One WWE superstar that has been absent from TV since earlier this March is "The Man of the Hour", Lio Rush. After taking on the role as manager for Bobby Lashley, along with an occasional bout on WWE's cruiserweight-exclusive show 205 Live, Rush essentially vanished from performing on RAW when he was abandoned by Lashley and thereafter lost a tag team match to Braun Strowman and Finn Balor.
Rush now fondly looks back on this whirlwind of a run he had in WWE. But along with the joy he's felt working under Vince McMahon, Rush is also well-known for his work in ROH and other independent wrestling promotions. He mentioned which feud was his favorite from the days prior to WWE.
"I would say in the WWE, I think just everything I did with Bobby [was my favorite experience]," Rush told Sportskeeda. "As much as a lot of people didn't like it or a lot of people did, it gave me a lot of good publicity, it gave me a lot of good energy and it made my confidence in speaking... Man, it's hard to put into words because I was never a good talker, I was never a good promo guy, and my time working with Bobby, doing the stuff on television, it just gave me a confidence that I never knew I had. So all my stuff with Bobby, it was fun, it was funny, and it was very hard to keep a straight face on anything that we did promo-wise. So that was definitely a good time!
"There are so many cool moments I had on the independent circuit as well as the WWE," Rush continued. "I don't think I can narrow it down to a specific moment on the independent scene, but I think my entire feud with Joey Janela is definitely the most memorable for me because people were so emotionally invested in anything we did - whether it was return vignettes or promos, or the matches themselves - and the whole run with the Blackheart character was pretty awesome too. A lot of people remember that character on the independent scene."
From early 2018 to early 2019, Rush had started in NXT until he became a regular on WWE 205 Live; he then landed his regular role on WWE RAW in the same year. Despite having exposure on so many different platforms in WWE, in the future, Rush hopes to show off more of his pro wrestling ability as opposed to his great mic work.
"I never thought that I would be in the position that I was in, in WWE," Rush explained. "I moved so quickly up the ranks that I didn't ever know what I was doing next, or when it happened - from going from NXT, to 205, to Monday Night RAW. Everything was moving so quick, and while I did get an opportunity to wrestle on 205 Live, and which was why I got brought to the WWE, I had such an unexpected, successful run in being a talker, which I didn't ever think would happen in a million years. But I definitely feel like there's a lot that I still want to accomplish as far as wrestling, and I feel like I do still want to show the world that I can be one of the best professional wrestlers in the world as well as being a pretty decent talker."
With his hiatus from WWE, Rush has began focusing on his family and his fascination with hip-hop music. Songs like his new single "Scenic Lullaby", available to watch on YouTube, have given Rush a new platform to share his past struggles with the world.
"Right now, I've been enjoying some time with my wife and my kids," Rush said. "It's so crazy, I always say that things happen for a reason and I got to spend this time with my family and think back on everything, and think about where I am and where I want to go. I also got the opportunity to work on this music, which I've always wanted to do but never had the time to do. Again, I'm just enjoying some time with my family and just working on some things that I've always wanted to do. I've been putting an image out there and saying, 'It's okay to have more than one dream and it's okay to have more than one goal.' While being a professional wrestler is always something I've wanted to accomplish, being a musical artist is also something I want to accomplish, so that's what I'm working on right now."
We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Lio Rush inside of the squared circle. According to recent reports, Rush's absence from the ring is in-part because he was having issues with the higher-ups in WWE. Rush has reportedly turned down a future contract from WWE as of this past May, and his current contract expires some time in 2020.
You can check out Sportskeeda's full interview with Rush in the video above.