NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver got off to an amazing start in Night 1, which crowned two new Champions and featured a match of the year contender, so understandably the bar is high for Night 2. The second night is full of amazing matchups as well though and should have no problem meeting and possibly exceeding that bar. One such match is the Unsanctioned Match between Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly, who have become bitter enemies after being part of one of the most successful factions in all of NXT, the Undisputed ERA. Those days are long gone though, and ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to O'Reilly all about the big match, a tease of the future, and yes, even Duckman. Yes, we talk Duckman.
Before we get to that though, we have to talk about the epic match between O'Reilly and Cole that happens tonight, a battle between two people who were essentially brothers, and now that they are enemies, fans are in store for an epic throwdown.
"I think that if fans have been paying attention to the last three and a half, four years, since Adam Cole and myself came to NXT, came to WWE. Anytime either of us have performed, whether it's Takeover or a TV or a live event, we give everything we have," O'Reilly said. "We have so much undying passion for this sport and for how we represent ourselves in the ring that, I think it's going to be something special. And we both have a lot of pride and we're both going to go down swinging and we're both willing to go out on our shields. So that said, it's really hard to really predict how things are going to go down. But I'm sure a good word to describe it might be just chaos."
Before their time in WWE and NXT, O'Reilly and Cole have delivered some fantastic matches, so I asked if there was any pressure to outdo what they've done before.
"Sure. It's funny, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself regardless of the situation or the circumstance. Like I always want to look back on the segment or the match or whatever I'm involved in, with pride. I want to be proud of my body of work and I'm not looking to live up to anything or outdo anything. I want this to stand alone as something unique and different and special. And just to look back when it's all said and done and be proud of what we did," O'Reilly said.
The time of the Undisputed ERA has now come to an end, and O'Reilly has come to terms not only with the end of the group but also the realization that Cole was never really his brother.
"Looking back, I realize now that he was just out for himself this whole time, I hate to say it. And maybe Roddy, Bobby and myself were blinded by just the sheer success of the undisputed era that we were all enjoying," O'Reilly said. "But we did a lot of things that I'm not necessarily proud of. We had a lot of questionable tactics and methods and just that feeling of being in the undisputed era, it was intoxicating."
"But now, to see how things went down and it's just... You have those wake-up calls where it's like, 'Okay, I need to get out of this gang mentality. This is not good. I'm not sleeping at night. I just have this overwhelming sense of guilt and how do I separate myself from this?' And then I find myself maybe half a year later after having these sort of thoughts in the main event of Takeover, with Finn Bálor. And I lost that match, I lost the rematch. But I fought with integrity. And I fought with passion and honor, and I finally felt like myself again," O'Reilly said. "And I think that was the wake-up and smell the coffee moment. And then, of course, I would try and hang onto the Undisputed ERA feeling and the success and the things that really don't matter in this life. And then ironically, it would be Adam Cole that would make that decision for me. He would put the stake through the heart and set Kyle O'Reilly free."
While he's not always proud of how they accomplished their goals, he can still appreciate his time with the group overall.
"I can still appreciate them for what they were. Because when I look back at some of that footage, that's a real smile on my face," O'Reilly said. "I remember genuinely having the time of my life. We had championships, main events, limousine rides, the Undisputed ERA. It was, up until now, the best time in my life, best time in my career. But like I said, there was a lot involved with that success that I'm not necessarily proud of. So now that I feel like I can finally be myself and separate myself from that, I think that the best is yet to come for Kyle O'Reilly."
Speaking of the future, once he's done taking down Cole, we wanted to know what matchup would he like next, and there are some compelling options.
"There's so many interesting matchups across the board, in WWE, specifically in NXT. And I got to get a rematch with Finn, man. I got to be able to redeem myself and secure a victory over Finn. I think that'd be huge for me, and I'd love a rematch with him. But there's a plethora of guys, Johnny Gargano, Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed," O'Reilly said. "These are guys that I think could create some very exciting matchups with. Certainly Karrion Kross I think would be a very interesting match-up, and I think I would match up very well with him. So the possibilities are endless and there's a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon and I think my main focus is getting through Thursday and securing a victory over Adam."
Now I promised Duckman, and I meant it. So these days it feels any project can make a comeback, especially after seeing Zack Snyder's Justice League become a reality. So, if he could bring back anything, what would it be?
"Oh man okay. You know, what's so funny? I was just thinking... For some reason, this show popped into my head the other day and I've been thinking about it. Do you remember Duckman? With Jason Alexander as Duckman? It was so funny and I remember it being on Comedy Central or something when I was a kid. And so many of the jokes go over my head and I don't remember if it was like multiple seasons or a one-season thing, but I remember it being so funny. And if anyone else remembers Duckman, that'd be something that I think would work."
Duckman was not what I was expecting, but now that it's in my head, well, I kind of want to see it, and I'm sure there are others who want to see it as well.0comments
While we're waiting on the Duckman revival, you can catch O'Reilly in action against Cole during Night. 2of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, which airs at 8 PM EST on Peacock.
You can follow along with all of our NXT coverage right here on ComicBook.com, and as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!