think like a large majority of wrestlers, one decides at an early age that they want to be a professional wrestler, then as time goes on people tend to outgrow the notion. I just never outgrew the desire that I wanted to be a wrestler, so when the time was right I pursued it.

2. For fans not aware, how did your relationship and the growth of that into being Davey's protégé' come about?

O'Reilly:   Davey had been wrestling regularly at the promotion I trained under (ECCW based out of British Columbia), I guess he saw some potential on my end and he would book me for a promotion he and Tony were running (Pinnacle based out of Washington), we traveled together a few times and became friends. When Davey moved to Saint Louis the invite was open to move down and continue training and taking my career to the next level. So I jumped at the chance and would pack my car and drive down to Missouri, haven't looked back since.

3. Davey Richards stated recently that you train in BJJ along with him 5 days per week. Do you have aspirations in MMA as well as pro wrestling?

O'Reilly:  Yeah, absolutely. The training regimen that involves elements of mixed martial arts is something that I enjoy very much, I also consider myself to be a somewhat competitive guy. I'm sure somewhere down the road I'll opt for a MMA fight but for now I'll stick to grappling tournaments and pro-wrestling.

4. How does your disciplined training help you to grow as a pro wrestler and strive to be one of the best?

 O'Reilly:  I've found since I've been training in MMA my ability and confidence in the ring has heightened immensely. I feel more fluid and polished incorporating MMA inspired techniques into my repertoire. I also feel my wind and stamina has greatly improved so there has been nothing but positive impacts. I grew up playing almost every sport but I feel martial artists are probably the most elite and uniquely trained athletes around.

5. How does or has being so closely linked to Davey and Tony Kozina helped you in your early career? Is there any ways you feel that it has hurt or had less than positive effects?

O'Reilly:  They were really the driving point behind having to get out of the northwest to gain exposure. They were right, and I'm thankful for everything that they've done to help me in my career. I'm very proud of the fact that I've gained success based off my own merits, trials and persistence, but both Davey and Tony helped fuel the fire inside me that would have me seek the opportunity to do so.

6. Your career thus far has been closely tied with Adam Cole’s, from your pre-show match for Dragon Gate USA, to your team as Future Shock in ROH, and now your first big single’s feud.  What are the main similarities or differences you see with yourself and Adam Cole?

O'Reilly:   I feel both myself and Cole have a very strong work ethic and desire to succeed. We're both confident in ourselves and believe in everything we do inside the ring. We each followed completely different paths to get to this point, yet our paths crossed at opportune moments. It will be interesting to see how our paths continue to cross or separate in the future.

7. As we mentioned, you started your ROH career off in a tag team with Adam Cole as Future Shock.  The knock on the team was that you never quite got the “big wins”, but always had outstanding matches.  Is not winning the ROH Tag Team Titles with Future Shock something you look back on as a disappointment in your ROH career?

O'Reilly:  I think we're both a bit disappointed that "Future Shock" never gained the success that it had the potential to. Wrestling has a way of surprising everyone though so perhaps the book isn't quite closed on what "Future Shock" could bring to the table.

8. At ROH's "Best in the World '12" you get to face Adam Cole in a match where you've seemingly got the advantage with "Hybrid Fighting Rules." If you feel Cole is truly only one-dimensional as you mentioned on, is this a matter of you wanting more than just to settle the feud/issue and prove something more?

O'Reilly:  I absolutely have the advantage in this match, that much is true. I train every day in Muay Thai and submission grappling, so considering the rules, yeah I'd say Cole doesn't have much of a shot. The statement about Cole being "one-dimensional" is simply a doctored quote. I consider Adam Cole to be far more dimensional than myself as far as pro-wrestling standards are concerned. He has a superstar aura and quality look, impressive mic skills and a unique mat based/high flying repertoire of maneuvers. Adam Cole will outclass me any day of the week from a traditional pro-wrestling standpoint. However, when it comes to striking, submission ability and strait up toughness I'll destroy Adam Cole, hurting and embarrassing him. This isn't about ending a "feud" or an "issue", I made a challenge and Cole accepted. We may never see to eye again, we may have 100 more matches before the dust is settled, but when it comes to this Sunday June 24, I will dominate.

9. How would you deal with Adam Cole defeating you in New York City and cementing himself as ROH's "Breakout Star" - would it be a breaking point for you and what would come next for you?

O'Reilly:  A breaking point? I've been an athlete my entire life. I've won and lost at both the provincial and national level, losing just means re-evaluating and coming back stronger, tougher and hungrier. Losing is just part of an athlete's journey, I'm sure that's something Cole and I can agree on, we lost more times as "Future Shock" than I can count. That being said, there's no way I'm losing to Cole this Sunday, I simply cannot allow it, I've trained too hard for this match and I need to backup everything that I stand for.

10. Davey Richards also stated recently that he will retire from pro wrestling in August 2013. What would it mean for Davey Richards to publicly pass the torch to you within the next 13+ months? Is that something you would hope to have happen, specifically in ROH and have it be the next step in your ROH career?

O'Reilly:  I don't think Davey will be "passing the torch" to anyone if and when he walks away from wrestling. The proverbial torch isn't something I consider possible to be just handed away. I'm just thankful to keep being given good opportunities to perform at the best of my ability. When I'm ready I'll take the torch and I'll run with it. A lot of things can factor if and when that will be, may or may not be when Davey retires. When the time has come I'll know and you'll know, and there will be no question.

11. Beyond thinking that a feud or series of matches with Davey might be at the top of your professional "wish list," who else within ROH or elsewhere would you really like the opportunity to wrestle?

O'Reilly:  There's so many talented guys in the ROH locker room and all over the indies for that matter. I feel Eddie Edwards really brings out the best in me that I've come to realize so far, but like I said at the end of the day I'm just thankful to be getting opportunities to wrestle. I'm fortunate to be a part of such a hard-working locker room and everyone inspires each other to perform to their top potential.

12. What are your goals in the next year?  How about the next 3 years?  5 years out?

O'Reilly:   I try not to look too far into the future as far as wrestling is concerned. I keep focused on the present and trying to improve myself to be the best wrestler I can be day by day. It's always been a goal and dream of mine to wrestle in Japan so perhaps one day, but I cannot predict when and where that will be. I will say that I hope to become a Blue belt in Jiu-jitsu within 2 years.  

13. How can fans stay up to date on where you’ll be appearing, and how can they be in touch with you for merchandise, etc?

O'Reilly:  @ROHOreilly is my twitter handle. I don't think anyone would buy merch from me. Can I have some money? 

Two Spot Monkeys would like to thank Ring of Honor and Kyle O'Reilly for this interview!  Be sure to catch ROH's next iPPV, "Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis" this Sunday, June 24th at 5pm Eastern live on!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Head 2 Head: WWE No Way Out PPV

Hey all!  Long time no talk huh?  Sorry about that.  Many things have been going on in both of our personal lives that have just taken precedence lately, but we are still obviously very committed to Two Spot Monkeys and hope to get back to a more regular posting schedule now that things are hopefully calming a bit!  No worries, all is well, just busy lives you know?

With that in mind, we need to get back to our Head to Head competition here!  Unfortunately we missed Over the Limit, but we are back and ready to go for Sunday’s No Way Out PPV!  Here is how we see it playing out! 

Pre-Show Match
Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga

JIM:  They seem to be making Clay a bit more focused in his matches, and then do the fun stuff afterwards.  I hope they keep that up.  Clay is turning into a modern day Junkyard Dog, and that’s not a bad thing (except that I think the ceiling on Clay could be higher if they don’t pigeon hole him too much here).  Otunga is best served as Johnny Ace’s lackey, and not in a prominent role in the ring, so to me, no chance Otunga wins here, Clay all the way!

TOM:  How can you not get behind the “Funkasaurus?”  I think the match being the on-line pre-show bout is good, as WWE wants to get people into that concept and Brodus is a good talent to draw them in.  He gets the W here.

Tuxedo Match
Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez

JIM:  This match was added this week on  This probably goes on between the title matches and the Steel Cage as a “breather” bout.  Santino winning is the only thing that makes sense.  Frankly, I’m kind of bored…Santino is the US Champion, he shouldn’t be feuding with a ring announcer/lackey.  Either move Santino into an actual feud over the title, or get it off of him, please.

TOM:  Fun gimmick, especially because Ricardo is the one who is always dressed well.  But, I am with Jim on this…Santino deserves better, the United States Title deserves better.  Santino gets to excel at the comedy bit and gets the win, but let’s hope there is something more in store.

Intercontinental Title Match
Christian (C) vs. Cody Rhodes

JIM:  At first I was going to complain about Rhodes not being on TV this week to push this match, but he was on a promotional tour in Turkey apparently.  I do question the wisdom of sending him over there the week of a PPV, with a match to build to, but it tells you how little the company values the Intercontinental Title, which is a sad statement.  Long gone are the days of Greg Valentine, Tito Santana, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and the Honky Tonk Man making the title actually mean something.  They don’t care…so why should I?  Christian wins, and WWE goes back to not caring. 

TOM:  Cody is one of my favorites to watch in WWE.  He could (and probably should) be in a higher profile match on Sunday, but WWE just doesn’t build up its talent as they have done previously.  A good re-match from last month, but the title is not switching back.  Christian wins.

Divas Title Match
Layla (C) vs. Beth Phoenix

JIM:  Layla has been a dud as champ so far, but that is more on the WWE booking of her in my eyes, her matches have been ok, but they just don’t seem to have a direction for the Divas right now.  Get the belt on Beth and go back to a dominant Divas champ, having her destroy everyone until Kharma comes in and we get a big Divas Title showdown between the two.  Beth Phoenix for the win here!

TOM:  I am surprised that they are running this match again.  It has likely been years since back to back PPV events featured the same Divas Title Match.  I am going to go with Layla to retain her title here.

World Title Match
Sheamus (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler

JIM:  Ziggler fills in for Del Rio here who has a concussion.  Why they don’t push Ziggler more often is beyond my understanding (and Tom’s too I know).  I mean, he’s been beaten cleanly by Sheamus twice in the last few weeks, and now we’re to believe he has a shot at winning the title?  Yeah, not a chance.  I get that they can’t plan for injuries…but don’t bury your good workers so far that when they are needed, they look like jobbers.  No chance in hell Ziggler wins here.  Sheamus by brogue kick. 

TOM:  As Jim stated above, I really just wish WWE would get behind Dolph Ziggler for 6-9 months or more.  The guy is oozing talent and could do SO much, but he is stunted by the system instead.  I think this is the match of the night , but Sheamus isn’t losing. 

WWE Title Match
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

JIM:  I hate to sound so negative in this preview, but it’s how I’m feeling.  Punk and Bryan have a really good match last month, and there is this subplot of crazy girl AJ playing in as well, and a controversial ending to boot.  So, that nicely builds to a rematch here right?  Nope, WWE has to muck up the water and insert Kane into a spot he doesn’t belong.  Why in the heck did this story need Kane?  What has he added except one more person for crazy AJ to fawn over?  And does that help anything?  Have Kane get smitten with AJ, have him stand in a trance on the outside watching her, and let Punk and Bryan do what they do best, and what they should have been left to do here, have a great match.  I honestly could go with either Bryan or Punk as the winner here, as I think Bryan as WWE champ would be great as well.  But, I think Punk hangs on to the title here. 

TOM:  I feel a little different than Jim on this one.  This is actually one of the better (if not best) stories going on right now.  Did adding Kane do anything to make this more meaningful?  Probably not, but those involved and in creative are making this at least worth investing in and I care about how it plays out more than anything else on this show.  I think Bryan and AJ have actually been in cahoots the whole time and it will lead to him winning his 2nd World Title – YES! YES! YES!

Steel Cage Match
The Big Show vs. John Cena

JIM:  Smackdown Spoilers within, so be warned.  They have changed the stipulation to this match, now if Show loses, Johnny Ace is fired, but if Cena loses, Cena is fired.  Well, nothing like telegraphing the winner again most likely.  Unless they are going to rehash the “Cena gets fired” angle from the Cena/Barrett feud, no chance John Cena loses here.  Johnny Ace gets canned as GM, but sticks around as a character.  He’s been listed as “Special Advisor to the Board of Directors” or something like that in future bookings, so he’ll still be around, but we can get a new GM (and hey, let’s get someone new, not Teddy Long again ok?).  Cena wins here.

TOM:  Much like Jim, the Smackdown Spoilers caused me to scratch my head.  Does that actually add drama to the match?  I really wonder how many of the “WWE Universe” buy what they are being sold on a weekly basis.  I think WWE really has the shot to make Big Show a top level heel again here and here could move into a feud with Sheamus while ADR recovers.  On the flipside, if Cena gets fired as he did back in the Barrett-Orton storyline of a few years back and come back in short order, then it is another step towards making storylines and stipulations meaningless once again.  I want to go with Show here and WWE to make him a killer heel.  That could have happened without the added stip.  Cena is still John Cena and he’s too valuable for WWE to lose in a “firing angle.” Cena gets the win.

There they are!  Jim and Tom differ on a few matches, so the tie currently in our competition will be broken.  Check back next week, as we will have our REACT article from No Way Out and an exclusive ROH Interview ahead of the “Best in the World 2012” iPPV!!!