Lio Rush was among those who were released or furloughed by WWE last month due to business related changes from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, Rush and WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry had a back-and-forth on social media, stemming from comments Henry made in May of last year.
At the time, Rush was dealing with some backstage heat and Henry addressed it on Busted Open Radio, noting he attempted to help Rush, but felt lied to when he approached the former WWE Superstar.
"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. ... I pulled him aside the last time I saw him and told him, 'I'm hearing stuff in the locker room, what's wrong?' He said nothing's wrong, but it was a blatant lie to my face. I let him know that if he has a question, right now is the time to do that."
Getting back to this week, Rush posted a more recent clip of Henry answering a question about what happened between himself and Rush. Henry said nothing happened aside from him "trying to navigate" Rush during his time in WWE.
"Hey @TheMarkHenry, this needs to be addressed," Rush commented in the caption. "Because you out here STILL lying on my name to this day."
Rush then posted a series of tweets addressing Henry and tagging him again on social media.
"Don't even know why I'm entertaining this," Rush wrote. "Keep my name in your mouth, if you please. You literally have nothing better to do then to continue to talk [s---] on a situation that happened over a year ago about a 25 year old who just lost his damn job. ... Sorry guys, but I've been holding my breathe for way too long. People like this need to get called out. It's sickening, it's disappointing and extremely discouraging. I love my fans and I pray that one day in the future the state of this kind of matter progresses. ... And this is why African American talent on the biggest platform will continue to not have equal opportunity because people like you constantly tear your own people down. A damn shame honestly."
Rush wanted to take the conversation to Busted Open Radio, Henry sent back the show's call-in number. Rush attempted to call-in, but said the number didn't work and a conversation didn't look to take place on the show.
In a video posted earlier today by TMZ Sports, Henry spoke more about Rush, saying he didn't appreciate Rush bringing race into the conversation in a attempt to get some buzz for his new album.
"The reason he came out with it now is because he knew I get a lot of attention and I have a lot of followers," Henry said of Rush bringing up his comments from last year. "He released an album — or a song, or something — and he wanted to use that to get some attention, get some buzz. Not mad at him, if he would have called me I would have done it anyways, we just would have worked it.
"But now, he said something slanderous, and you can't question my blackness. Nobody can pull my black card, no. Not allowed, nobody. If you go down to the Performance Center in NXT, probably 25, I think, people of color in the facility. Probably about 80-plus percent, I helped get them there. I mean, it's completely the opposite."
Henry then said he'd even considering legal action what he considered slanderous comments about him.
"For him to go there was absolutely was the worst possible thing he could have done," Henry stated. "It's one of those things if I take legal action for slander, then I will, but I'm not sure yet."
The interviewer then followed up asking if the former champion was really thinking of a lawsuit
"Yeah, this is too much, this is not a wrestling angle," Henry said. "This is him trying to get attention for himself."
Henry continued that he didn't want to go that route, noting it would cost both of them money, but he believes Rush owes him an apology.
"He needs to apologize and own up to the fact that 'I made a mistake, I embellished a little bit — a lot — and I was trying to get some buzz and I shouldn't have done that,'" Henry continued. "That's what he's going to have to do. ... He said that I'm a part of the problem. I'm one of those black people that try to keep other black people from making it. It's just hurtful."
Henry then noted current WWE Superstars who have picked up this story asked Henry if they should "go in" on Rush. Henry didn't want to go that route, instead saying he'll take "the high road."
You can see Henry's full comments in the video above.
If you use any quotes from the video, please credit TMZ Sports and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Don't even know why I'm entertaining this. Keep my name in your mouth if you please. You literally have nothing better to do then to continue to talk ??on a situation that happened over a year ago about a 25 year old who just lost his damn job.— ?? Ever After OUT NOW! (@itsLioRush) May 14, 2020
Sorry guys, but I've been holding my breathe for way too long. People like this need to get called out. It's sickening, it's disappointing and extremely discouraging. I love my fans and i pray that one day in the future the state of this kind of matter progresses.— ?? Ever After OUT NOW! (@itsLioRush) May 14, 2020
And this is why African American talent on the biggest platform will continue to not have equal opportunity because people like you constantly tear your own people down. A damn shame honestly.— ?? Ever After OUT NOW! (@itsLioRush) May 14, 2020
This is the call in number. 866-685-2623 ask for Gabby. https://t.co/z0fycioPXw— TheMarkHenry (@TheMarkHenry) May 14, 2020