AEW star Lio Rush joined Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette to talk about his career, including his release from WWE in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rush detailed when he found out he was getting released and called that day the darkest in pro wrestling history, and one that just continued to get worse with each release.
“When I left WWE, or when I got fired, I was just so bitter,” Rush said. “I was angry, I was confused. And I didn’t know if I even loved wrestling anymore, I didn’t know if I liked wrestling anymore. I saw so much stuff circulated around the internet, to the point that I was really believing it. I just saw so many reports from notable websites saying that there was going to be releases in WWE today. When I saw that, it was just a little pinch in my heart. Something just felt wrong. I called Mark Carrano and I said that I saw all of these reports and I just wanted to know if it was true. And he said ‘Lio, I was just about to call you. Yeah, unfortunately we are going to be letting you go today. We just want to thank you for everything that you’ve done for the company. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we hear from you.’
“I didn’t even ask why, I just kind of took a deep breath and was like ‘okay. Thank you. Thank you for everything.’ And then literally, about fifteen minutes later, that first announcement that was filled with names happened. I think that was the darkest day in wrestling, and then it just got even darker and darker because there was another group of people, and then another group of people. People were just like ‘what the hell is going on?’ What’s even crazier is that it seems like, now, it’s like an annual yearly thing.”
One issue left over from Rush’s time in WWE was heat between him and WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry. With both now working in AEW, Rush revealed that he and Henry have talked and have squashed any issues between the two.
“Me and Mark Henry’s relationship is super cordial now,” Rush said. “I think it came down to two very strong personalities and two very different eras of wrestling. And I think we just kind of agreed to disagree. We’re about to be working together now and AEW is such an incredible place to be and it would be foolish of us to carry on any kind of whatever it was. Cause it was pretty random and wild. But I want to take you back to the first time I was in AEW. The first time I meet Tony Khan, I remember I was walking backstage and I was trying to meet Tony Khan in person for the first time. Somebody told me he was in his office. I’ll never forget, it was like a movie in a scene. I open up the door a little bit and I see Tony Khan, I open it up more and I see Mark Henry. And I’m like ‘out of all times, why now?’
“But I’m glad that it happened that way, because Tony knew about the little issues that we had together, and he said we should probably talk it out, which we all agreed. We talked a little bit during that night. But then I saw him again the other week. And it was me coming down the hotel elevator, and I open up the elevator and there’s Mark Henry just solo. And I’m like ‘alright, great!’ So we started talking and then later on in the night, we figured we should take a picture. I thought that that was a pretty cool thing in itself, that we were able to have a conversation. And I thought it be cool for everyone to know that we had that conversation and squashed things.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription