Kyle O’Reilly says
O’Reilly was a guest on Sean Waltman’s Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast and talked about how Undisputed Era came to be in NXT, and how the decision to finally break them up was made.
O’Reilly explained that three of them (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and O’Reilly) had been together for a brief period in Ring Of Honor, but it was just a chance to set up a turn by Cole. He said they’d gone to the office to ask to stay together because it felt right and was working, but it was ultimately turned down. O’Reilly didn’t get into the reason why it was shut down, but explained how Triple H pitched the same idea to them in NXT.
“It’s, I want to say relaxed, but it couldn’t be further from [that] because you put so much pressure and hype on it to make sure things all work. You work your ass off and want it to be successful, but it’s relaxed in the sense that it’s, ‘just go do your thing. Be yourselves and have fun’ and so that’s what we did and it ended up working. But the whole environment in NXT, man, I sound like I’m blowing smoke, but I’ve become such a better performer in the last 3-4 years since being there. Guys like [Sean] coming down and sitting in class with us, those are the things that are invaluable to us and I wouldn’t have picked up if I stayed on the indies or gone to Japan. I feel like I’m a much better, more polished performer now having been in NXT.
O’Reilly then talked about his favorite thing in wrestling is to work as a heel tag team that can feed to a babyface team, then spoke about the decision to split up the Undisputed Era. O’Reilly joked about how candid he should get, but praised the collaborative effort of WWE and said they weren’t pushed by any executives to break the group up.
“It goes to show how much trust they have in us as performers, because it started with ‘can you guys come in Sunday, we’ll have a booking meeting, and you guys pitch ideas for what’s next.’ That’s what’s great about the writing staff and the powers that be, they want to hear our opinion and run things by us and get our suggestions. This booking meeting turned into—and it was not the plan, it was not like, ‘we’ll bring these guys up and let them down easy and tell them we’re splitting them up.’ It had nothing to do with an executive decision, ‘this has to happen.’”
“It was a true collaboration in the sense of ‘OK, well then if we’re doing this, we’ve got to do it tonight [for] the pay-per-view. We’ll maximize the opportunity and get the most people to tune in Wednesday to see why, what happened, to create more questions. That’s how you want to end the show, something crazy happens and ‘What happened to UE?’ It’s crazy how it all happened so fast and so suddenly. Literally, within hours, ‘this is happening? Oh my God.’ And it does suck, because this is the best thing that has ever happened in my career, this group with these guys. I’ve had the most fun and I’ve learned so much and become a better performer, but just because we split now, it just means the eventual reunion will be an even bigger deal, right?”