Former NXT star Kyle O’Reilly has reflected upon his famed and beloved air guitar entrance.
As part of The Undisputed Era, the air guitar entrance was a key aspect of Kyle O’Reilly’s NXT persona. Typically using an NXT Tag Team Championship title belt as a prop, O’Reilly’s jovial entrance soon turned into something of a meme, with social media users heaping praise on him online.
Kyle O’Reilly himself wasn’t a fan, though, admitting as such on the latest AEW Unrestricted podcast.
He thought it looked stupid and had no intentions of it becoming as big a deal as it soon did, but he continued doing so to please his fans:
“As a kid, you see the Hogan’s coming out playing it. We had a really cool theme song, I didn’t plan on doing that, I just came out, and I kind of just turned into a psychedelic funky priest slapping the bass on his title belt. The music took over, and it turned into a thing of itself.
People were like, ‘oh you’ve got to do the guitar thing tonight,’ ‘what guitar thing?’ ‘You know, the thing on the belt,’ and then I just kept doing it. I guess people liked it for whatever reason. I thought it looked stupid as hell when I did it, but if people like it then alright.”
Officially joining WWE in August 2017, Kyle O’Reilly immediately joined Adam Cole and Bobby Fish – and eventually Roderick Strong – in The Undisputed Era, which quickly became one of wrestling’s most popular stables. With three NXT Tag Team Championship reigns to his name, KOR’s air guitar developed over time, ultimately being included in the WWE 2K20 video game.
“The Violent Artist” officially departed the company on 10 December after opting not to renew his contract. He joined All Elite Wrestling less than two weeks later, reuniting with Cole and Fish, though he is yet to revive the air guitar entrance.