Lio Rush Says Stories Of Backstage Heat In WWE Were ‘Super Exaggerated’, Possible Reason He And Lashley Split Up
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
Lio Rush’s WWE run came to an end last month and now’s he attempting to set the record straight on a few hot topics.
Rush recently spoke with Kenny McIntosh for Inside The Ropes about the reports that he had backstage heat during his tenure with the company and how he may have been split from Bobby Lashley because of it. Rush says everything was “super exaggerated” and isn’t sure how it blew up, but believes it might have stemmed from refusing to carrying water and veterans’ bags on an overseas tour. Speaking on why he and Lashley split, he says it came after he felt like he should be compensated more for the work he was doing and the powers that be didn’t like him being so outspoken.
“There were some other stories out there that were completely untrue and didn’t happen. But that’s the one story that I’ve been pretty open about. So yeah I don’t really know where the backstage heat thing ever came from. People were always cordial to me and would come up to me. Nobody ever came and said anything bad or disrespectful and vice versa.
“As far as the split with me and Bobby, there was some miscommunication and frustration with me and the powers that be financially. That was my biggest thing at the time. I was still making the money I’d been making in NXT at the time and merchandise was getting put out and I felt I’d contributed so much to that as far as the sayings, the mottos, the catchphrases and I just wasn’t getting compensated for that. I wasn’t on the meet n greets with Bobby, which didn’t make sense to me. But everywhere Bobby would go, I had to go [because] I was his manager. But Bobby was so busy, he was the Intercontinental Champion he was on every show, every live event, traveling, had to get hotels. Yeah, all of that is great to be used but I’m not making enough money to cover these expenses. I have to do everything that Bobby’s doing but the difference is Bobby’s making this much (points high up) and I’m making this much (points low down).
“If I’m gonna do this I basically need more money to survive. You know it’s not just me out here, I’ve got a wife, I’ve got two kids, so I have other responsibilities I have to take care of. I guess they didn’t like that a 25-year-old or whatever age I was at the time, they didn’t like me being so outspoken so they just cut it.”
When asked if WWE had ever planned on delivering on a potential Lashley match with Brock Lesnar, Rush says he and Lashley had plans for it but he can’t speak to what WWE had planned. He says it was always a topic of conversation and spoke of his relationship with Paul Heyman but said it just never materialized.
“It was in me and Bobby’s plans but I don’t think it was in the company’s plans. We always brought it up, we always tried to pitch it. It felt right you know Bobby was pretty open that he came back to the WWE because he wanted to wrestle Brock so I thought it was inevitable. I built a relationship with Paul Heyman very unexpectedly. I was in promo class in NXT. Paul Heyman stood there and watched me cut my promo. He took me aside and told me how good I did. Then once I got to RAW, he helped me develop my character a little bit so I naturally had that relationship with Paul Heyman, it was clear Bobby wanted to wrestle Brock, they’re both built as these beasts with managers who could talk, so we thought that it was gonna happen but it just unfortunately never did.”
If you use a portion of this transcription, please credit Inside The Ropes with a h/t to Wrestlezone.
He also discusses Triple H calling him to come to NXT for USA Network, the perception of 205 Live and more. The full interview with Lio Rush can be found below: