When you look at tag team wrestling, reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) ranks among the best in the world today.
Until recently, O’Reilly and Fish held the Ring of Honor tag team belts and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles simultaneously.
That was until the Young Bucks won the NJPW gold in Japan from them.
The longtime opponents will go head-to-head again when reDragon defend the ROH tag titles against the Young Bucks 8 p.m. EST Sunday, March 1 during ROH’s 13th Anniversary Show in Las Vegas.
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“I think the last year-and-a-half or more our paths with the Young Bucks are intertwined,” O’Reilly said. “We have such great chemistry with them as a team. We had tremendous matches in the U.S. and in Japan. It’s going to be a thrill ride. It’s going to be an incredible match. There is a lot of pressure. Being on PPV, the 13th anniversary and being in Las Vegas. We’re going to bring the goods. The Young Bucks are going to bring the goods. So it’s going to be epic, looking forward to it.”
Fish considers the Matt and Nick Jackson their biggest rivals.
“I don’t know if there are any other teams that we have gone out and tore it up the way we have with them. The Bucks have an outstanding track record of putting on great matches with whomever. We have the same track record. Every time we go out I feel like it’s a challenge to raise that bar even higher than we have previously. Any time we face them it’s something special. It’s that much more given the recent history with them. We’ve traded the Ring of Honor and IWGP junior tag titles, having lost it to them in Japan. It’s a special deal and down the road we will look back and realize just how special it was. Even in the moment, it’s certainly not lost on any of us.”
reDRagon was formed in 2012 when the duo faced the American Wolves’ Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. O’Reilly and Fish had experience wrestling each other on the independent scene, but never really as a unit.
“There seemed to be some chemistry there,” he said. “…I think it was only three months or so after our debut that we were world tag team champions. It was like a rocket had been strapped on us. I don’t think anyone expected us to click like we did or get over like we did. It just seemed to be a really organic thing. We complimented each other and helped each other out quite a bit. So it worked out for the best.”
“Knowing Kyle previously, my hunch was it was going to go well,” Fish said. “I think after the first couple of matches where we really kind of go into things with Eddie and Davey, it was pretty apparent something was there.”
The two have become close friends.
“Whether it’s we just have the same sense of humor or having the same mentality and beliefs in what pro wrestling should be,” O’Reilly said. “Same goes with our promos or vignettes. It basically started out with us trying to make each other laugh, but we ended up coming up with some pretty decent content that people seem to really enjoy. I think we have something here. I think we both have the same vision of what we wanted to be. We both really support each other and believe in each other. I think that is something hard to fake, and it translates on screen.”
No matter where the talented team goes or does next, they plan to do it together. They are in it for the long haul.
“When negotiating for new contracts in ROH, we both went into it as one,” O’Reilly said. “We are a package deal. Regardless of ROH or wherever we look on the horizon, I think we know there is value for us as a team. We both enjoy working as a team so much. It’s so fun getting to work tag team matches with Bobby. I think we look forward to many years down the road having each other’s back.”
“I think it’s unfortunate when a lot of times teams have to break up to do a singles thing,” he said. “I think if we ever get away from this, we can come back to it without having to be done as a team. As of right now, I don’t think there is any interest in not working together.”
The exciting performers are planning to make the reDRagon brand even stronger. The name for the team came from Fish reading a book Jason Ellis, who, a radio host and mixed martial arts fighter. Fish has been an MMA fan since the age of eight when he started training in jiu-jitsu. His influences come from the wrestling and MMA world.
“For myself, I was heavily influenced by the Great Muta, the Dynamite Kid,” Fish said. “I’d say we are heavily influenced by Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. I know that’s a team I gravitate towards, especially when we kind of put this thing together. Outside of wrestling, I really like what Conor McGregor does. He fights for the UFC. I’ve also always been a big fan of Chael Sonnen.”
O’Reilly and Fish take pride in the fact ROH and NJPW have such confidence in their abilities.
“I think when you’re in the midst of what is going on, I think you lose track,” Fish said. “I don’t say you don’t appreciate it because it’s a tremendously humbling. There is this rarity of having the ROH tag titles and the IWGP junior heavyweight tag championship at the same time, representing both companies and doing it on two continents. Even at times you realize what you are doing for a living and the way you are paying the bills is to travel to other countries on somebody else’s dime to perform in front of thousands of people. When you are so busy, it can be easy to lose track of how fortunate you are and how awesome the opportunity is.”
The tag champs don’t take anything for granted. Looking back at the history of ROH, they are proud to be a part of it.
“For me as a fan, I remember being in high school and stumbling across the very first Ring of Honor show on DVD,” O’Reilly said. “I just found it randomly. I hadn’t heard of ROH before. I just remember being blown away by the main event. It was a triple threat match with Bryan Danielson, Low-Ki and Christopher Daniels. It got me hooked on ROH. I knew I wanted to be a wrestler, but I knew then I wanted to work for ROH because it was a company built around in-ring wrestling. You had to be a great wrestler to make it there.”
For Fish, the success came with hard working and earning every opportunity he was given within the company. He recalls training under Tonny DeVito. The upstart would set up chairs and perform other tasks as he paid his dues. Fish was able to witness some of ROH’s greatest moments firsthand.
“I saw the build of Samoa Joe’s reign kind of start,” he said. “…I was inexperienced to independent wresting. I didn’t know what it was. I saw a lot of bad independent wrestling. Then to be exposed to Ring of Honor, that was the first independent wrestling where I saw guys like Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, playing football in college. Pro wrestling was a new endeavor. I felt I didn’t have a place on these independent shows. I felt I was a better athlete than the guys I was watching. Then to be exposed to Ring of Honor and see these guys, I felt challenged and thought this is the wrestling I want to do.”
- reDRagon defend the Ring of Honor tag team titles against the Young Bucks 8 p.m. EST Sunday, March 1 on pay-per-view from Las Vegas.
ROH champion Jay Briscoe defends against Michael Elgin, Tommaso Ciampa and Hanson.
AJ Styles faces ACH.
ODB with Mark Briscoe against Maria Kanellis with Mike Bennett.
Jay Lethal with Truth Martini defends the ROH Television championship against Alberto El Patrón.
For information and full card, visit www.ROHWrestling.com
- Follow Kyle O’Reilly on Twitter @ROHReilly
- Follow Bobby Fish on Twitter: @TheBobbyFish
- Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN
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