After losing the Ring of Honor World Title and having his profile removed from the promotion's official Web site, many speculated that Kyle O'Reilly was on the fast track to WWE.
O'Reilly, however, did not rule out a possible return to ROH during a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
O'Reilly won the ROH title in December at Final Battle, but after just a month as champion, he was dethroned by his former partner and longtime rival Adam Cole at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome. By then, O'Reilly's existing ROH contract already had expired.
"As of right now, we don't really have anything confirmed," O'Reilly said when asked about his ROH status. "To be honest, I don't know what the future for Kyle O'Reilly holds. I'm looking at taking a bit of time away and re-evaluating things. 2017 will mark 12 years in the business for me. It has taken its toll. Traveling, plus being a Type-One diabetic, it's taken a toll on my health. I'm kind of just needing a bit of a break to reassess my future and weigh my options. Never say never though, I'm certainly not definitely done with Ring of Honor, but I'm just going to see what comes my way and remain optimistic."
O'Reilly reportedly turned down a new contract offer from ROH just a few days before Wrestle Kingdom. He added that "if ROH would have come to me sooner with a contract that made sense, then maybe I would have stuck around."
When asked about his potential future with WWE, O'Reilly said the following:
"There isn't anyone who gets into this business without dreams and visions of having that WrestleMania moment. That's what's driven me to pursue wrestling to this degree, overall. It's naive to think anything else. Of course if that opportunity was to come around, then I would strongly, strongly, consider it. That being said, I don't have any concrete plans moving forward. But never say never. Ideally I would love that if it worked out. All I ever wanted was to create art and be the best pro wrestler that I can be. So I need to find an environment that is conducive to that and that will allow me to be that performer. You never know what could happen in WWE. I could be slapped with a gimmick that I'm a nanny for all I know. It is nice to see that they've started to recognize past achievements in wrestling. It puts you above where a lot of other people are starting. It's a nice perk. But I just want to go where I'm appreciated, and whether that's WWE, Japan or the independents, that remains to be seen."
ROH has seen a major attrition of talent as of late. In addition to O'Reilly's contract expiring, Keith Lee and ACH both signed with EVOLVE. Steve Corino, who had been a fixture on commentary, accepted a behind-the-scenes job with WWE. Nigel McGuinness, the on-screen matchmaker, also left to become a commentator for WWE.