AEW star Lio Rush was on a recent episode of Gettin’ Better with Ron Funches. Rush opened up about his early retirement and what factors led him to making that decision at such a young age.
“I feel like I accomplished a lot in the short amount of time that I’ve been in wrestling, to the point where my name is now a household wrestling name. Whether people know me for an incident that happened or know me because they’re genuinely fans of me, I feel like if you ask anybody in wrestling, if you bring up Lio Rush, more than likely, you’re gonna know who that person is, and I think that’s pretty remarkable,” Rush said. “I think that’s cool that I’ve been able to accomplish that in such a short amount of time, and I had my frustrations.
“Being in WWE at such a young age and being skyrocketed up within the company so quickly, from being in NXT for the two matches that I had, initially, and then being brought up to 205 Live and then shortly to Monday Night RAW, and I’m now on RAW every week with multiple segments and being a mouthpiece for, essentially, a WWE legend, I think things moved pretty quickly for me. I didn’t get a chance to digest what I was even in. I didn’t get a chance to realize what the game was because it is indeed a game that you have to play in order to maintain a certain position or a certain spot, and I didn’t realize that.
“I’m young, and I just didn’t experience anything like that before. I think realizing what it was, seeing how things needed to be different or just who I am as a person, seeing how things should be different within the company, within the industry itself, within the business, not the biggest fan of the political game. I think that that got me in a lot of trouble, but I realized that that’s a part of it, and now that I know that and I experienced that, going back to the point of me bringing up that I was gonna retire, a lot happened with my injury. I think a lot of my mentality changed.”
There were many backstage rumors that came out about Lio Rush during his time in WWE. Many of those were about Rush being hard to work with or having an attitude problem. Rush recalled his reaction to those rumors and how he has learned to deal with that kind of chatter.
“I can’t help but to be me, and I think I spent a lot of years not being myself. It was so easy to make that comparison with the character that I was portraying on television, and I think a lot of people believed. There was a lot of rumors that came out about me. The only thing to kind of compare that to or see if there was any truth was the person that they were seeing on camera or on TV.
“I’ve always been kind of a guarded person. I remember one of the rumors that I was pretty problematic backstage, or I was arguing with Finn Balor or whatever, and I just always thought that it was so crazy because I’m one of the quietest people ever. I just saw how politics worked, and I was always brought up to be honest and just be me, and I think that is what intimidated a lot of people. I mean, s**t, you live in LA, definitely a different kind of place than the east coast, but I think my first time being exposed to that was was pretty culture shocking.
“It’s crazy because I feel like LA kind of reminds me WWE in a lot of ways, and just in any industry, really, I think it was all the same. Things work the same way, regardless of where you are. It was just a time period that I needed to adjust to. My first time being in an environment like that. I didn’t really grow up in a corporate environment. So now that I’ve been exposed to that, and now that I’ve learned and now that I’ve adapted and grown as a person, as a businessman as all of these things, now I know how to properly move forward”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Gettin’ Better with Ron Funchess with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.