Lio Rush has shown over the last few years that he has everything it takes to succeed in wrestling. He is a top talent in the ring, oozes charisma and turned into one of the most entertaining men on the mic. He helped elevate Bobby Lashley from forgettable mid-carder to “The Almighty” and looked like he was helping make Dante Martin into a star in AEW.
However, he has ruined his own career many times over. The young star came out of the blocks and made his name during the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament in Ring of Honor. Rush won the whole tournament and despite his size impressed everyone, with him being called one of the biggest young stars in wrestling (metaphorically).
However, despite his immeasurable potential Lio Rush has managed to burn every bridge he has built and has walked out of every job he’s had in a major wrestling promotion. Despite being pushed well and presented as a star, Lio Rush has “retired” more times than most in wrestling (which is usually still numerous times) despite only being 27 years of age.
His release from WWE in 2020 was not due to him wanting to retire, but it was partially due down to his attitude in the company. Many stars, including Hall of Famer Mark Henry, had issues with the young upstart’s attitude backstage. This derailed his initial push and caused WWE to take him away from Bobby Lashley and relegated him to the Cruiserweight division.
Lio Rush retired a day after signing for AEW
He left WWE and signed deals with many top promotions, including All Elite Wrestling. He appeared as the Joker in the 2021 Casino Battle Royal at Double or Nothing 2021, being treated a huge deal by AEW and Tony Khan. There was a huge hype for his debut and he was expected to be a star for the promotion going forward.
However, Lio Rush would retire a day later. Rush suffered a separated AC joint during that match which was, according to him, enough to scare him into retirement. However, he also signed a deal to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling and had the chance to be a top name in their Junior Heavyweight division.
A month later he was back wrestling and fulfilled his commitments towards New Japan. He looks good and eventually appeared back in AEW, not retired and fully fit to wrestle. He was soon paired with young star Dante Martin and made his Dynamite debut on November 10, 2021. He and Martin defeated Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty and began a feud with Team Taz.
However, Rush requested his released from AEW just 3 months later. This came as a shock when he announced his intention to leave in January 2022, just after he was dropped from TV completely. He followed Cody Rhodes out of the company, but unlike The American Nightmare did not sign for WWE.
He made appearances in AAA and PWG, but has yet to be signed to a large company. His attitude problems backstage have been a constant theme and his constant retiring/asking for his release will be something potential employers will be wary of when thinking about hiring Lio Rush.
He may have burned too many bridges and, at just aged 27, could have ruined a budding wrestling career before it starts. Lio Rush could be one of the biggest “what if’s” in wrestling, given he had so much talent but decided to waste it by constantly asking for his release, having a poor attitude towards his peers and pretending to retire (for reasons still not clear).
Lio Rush also launched his own rap career with a pair of studio albums, entitled Ever After and The Final Match (which is aptly titled given how often he leaves a company).