reDRagon On Talk Is Jericho: Podcast Recap

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly recently appeared on the Talk Is Jericho Podcast with Chris Jericho. On the show, Fish and O’Reilly talked about how they were initially paired as a team and their parallel careers through Ring of Honor, NXT and now All Elite Wrestling. They also talk about their favourite matches throughout their careers, thoughts on NXT 1.0 and 2.0 and much more The recap can be found below:

On The Undisputed Era possibly moving to AEW:

Kyle O’Reilly: “I mean we hoped it would happen, certainly.”

Bobby Fish: “Thinking about it? For sure. But I don’t think you put that juju out in the universe either way. But yeah, it’s still one of those things, especially in this business, you don’t believe it until you see it.”

On the origin of the reDRagon name:

O’Reilly: “We had a bunch of different ideas that came into play. The Thomas Harris novel was one of the things that came into play with it. [There’s also] The skateboard brand was part of it.”

Fish: “I was reading a Jason Ellis book, and Red Dragon was a skate thing that they had. I don’t even know why [the name came], but Kyle and I were going to be heels, and we were trying to make the people not like us. Like Red Dragon to me, I think they were Red Dragons, but Red Dragon sounded like a martial arts group that was trying to be cool, but wasn’t cool. So I was like well maybe we could use that. The way that Ring of Honor was putting us together had a lot to do with Davey Richards. This is maybe the first time that I have admitted this, but when I spelled it, if we capitalise the D and the R in the middle, it’s kind of a shot there [to Davey Richards].”

O’Reilly: “Stylistically it just looks cooler being written that way. A lowercase r at the start and the capital D and R in the middle just makes it look cooler.”

Fish: “So Ring of Honor’s idea was to break him [Kyle] away from Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, who were the American Wolves. It made life so easy because they were so big as babyfaces, we can’t thank them enough for how much that helped us. But we never acknowledged it.”

O’Reilly: “People were also like ‘Well how come you don’t wear red?’ 

Fish: “That was some of the stuff that we got from reading your book Chris. There were loads of little things I noticed when I was a child. So we started to come up with some of these creative things on our own. So we are supposed to be heels, we need people to not like us, red is in our team name, so we will never wear red.”

On initially being paired together:

O’Reilly: “Well there is a bit of history of meeting each other before being put together, and I think we have different points of view on that [laughs]. So my point of view, it was in 2008 at the Harley Race NOAH camp. I had saved up to go to the camp and I knew that WWE scouts were going to be there. It was a huge opportunity, my main goal was to wrestle in Japan, so I wanted to impress the NOAH scouts. Bobby was there, and he was a guy who was working for NOAH at the time. He was established and getting a real name for himself and getting momentum. I wanted to be like Bobby Fish and go to this camp and wrestle for NOAH. So there’s this drill where they do a blow out drill, you heat the guy around the 4 posts, he reverses it and puts the heat on you, call a spot in the ring and end it, and then everyone around the ring gives you criticism. But I wanted to impress the NOAH guys, I’m timing the drill so that when Bobby slides in the ring, I slide in too so I am paired with Bobby. The first thing I do is drill him so hard with a forearm, to which Bobby proceeds to beat the ever-loving Christ out of me for the next 5 minutes, as he should have. I was thing young guy, I was too excited, but he did the right thing by putting me in my place. Ricky Steamboat was the talent scout and he did a whole thing about protecting each other. But the NOAH guys were impressed and like ‘Oh good job!.’ I impressed those guys, but it is a hilarious story that would evolve.”

Bobby: ‘[My recollections] are similar, I was basically playing that forward. Looking back, that Bushi/Rhodes style that Noah did was, man, guys just went way too hard, way too often, a bunch of different injuries will confirm that. But I was too young to know that there was not a longevity in that. I was just going along. Not too long before that, it was with [Takashi] Sugiura, we are in a tag match and he was the one who really put it on me at one point. You were taking heat there, you know the way it is, and that’s your job, and you do it for years. But Sugiura had really lit me up one time, and Low Ki explained it to me. I was overzealous and he let me know in a working fashion. It was one of those scenarios where we ended up together.”

On leaving Ring of Honor for NXT:

O’Reilly: “Yeah we started there at the same time. So basically it kind of all worked out in a roundabout way. You want to evolve and grow in the business, and that was the next opportunity for us. All Elite Wrestling was still a year or 2 away from beginning, so it just worked out as the next step.”

