I was recently watching the latest episode of Ring of Honor television in which Kyle O’Reilly was eliminated from the Honor Rumble with no fanfare whatsoever. He was portrayed as a lowly mid-carder. He arrived in the match around the mid-point and simply proceeded to exchange blows with numerous opponents before being eliminated by Roderick Strong. Sure it was not a huge match with any real implications for anyone except the Kingdom but surely O’Reilly deserved a better treatment than that. It appears his solitary reason for being in the match was to make up numbers. This is Kyle O’Reilly we are talking about, one half of the best tag team on the planet and the current reigning, defending tag team champions of the world. He deserved to be one of the ‘big four’, the last men in the rumble; someone who got to cut a promo beforehand and more importantly someone who could be seen as a threat to Jay Briscoe and his World Championship reign. Simply put he deserved better.
Kyle O’Reilly is one of the best singles competitors on the planet today. He is also currently a heel in the world of Ring of Honor. In the next year he needs to be given a chance to show his potential at the top tier of the company. As of this moment that opportunity is not forthcoming, and there are potentially two reasons why.
The first reason is perhaps reDRagon’s new commitments to New Japan Pro Wrestling. However this is not a real issue as of yet since ReDragon have only been announced for one tournament in Japan thus far, meaning that ROH will continue to be their primary focus for the near future at least. Also, there is the point that if O’Reilly became a single competitor, the tag team division would be without its centrepiece, weakening it immeasurably. ReDragon is the primary focus of the tag team division at this moment. But surely Jay Briscoe’s move from tag team champion to world champion within the space of little over a month in early 2013 prove it is very much capable without the collapse of the whole division. I’m not saying reDRagon needs to break up right this very instant and O’Reilly make a beeline for Briscoe but the possibility of O’Reilly as a future, perhaps the next, world champion needs to be considered and taken seriously. There is time to develop O’Reilly as a singles competitor whilst he continues to work with Bobby Fish in the tag team division.
It needs to happen because this man has it all. There’s a reason why premier Indy company PWG has made him the face of their promotion and their champion. He’s just that damn good. He has the great, rare quality of being perfect as a heel or a babyface, but more importantly for ROH O’Reilly can do anything in the ring. In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he has been given the chance as a singles competitor, he has participated in brawls, technical classics and everything in between. His consistency is unmatched.
Recently he faced AJ Styles at Death Before Dishonor XII where they delivered a fantastic bout, perhaps one of ROH’s best singles matches of the year. Simply put, he just needs to be given opportunities like that on a regular basis. Have him face one half of a rival tag team in singles competition whilst Bobby Fish takes on the other; have him being treated as a main event player in segments such as the Honor Rumble; build him up piece by piece, brick by brick into a versatile tag and singles specialist who the people believe can be a threat. O’Reilly is capable of it, what ROH now needs to do is remove some of the weight off his shoulders by developing other tag teams, and set the mixed martial arts specialist loose on the ROH roster. O’Reilly will grab the chance with two hands and make it worth the company’s while there is no doubt about it.