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This is the first blog I’ve written in a long time. The first time that I’ve written anything really, since Movembs. So this is more of just me finally sitting down at a Starbucks in St. Louis reflecting on the year of our lord, sweet Christ 2010 and what 2011 brings. I will write for as long as 2 venti green teas last me, this is like “Speed 4”.
Statistics and various facts of 2010.
I traveled over 80, 000 km as the crow flies, that’s about twice around the Earth. Unfortunately my odometer clicked away most of them. 2010 was a year about proving myself and making necessary sacrifices to properly advance in the pro-wrestling world. It seems that more wrestlers get signed walking out of a gym these days than after years of hard work on the indies, earning their right to make the main stage. I knew and know what I want to accomplish through wrestling, and the 20 hour solo drives for a ten minute match solidify the fact that I’m earning my place in this sport.
On September 10th 2010 I signed a contract with Ring of Honor, my dream had been realized. ROH is a place where the sport and fire of pro-wrestling is still alive and well. Everything that I believe about in wrestling and the reason I’m proud to say I’m a pro-wrestler is backed by what ROH represents.
I made my United Kingdom debut in 2010 for Fight Club: Pro, in Wolverhampton, England. A true class group of people run FCP and I’d like to thank Martin, Ben, Adam and Laura for treating me like family while I nervously ventured into my first overseas wrestling tour.
What else happened in 2010? Looking back on a year when 2011 is almost a quarter past will surely cause me to neglect some facts and stories. OH! Canada once again proved hockey dominance in the 2010 Winter Olympic games from my hometown of Vancouver, BC! Just had to throw that out there.
Top 5 matches of 2010:
5. Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole (Chikara Young Lions cup. Reading, PA August 25 2010)
Working with Adam again was a true pleasure and we again had instant chemistry. Little did I know how close we would actually become..
4. Kyle O’Reilly vs Ricochet (IPW Super Junior Heavyweight tournament. Indianapolis, IN November ????)
A step above our “Evolve 5” match, the finals of the IPW SJHT, sooo much fun!
3. Kyle O’Reilly vs TJP (ROH Tag title classic II. Plymouth, MA December 18, 2010)
I feel I grow as a wrestler so much every time I wrestle TJ, the guy is an absolute workhorse. Not sure if it was as good as our “Evolve 3” match, but I give it the edge because I felt like I had improved since our previous bout.
2. Kyle O’Reilly vs Bobby Fish (Evolve 6. Union City, NJ November 20, 2010)
What a war. Can’t wait to see this one on tape, a true fight in every sense of the word. Our first match meant so much because it was the first match on the first evolve show, but this was a battle at a whole new level. I was bruised, beat, broken and scarred after this.
1. Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole vs The All Night Express of Kenny King and Rhett Titus. (ROH Final Battle 2010. New York City, NY December 19, 2010)
This such an important moment in my career. My New York City debut. Across the street from Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan. Live on Pay-per-view I was ungodly nervous for weeks building up to this match. Once it was go time, the butterflies had fled. I reflected on what I had done to get to this point and realized I was just going to do what I had always done up to this point. Needless to say, the four of us tore it up and opened the show with a bang. Very proud of this match, and a huge moment for Adam and myself.
My Venti green teas are long since finished and I once again put this blog to the side for far too long. I sit now on a plane to St. Louis from Atlanta. I came to Atlanta via Paris, France. Paris, via Dusseldorf, Germany. Dusseldorf via London, England. Wrestling is starting to take me all over the world and I am extremely thankful for that opportunity.
My second wrestling related tour of England was an eventful one. Adam Cole had been there for several weeks already working all over the country. Martin Zaki from Fight club: Pro and Adam picked me up from Manchester, International and 11 days in Europe began. Our first match was for FCP at “The Planet” nightclub in Wolverhampton. Adam and myself teamed up to fight Lee and Jim Hunter in what fans who attended are calling the UK match of the year. In all honesty it was a glorified “spot fest” in every sense of the term, but the Hunters worked extremely hard, we all did, and I’m proud of the match. Sami Callihan would later face Trent Seven on the show. Sami is a wicked dude with an extremely explosive and hard-hitting offense. The three of us would join El Generico and venture south to Kent for IPW:UK. Adam and myself took on Zack Sabre Jr. and Marty Scurll in a battle for tag-team supremacy. Zack and Marty are both phenomenal workers and I think we were all really proud of the match.
With a couple days off aside from a bar show on Tuesday, the four of us would venture into London for some sightseeing. The British Bulldog’s theme music constantly humming from my mouth. The complete chronicles of Bagpuss. A cursed British children’s show character would cause us more harm than good. Visiting Abbey Road was an experience in it’s own right. The ordeal of getting a successful recreation of the famous Abbey Road Beatle’s album cover would prove exhausting. After several failed attempts from various locals and other tourists it would be the Ghost of John Lennon who would finally show up to provide our photographic needs. We didn’t even ask him is the weird thing. He just kind of showed up and told us he would take the picture. It was only after he vanished that we realized that his resemblance to John Lennon was uncanny. Bizarre.
RyanAir is shite. What a shitty airline is all I can say. Just gash. Ghastly service and quality. But I guess you get what you pay for, which in this case was nothing. The seats don’t even recline!
Germany is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. For it’s historical significance alone was worth the trip, but to wrestle in this country was truly something special. Getting off the plane I had a strange realization that this was once the most hostile country on the planet. It’s funny how things change over time, because everyone in Germany was extremely nice and helpful despite the language barrier. I had always seen the WXW videos of the crazy fans in huge numbers crowded against the ring pounding the mat. No chairs, just hundreds of rowdy, drunk German wrestling fans singing and shouting and loving every moment of us loving every moment of what we do. Wrestling in Germany reminded me of why I became a wrestler.
I would wrestle in a random 4 way on night 1 that was nothing special. A botched tornado DDT was probably the highlight of the match, “I meant to do that!” I exclaimed. Night 2 would see me and Adam wrestle Eli Sitochi and El Generico in a tag. I was nervous and excited to wrestle El Generico, he is a guy I have huge amounts of respect for. A true ROH legend in my eyes, and wrestling him ended up being so much fun! Night 3 would pit a rematch of the Leaders (Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre Jr.) versus Adam Cole and myself in the semi main event. I gotta give credit to the German fans for this one, they made it a truly special atmosphere. Every stiff strike, body twisting submission and devastating bump was greeted with an “OOHHH HEEEYYYY YAAAAA” from the 500 plus faithful. Fans pounding the ring in excitement helped provide that big fight aura that reminded me how capturing people’s emotions is what the sport of pro-wrestling is all about. The match was wicked and getting to tangle with Marty and Zack one more time in Europe before the trips end was the perfect way to cap off an amazing 11 days.
Almost back to St. Louis, three days of hard training await and then I’ll return to Boston and New York for ROH. No rest for the weary. Looking forward to keeping the blog updated more often now. Back by popular demand. Training tips and meals will be my next update.
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