Following the match between KUSHIDA and Kyle O’Reilly, the NXT Cruiserweight Champion took to Twitter to post a touching tribute to his opponent in which he revealed to the world that O’Reilly had previously influenced him not to retire. The message reads:
In 2017, around this time, I was considering retirement after every match. I was concerned about my mental and physical health after every match. I wrestled back and forth between Japan and the United States twice a month.
During that time, I sometimes suffered from severe abdominal pain after matches. I crouched on the floor with a cold sweat and had no choice but to wait for the pain to pass. I had to insert a gastro camera down my throat at the hospital to examine my stomach. But the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctor’s diagnosis was that my autonomic nerves must have been disturbed. My level of this abdominal pain wasn’t normal. And, if it continued, I couldn’t wrestle anymore. I knew it wasn’t an exaggeration. And I knew that my wrestling career could be over at any time.
I had a match with Kyle O’Reilly at that time. It was four years ago in London. At that point, it was rumoured that Kyle O’Reilly would soon sign a contract with WWE. After our match, I talked to him directly. He told me his honest intentions. At that time, I thought it would be great to have a match against him in the WWE some day. I knew my professional wrestling life wouldn’t last forever.
So Yesterday was special. WWE/NXT universe! Thank you for watching.
Our fight will go on forever.
KUSHIDA signed with WWE in 2019 after a long run with NJPW and joined the NXT brand. After a period of seemingly treading water, he defeated Santos Escobar to win the Cruiserweight title in mid-April.