AEW Star Nearing Return After 18 Months Out

One of AEW's most-missed stars could be nearing a return after a LONG time out.

Kyle O'Reilly

Kyle O'Reilly could be set to return to AEW programming after an 18-month injury absence - and a particularly worrying period of career uncertainty this summer.

Fightful Select reports that for the first time in a long time, O'Reilly has been backstage in AEW lately. This means he may be in line for a return before long, having not wrestled since June 2022, when he faced Jon Moxley for AEW Interim World Championship contendership.

O'Reilly underwent neck fusion surgery in September 2022, then faced a significant post-surgery issue. Fightful states that during the summer, sources indicated that Kyle hadn't been factored into AEW creative, with the outlet hearing updates that "weren't good." At one point, O'Reilly returning to television looked "quite unlikely."


The outlet notes that recently, O'Reilly has been working on his strength and conditioning.

O'Reilly, 36, signed what was believed to be a five-year contract with AEW in December 2021, aligning with long-term ally Adam Cole. Cole's involvement with fellow KOR associate Roderick Strong in the ongoing 'Devil' saga in AEW could provide Kyle with a creative pathway to returning, though this is purely speculation at this stage.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.