Lio Rush Explains How Shoulder Injury And Retirement Forced Him To Evaluate Things, Opened Door To AEW Return
Photo Credit: MLW
Lio Rush explains how his recent injury and retirement allowed him to put things in perspective, as well as how it opened the door for his return to AEW.
During a recent appearance on Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show, Lio Rush talked about getting the chance to extend his career with All Elite Wrestling. Rush first appeared as the ‘joker’ in the Casino Battle Royale at AEW Double Or Nothing, later returning to the company in September after he initially retired due to injury.
”The opportunity alone was amazing,” said Rush. “I was in a point in my career where I was looking for an opportunity, you know I was looking for that right platform to showcase what I can do. And it was amazing that Tony Khan reached out to me and he wanted me to be the surprise joker because I don’t think a lot of people were expecting me to be the joker at all. I went into [that match] with the intention of having a good match, coming out of that match and hopefully getting some praise from Tony Khan and him wanting to sign me. And that was the case, regardless of what happened in the match. When I came back to Gorilla, he had offered a deal right there.”
Rush says he’s not sure what happened in the match, but the injury took place some time in the middle of it. He says he initially waited to go backstage to take the moment in, but then realized something was wrong when he tried to get up and leave.
“I ended up separating my AC during the match. And it wasn’t at the beginning of the match, it was kinda mid-point. So when it happened, I was still wrestling, I was still doing my thing in the match, and it wasn’t until I got eliminated and I already knew I was just gonna lay there and soak in the moment. So I did that, but when I tried to get up, my arm just wasn’t moving at all. It was like something was broken. From whatever happens to my brain to my arm, it was such a crazy feeling that I’ll never forget. They showed me the X-Ray and MRI, and they showed the separation and the possibility [that I] might need to get surgery. And I mean all of that going through my head, like man, I might have to get surgery? Like I just debuted on AEW, and it was such a real thing that I just didn’t think was gonna happen. So yeah it was a lot to deal with in that moment.”
Rush said a lot of thoughts went through his mind, including thinking about the financial implications. He told Guerrero that trying to find consistent work after his WWE release was a concern, but he also worried that taking on a full-time contract would take away from his family life.
“For me, I never really got that opportunity to be the dad that I always wanted to be. Because I kind of got pushed in the wrestling world pretty quickly and that was around the time that I had my first son, and then when I had my second son, I was with WWE so I definitely wasn’t as home as I wanted to be. Then with being released from WWE, and having to work during the pandemic, now I have to work twice as hard, twice as much to try to make up for the money that I need to make for me and my family. So I was definitely not home and it was a lot. And I see where my life was going, and I didn’t want it to be like that.
“And it was a hard choice between signing a contract with AEW and along with the frustrations that I’ve had just from the wrestling business in general. It was a lot of everything. It was a lot of me kind of giving it up, it was a lot of me believing in myself with other ventures that I had in mind. It was a lot of me putting my family first, it was a lot of being selfish, it was a lot that I just wasn’t expecting. I just wasn’t expecting to think this way in that short amount of time. I had to think about a lot, it was such a split decision.”
“It was a lot weighing on me, so I decided to walk away. I decided to not take the contract and I decided to do things on my time and my way and hopefully having that work out.”
Lio Rush says he found out a lot about himself having the opportunity to reflect on his career and look forward and think about his future. He said the injury forced him to stop and figure out where he wanted to go, and that’s why he’s back. Rush was officially cleared in August and made his AEW return on September 29.
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