Fish: “I think we had a lot of momentum with the New Japan stuff. We were going almost every month for like 2 years.”

O’Reilly: “We were as a team there for like 90 days in the year.” 

On being The Undisputed Era:

Fish: “I mean those will go down as some of the greatest times in my career. I will say respectfully that I had some of the greatest times with Ring of Honor and New Japan, but everything was just so special in that timeframe of NXT. The fact that I was able to do it with 3 of my closest friends in the industry, it made it like it wasn’t work. We were just 4 dudes riffing.”

O’Reilly: “It wasn’t just fabricated with 4 dudes that they put together. It was a real comradery and genuine bond and friendship. I think you can tell when you watch us.”

On forming the group:

Fish: “So [Adam] Cole and Kyle were heading towards…”

O’Reilly: “We [myself and Adam] have been feuding and friends on and off for years.”

Fish: “Hunter Delirious had booked the Final Battle would be them and the blow off and we were building towards that. There was a little speed bump in the road where there were 3 of us, because Kyle and I didn’t bust up reDRagon, but we are doing singles stuff. There was a point where by circumstance the 3 of us came together in the ring, and the reaction that we got was substantial. I had a light bulb go off, which doesn’t happen often. So I mentioned something to them and to the office, maybe we follow it a bit longer, if nothing else to have a cool name and to sell some t-shirts. It felt to me to strike while the iron is hot. So low and behold, we then go to NXT, maybe another Hunter was watching there.”

O’Reilly: “It felt like leaving money on the table by not going with the group. The first night in NXT, Hunter says he is thinking about putting us together as a group. It felt like a natural fit, and why our debuts came across so well.”

On The Undisputed Era name:

O’Reilly: “There was like a 2 page list of potential names. We had thought of a ton, but the ones that were cleared from legal that they could actually use.”

Fish: “We would narrow down this huge list, and then we would get this even more narrowed down list from legal. The ones that we liked were either gone or were changed or were paired with something that didn’t make it work.”

O’Reilly: “We were not fond on the name The Undisputed Era at the start.”

Fish: “Oh we were so lukewarm to it. I was worried that it would be like a baseball reference like with ERA. I was the worst baseball player ever! I think that it is interesting to be there at the start, because there is so much doubt and insecurity. I think it’s human nature to put that sprinkle on the business, but I think that music is like that too. We were lukewarm on The Undisputed Era theme too.”

On the NXT vs. AEW war:

O’Reilly: “It was just so cool seeing 2 shows go head to head. It was like being back in the Monday Night Wars and now we are part of it on Wednesdays. On top of it, there were guys that we came up with on the other show. We were routing for AEW, because it would elevate our game and then elevate your game, it was a back scratching scenario where the fans were the winners. To see The Young Bucks be such a part of AEW, we were just so proud of those dudes.”

On NXT 2.0:

O’Reilly: “That happened like overnight. Literally the next day that we came to TV, everything is different and we are all changing.”

Fish: “I left right before the rebrand. I will say that my last 6 or 7 months being there, I was very much out of the loop. Between COVID and having tricep surgery, I was not at the PC much. When I did, it was medical and rehabbing, doing a workout and leaving. I wasn’t at TV very often, so I don’t know what the pulse of NXT was. It was very erratic, and then I got released.”

On Bobby Fish’s release:

Fish: “Yeah. Me and my girlfriend were sitting in a car dealership and I was signing the contract on a brand new car, it wasn’t a cheap one either. I then heard that raspy number, and it was what it was. My girlfriend, she has been such a game changer. She was the first one who made me realise that they did me a favour, and she was 100% right. I had lulled myself where not being happy or fulfilled. I was used to it and didn’t realise I was not happy. I thought I didn’t love wrestling the way that I used to. But I am happy to say that it was not the case. Now I will say that she was right.”  

On telling Hunter about leaving:

Fish: “I mean I got released, so I didn’t get to tell them that i was leaving. But Hunter, Shawn Michaels, Matt Bloom, they were all brilliant. The atmosphere that they were able to create there was great.”

O’Reilly: “Everyone was so encouraging. They were like go where your heart is leading you, man. That’s what got me to WWE in the first place, they were very supportive about me and doing what’s best for my family.”

On their AEW dream match:

Fish: “There was a match that we did with FTR in NXT. It was after we started doing some more group stuff with The Undisputed Era, it was hard hitting and no BS. I really enjoyed that one, and I hope we can have chapter 2 here.”

Featured image: Sports Illustrated


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