Former WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush sat down with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast. Rush opened up about his relationship with Vince McMahon saying “he was my best friend when I was on RAW.”
“My relationship with Vince was great. I think he was my best friend when I was on RAW,” Rush revealed. “[I was] probably closer to Vince than I was with Bobby. I was in his office every day. Every Monday, I was in his office. We were always talking about what was next or what he wanted to see from me to make my character elevate Bobby more.
“I think that that was plain as day. I wouldn’t have had all of those segments on RAW if I wasn’t likeable by Vince. That was his baby right there, that pairing between me and Bobby and doing the stuff with Lashley and the pointing at the ass. All of that was Vince.”
Rush has revealed in the past that Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar was never in the cards, and Hausman asked on the podcast if there was ever talks of Lashley being world champion. Rush said there wasn’t but highlighted the qualities Lashley has that would make him a great world champion in the future.
“I really don’t know,” Rush admitted. “He’s been a world champ before in ECW. Lashley is a monster. He’s huge. I think he’s super charismatic. Maybe I’m just saying that because I was around him 24/7, on-camera [and] off-camera doing our own promos and skits and stuff. I don’t know if you saw those promos and skits that we did on social media, but I mean, clear as day, he has charisma, and so I think he has all the tools to be a world champion. I don’t know how Vince or anybody else sees it, but I definitely see it.”
This past summer, Rush took on AEW star Joey Janela in GCW in what was believed to be Rush’s “last match”. Rush gave his thoughts on that match and the reception he received from the fans and the wrestling world.
“It was something about those final moments in the Janela match and what Joey said,” Rush stated. “I wasn’t expecting him to get on the microphone or for me to even get on the microphone. I was kind of forced into it, but to hear the fans say they don’t want me to leave the wrestling business, and looking at everything on social media and my emails blowing up, fans telling me please don’t leave and stuff like that.
“Just seeing the love and recognition that I’m getting from from people that I wasn’t expecting, that makes me think differently on the topic itself of wanting to step away from wrestling. It was never a case of I’m going to stop wrestling forever. It was just I needed some time. I needed a break. Being in the WWE and having that travel schedule and everything that comes with being with the WWE, there’s a lot. It takes a toll on you mentally, and I feel like I needed a break from the business.”
Hausman asked if there was one thing that made Rush feel the need to step away from the wrestling business. He discussed the disagreements he had with WWE management over his standing and value within WWE.
“I think it came down to seeing my value a little bit differently than what the company was seeing. That was always a topic of discussion,” Rush said. “It was always an argument of saying, ‘I see myself doing this, or I feel like I can offer this,’ and they just didn’t see it that way. And that’s fine. It’s not just wrestling. I’m sure that it’s like that in plenty of other businesses and companies of that magnitude. People just see things differently, and things don’t always work out.”
Lio Rush can be seen as part of MLW’s The Restart starting Wednesday November 18th. For more information please visit www.MLW.com. Lio’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.