Lio Rush said a match between Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar was never in WWE’s plans.
Rush made his RAW debut as Lashley’s hype man in September 2018 after wrestling on NXT and 205 Live. The pairing was given less than a year on RAW before they were quietly split up.
Rush appeared on Inside The Ropes with Kenny McIntosh where he spoke about his time paired with Lashley. Rush said the often talked about match between Lesnar and Lashley was never in WWE’s plans, despite his relationship with Paul Heyman.
“It was in me and Bobby’s plans, but I don’t think it was in the company’s plans,” Rush said. “We always brought it up, we always tried to pitch it. It felt right, you know Bobby was pretty open that he came back to the WWE because he wanted to wrestle Brock, so I felt that it was inevitable.
“I built a relationship with Paul Heyman very unexpectedly. I was in promo class at the PC when I was in NXT. Paul Heyman stood there and watched me cut my promo in promo class, and he pulled me to the side and told me how good I did and everything like that. Then once I got to Monday Night RAW, he kind of helped out with the character a little bit and the direction of it, so I just naturally had that relationship with Paul Heyman, it was clear Bobby wanted to wrestle Brock. They’re both built as these beasts with managers that could talk, so we thought that it was gonna happen but it just unfortunately never did.”
The pairing was split up after WrestleMania 35 amidst reports of heat between Rush and WWE management. Rush said the reports of his heat were exaggerated.
“It was super exaggerated,” Rush said. “I don’t understand where or how the whole backstage heat thing started. I know that it might have started, I was pretty open about a situation that happened overseas with carrying the waters and stuff like that. I think that was the only real big situation. There were some other stories that came out that were just completely insane and not true. I didn’t pay it any mind, but that was the one story that I was pretty open about.
“So yeah, I don’t really know where the backstage heat thing ever came from. I mean, people talk to me. People were pretty cordial with me. Nobody ever came up to me and said anything bad or disrespectful, and vice versa.”
Rush said his split from Lashley most likely came from his issues with WWE management over his pay. He said he was upset at being paid his NXT salary while paired with Lashley and that salary couldn’t cover his increased expenses.
“As far as the split with me and Bobby, I know that there was some miscommunication and frustration and just me butting heads with the powers that be financially,” Rush said. “That was my biggest thing at the time, just because I was still making the money that I was making while I was in NXT at the time, and merchandise was getting put out and I just felt like I contributed so much to that as far as the sayings, the mottos, the catchphrases and stuff like that, and I just wasn’t getting compensated for that stuff. I wasn’t on the meet n’ greets with Bobby, which didn’t make sense to me.
“Everywhere Bobby went I had to go, because I was his manager, but Bobby was so busy. He was the Intercontinental Champion. He was on every show, every live show, travelling, had to get hotels. Yeah, all of that is great to be used, but I’m not making enough money to cover these expenses, because I have to do everything that Bobby’s doing, but the difference is Bobby’s making this much (points high up) and I’m making this much (points low down). If I’m gonna do this, I basically need more money. I need more money to survive. It’s not just me out here. I’ve got a wife, I’ve got two kids, I have other responsibilities that I have to take care of. I just felt that it was unfair in that sense, and I guess they didn’t like a 25 year old or a 24 year old, however old I was at the time, they didn’t like me being so outspoken about that so they just cut it.”
Rush said that is just what he thinks and that WWE never told him the real reason the pair was split. Rush was released from WWE in April as part of the coronavirus cut backs.
You can listen to Rush’s entire interview on Inside The Ropes above.