Mere hours after the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Monday Night Raw superstar Lio Rush has allegedly been “[rubbing] people the wrong way” in the locker room, the former Ring of Honor standout took to Twitter to explain his side in a lengthy statement responding to the accusations.
As reported by Cageside Seats, this week’s edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which was published on Thursday, discussed the “internal heat” on Rush and how this led to WWE’s decision not to pair him up with Bobby Lashley on this week’s Monday Night Raw. While neither Lashley nor Rush was booked to appear on the actual show, it was just Lashley working the non-televised dark match on Raw, as his usual “hype man” Rush was nowhere to be seen.
“Rush is a very confident man,” the Wrestling Observer wrote, as quoted by Cageside Seats.
“That can rub people the wrong way, even though you have to have that to be a star in this business. The story goes that he’s made it very clear to many people that he thinks he should be a/the top guy on the brand, and hasn’t been shy about saying it.”
On Thursday morning, Lio Rush reacted to the above report by issuing a statement on Twitter, where he made references to people that “try to tear you down” and tell others that they “can’t be or do something.” He emphasized that he wants to be known as someone who has been passionate about professional wrestling since early childhood and is currently a “young, hungry, and humble” husband and father who believes in himself “more than anybody will ever believe in me.” He also talked about hurdling various challenges in his life, including anxiety and depression, and how he does what he does in the ring for people like himself.
“[I do what I do] for the people who struggle, for the people who fight, for the kids who dream and for the men and woman with hope. The fact of the matter is that you don’t always know the facts and that’s ok,” read the last few lines of Rush’s statement.
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) April 25, 2019
Per Cageside Seats, Rush’s alleged issues with backstage heat at the moment do not come without precedent. In October 2017, when he was still working in WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, Rush earned a lot of flak from his fellow wrestlers after he quipped on Twitter that Emma (now known by her real name of Tenille Dashwood in ROH) was “not truly ready” for Asuka, whom she lost to in her last few WWE matches before getting released.
Per Figure Four Online, Rush deleted the tweet and apologized for the joke, issuing a statement on Twitter where he said he respects Emma and her contributions to the wrestling business but feels that his earlier comments were “completely blown out of proportion.”