Kushida talks Kyle O’Reilly match and almost retiring in 2017

Jun 23, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida took to Twitter this morning with a statement on why last night’s main event with Kyle O’Reilly was so special. He also revealed that he was considering retirement from in-ring competition back in 2017 due to health issues.

Last night’s non-title NXT main event saw O’Reilly defeat Kushida. Kushida noted that their “fight will go on forever” and talked about how he they wrestled in London back in 2017, when it was rumored O’Reilly might be headed to WWE, and how Kushida thought it would be great to one day face O’Reilly in WWE. It looks like he was referring to their July 8, 2017 match for Revolution Pro, for the British J Cup, which Kushida won. O’Reilly eventually signed with WWE that same month, in July 2017, while Kushida signed in April 2019.

Kushida revealed that he was dealing with abdominal pain caused by nerve damage at that time, and that he knew his pro wrestling career could come to an end. Four years later, he and O’Reilly are both top talents in NXT, and their main event was billed as a “Dream Match” for the brand.

You can see Kushida’s full statement below:

“In 2017, around this time, I was considering retirement after every match. I was concerned about my mental and physical health after every match. I wrestled back and forth between Japan and the United States twice a month.

During that time, I sometimes suffered from severe abdominal pain after matches. I crouched on the floor with a cold sweat and had no choice but to wait for the pain to pass. I had to insert a gastro camera down my throat at the hospital to examine my stomach. But the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctor’s diagnosis was that my autonomic nerves must have been disturbed. My level of this abdominal pain wasn’t normal. And, if it continued, I couldn’t wrestle anymore. I knew it wasn’t an exaggeration. And I knew that my wrestling career could be over at any time.

I had a match with Kyle O’Reilly at that time. It was four years ago in London. At that point, it was rumored that Kyle O’Reilly would soon sign a contract with WWE. After our match, I talked to him directly. He told me his honest intentions. At that time, I thought it would be great to have a match against him in the WWE some day. I knew my professional wrestling life wouldn’t last forever.

So Yesterday was special.
WWE/NXT universe!
Thank you for watching.

Our fight will go on forever.”

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