A little more than a week after appearing at AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV, Lio Rush is calling it quits. Rush took to Twitter earlier this evening to announce his retirement, thanking AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he is currently signed, in the process.
“I’m retiring from Pro Wrestling,” Rush tweeted. “It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s time to get off and do what truly makes me happy. Thank you @AEW @AEWonTNT @njpwglobal for everything.”
On Rush’s Instagram page he elaborated on his reasons for retiring in a lengthy statement. Rush revealed he suffered an injury which he initially thought to not be serious, only for it to start affecting his every day life.
“I have written and erased this post so many times purely out of not being able to wrap my head around this,” Rush wrote. “The moment I went home in a sling, I kept saying to myself ‘this was like any other time I got a bruise or strain and I will shrug it off and continue on my new journey.’ Once the pain subsided and I started to feel just how uncomfortable it was to feel my arm hanging from my body, I sunk into an immediate and rapidly growing depression because I knew something was wrong.
“(I) Got the news that I’d be taking some time off due to injury. Me thinking it would only affect my wrestling obligations, I still tried to go on about my days as I knew them. I realized just how much this would affect my every day life. For anyone that knows me, you know I work endlessly for me and my family. It became more and more frustrating everyday finding little things I could no longer do. Like simply putting on a shirt and a much harder fact to deal with, not being able to pick up my newborn son.”
Rush also revealed he had suffered the injury at Double or Nothing, where he was the Joker entrant in the Casino Battle Royal. He closed his statement by saying he would fulfill his contractual obligations with New Japan before officially retiring and also posted an x-ray of his injury.
“Now here comes the part that has kept me up ever since Double or Nothing,” Rush continued. “Knowing I just made my surprise debut in one of the most exciting times in my career. That part sucked. But I’m grateful. Grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had this past year after my WWE release. So cool of AEW still wanting to sign me despite separating my AC in the Casino Battle Royal. Which would have led to me being the first person in history to be signed with two major wrestling organizations simultaneously. This is an unexpected turn down a road that I would have and could have never saw coming.
“But I am looking at this as a blessing in disguise. Since the injury, it’s given me some time to think. Think about what I want in life. What I want for my wife and kids, and what’s going to make me happy as far as my mental health is concerned. The timing of this injury has forced me to stop and re-evaluate and ultimately its resulted in making the decision to retire from professional wrestling. Thank you to all the fans who have fought it out with me for the past 7 years and the people in my corner. Thank you to all the promoters and friends that I’ve met along the way who believe in me and my vision. This has been a great ride, but it’s time to get off and do what truly makes me happy. Due to contractual obligations with NJPW, I will be making final appearances once I am healed. But for now, thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I’ll see you all soon.”
A six year pro, Rush made his name on the independent circuit and Ring of Honor before signing with WWE in 2017. He would become best known for managing Bobby Lashley in the fall of 2018 and holding the NXT Cruiserweight Championship in late 2019. Rush would later be among the many WWE releases in April of 2020, reportedly brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rush would return to the independent scene in July, taking on Joey Janela at GCW’s Homecoming event. He would tease retirement, but eventually continue his career, working for GCW, New Japan Strong, MLW and AAA, where he wrestled under a mask as Aracno at Triplemania XXVIII. He would capture the MLW World Middleweight Championship and the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship during this period, though the latter reign went unrecognized by AAA. Rush is also a rapper, having released two albums, Ever After and The Final Match, over the last two years.
You can read Rush’s tweet and Instagram post below.
I’m retiring from Pro Wrestling 🙏🏽. It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s time to get off and do what truly makes me happy. Thank you @AEW @AEWonTNT @njpwglobal for everything. Full story – https://t.co/SkpCOhT7Bt pic.twitter.com/17jvjMeXSI
— Lio Rush (@TheLionelGreen) June 9, 2021
Joe Richardt contributed to this article.