Kyle O'Reilly wrestled his last match on NXT television on the December 7 episode when he lost to Von Wagner in a steel cage match.
On December 22, O'Reilly made his AEW debut, re-joining Bobby Fish and Adam Cole.
Appearing on Talk Is Jericho, O'Reilly discussed his NXT departure to join AEW.
"Seeing Bobby and Adam come [to AEW], how could you not want to be back with these guys and part of a group like AEW where every week it's like a TakeOver crowd, just on TV. We talk about the natural progression and next steps of one's career and it felt like, for me, it was the next logical step for me. NXT 2.0 rebrand happened and it felt like, before the rebrand, Kyle O'Reilly was a top guy in NXT and after the rebrand, plans shifted. That's fine, it's business. I'm totally willing to do what I can do get anyone else get over and for the last few months there, I tried my damndest to do so with everyone I worked with. I just wanted to be excited about going to work again and I felt like I left a ton on the table with New Japan and then here, I know there is a good relationship with New Japan. It seemed like a new frontier. There are so many talented guys, so many exciting matchups, so many exciting tag matches because the tag division is stacked and I love tag team wrestling and my tag team partner, the company released and now he's [in AEW]. My deal was done, it was coming up in December, and I ended up doing a week extension just to finish up and do good business by them and finish with WarGames and TV to put Von Wagner over and do business right. I'm happy to do so. The opportunity came to come here, sorting a deal out with Tony (Khan) a day or two before my debut and here we are," he said.
NXT rebranded to NXT 2.0 in September with the focus shifting to younger and new talent.
When asked how members of the NXT staff, including Shawn Michaels and Matt Bloom, reacted to O'Reilly's decision to leave, O'Reilly said, "Everyone was very encouraging of, 'go where your heart is leading you.' That's what got me into WWE in the first place. They were all very supportive of doing what's best for me and my family. Everyone was cool about it all."
O'Reilly made his AEW in-ring debut on the December 29 episode of Dynamite when he teamed with Fish & Cole to defeat Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) & Orange Cassidy.
Cole will be in action on Wednesday's AEW Dynamite when he faces Orange Cassidy in a Lights Out match. Fightful will have live coverage of the show beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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