Lio Rush hasn’t been seen in a WWE ring since March when he was abandoned by partner Lashley in a losing effort against the tag team of Braun Strowman and Finn Balor on Monday Night RAW.
The 24-year-old has taken a sabbatical away from WWE and opened up about his mental health status speaking with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated while promoting his new hip hop single “Scenic Lullaby” – a song which details his battle with mental health.
“Seven years ago, I was in a suicidal state,” said Rush, who uses the moniker “The Man of the Hour”. “There was a point in time where I was hospitalized for a few days because I was in such a bad state. It was really hard to continue, but I made the decision that I wouldn’t give up. I decided to keep pushing forward.
“There was a point when I wanted to give up on my dreams, just give up on everything, I wanted to give up on life,” said Rush. “Writing the lyrics to ‘Scenic Lullaby’ was therapeutic to me. I put my words to music so others could feel my struggle, understand why I am who I am, and feel what I feel on a daily basis. I wanted to give people something they could feel.”
Rush says the song provides a look into his psyche and details that his mental health struggles are an integral piece of his past – being misunderstood representing a key part of his history and his present life.
“It’s real and it’s raw,” Rush added. “I wanted to make sure I expressed my emotion in the video and the lyrics,” said Rush. “I wanted my music to tie into the cover, which has a throwback feel with me as a kid with my sister. That’s why there is a scene in the video where I sat on a swing at a playground, reminiscing about the old days. There’s another scene where I’m sitting on the bathroom floor. That represented the lowest point of my life.
“All of my hard times have produced good things, and that’s my art, music, and work on-screen. Those times have helped fuel my fire.”
While still under contract with WWE, Rush says there is no specific timetable for his return to WWE, however, he is quick to stress that he has no doubt that there will come a time when he is back in the ring.
“Right now, I’m spending time with my family and working on other projects,” said Rush. “But being a pro wrestler has been my dream since I was five years old, and my heart is still in it. I’m only 24 years old. I’m still going to pursue a career in professional wrestling. I have a lot of time in front of me.
“I’m still going to wrestle. This is not the end for me. I’m working on my music, I miss wrestling to death, but maybe this [break from WWE] happened to give me time to accomplish some of my goals in music.”
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.