In an appearance on Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show, new AEW signee Lio Rush talked about the differences between the AEW and WWE locker rooms that he’s seen since joining AEW. The biggest thing he feels is a lack of hostility or stress of any kind.
“The feeling was so crazy because it feels like, visually, being back in a stadium and seeing the backstage area like that, it was kind of trippy because it was reminding me of WWE in a lot of ways,” Rush said. “But the overall feeling was just completely different. I didn’t feel any hostility, I didn’t feel any stress or anger in the air. It felt good. Even seeing guys that I was in the locker room with in WWE, some guys that I might not have had a close connection with in WWE. But to see us all here in this environment, I think it shows common ground. And I think it kind of eases that tension up a little bit.
“I think that’s so healthy for even the people who haven’t made it to WWE. I think it’s healthy and good to see that interaction with us, and I think it’s cool to be in a locker room full of people that are hungry. This is what a lot of guys and girls have been waiting for their entire lives, having another alternative to WWE. And AEW being the place that everybody wants to be, I think it’s really cool to want to work with people who want to put their all into everything that they’re doing. It’s a good feeling.”
Rush also had high praise for his new boss, AEW President Tony Khan. He attributes Khan’s enthusiasm towards wrestling as something that makes him and the rest of the AEW roster fans of pro wrestling once again.
“I just can’t believe that Tony’s our boss,” Rush said. “I can’t believe it. He’s such a cool guy, he’s a good dude. It’s amazing to have somebody in charge who’s hungry and passionate about the same things that the performing are. He’s amazing. I’m so appreciative of Tony, I’m so grateful for Tony, I’m so grateful for what he’s doing for the wrestling world. I think he’s making the boys fans again. I think its very easy to have it be just a job, like especially when you’re in WWE. And I don’t want to speak for everybody, but at least for me, it got to a point where it was just a job. I felt like I wasn’t a fan of wrestling anymore, I felt like I wanted to get away from it, as far as possible, when I wasn’t wrestling.
“But being with Tony and being with AEW, I’m excited. I’m excited. This is the most excited I have ever been. I feel like I’m learning how to, you know that feeling, when you want to be a professional wrestler. And you’re learning and you’re going to training every week. I feel like that again. I can’t wait to be on TV every week. I can’t wait to be in that locker room, I just can’t wait to be back in front of fans. And this time, wrestling on TV, because a lot of the time in WWE, on RAW, I wasn’t wrestling. I’m excited.”
While Rush isn’t as positive of his time in WWE, he was sure to point out that they had helped raise his promo game compared to where it was prior to him signing with WWE in 2017. He is very excited to apply those skills he sharpened in WWE and unveil them to the AEW audience.
“I’m grateful for my time in WWE as well,” Rush said. “It wasn’t always terrible. And some of those moments put me in a position where it forced me to have to learn to do something. I was never really a promo guy before WWE. And I think being thrown to TV, in that position, week after week, it kind of forced me to really hone in on my promos and really study. I was writing, and recording, and putting out promos on my social media every day, every day.
“There wasn’t a time where I wasn’t cutting a promo or hopping on a live stream and talking to my fans but playing a character, just so I could learn to improvise and be witty. I enjoyed it a lot, and I can’t wait to be on TV and take what I learned in WWE as far as talking and my promos. And on top of that, being able to wrestle, perform in the ring at the same time. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription