Lio Rush created headlines last week when he discussed his reported heat backstage and claimed that he was having financial issues despite working for WWE.
Many were in disbelief that someone featured on WWE's main roster would claim to be broke and Rush also speculated that someone is leaking false information about him. Mark Henry responded to those implications that this was a race issue, and he stated this is more of a respect issue.
"It's not a race issue, it's an ego issue," Henry said. "Who are you? Nobody is exempt from being respectful to the business and paying homage to the guys drawing money. We all have done it. Steve Austin did it, The Rock did it. You're better than The Rock? Get the hell out of here."
Sean Waltman then weighed on the controversy on his X-Pac 1,2,360 podcast this week. Waltman sided with Henry and speculated that Rush inflated some of the issues he brought up.
"It's a touchy subject especially for somebody that's not black to weigh in on. So I am going to defer to Mark Henry on this one and say I kinda agree with Mark on all of this," said Waltman. "A lot of people are making that same amount of money and doing fine, or are getting by. Not getting rich, but when you first come into the company, it takes a while to start making money. I don't know what the deals are there right now. It depends on the deal, if you're getting a hundred grand but you have to pay your own rental cars and all of that, that's a motherf--ker. He might have some legitimate gripes and also he may be conflating things with other things that shouldn't be conflated."
Rush has also reportedly rubbed many the wrong way with his backstage attitude. He has neglected doing some of the things that young wrestlers are expected to do like bringing water to wrestlers in the gorilla position. Rush further dug himself into a hole by airing his grievances in interviews and on social media.
"Let me tell you how you can make sure you don't get things taken care of is by going and blurting it out to a website in an interview. That's not going to yield good results, at all. And that's too bad," stated Waltman. "He's a good guy, Lio, I've teamed with him one time in Maryland Championship Wrestling. It was great and he's a pleasure to be around. I hope that at some point down the line he's going to go, 'Goddamn I had my head up my ass at one point.'"
Rush hasn't appeared on WWE television in recent weeks and is not on the current WWE tour in Europe.