Lio Rush was one of many WWE superstars and employees to be released from their contracts back in April. However, at one point, the company seemed to have huge plans for him. Citing a report from Fightful, Ringside News reports that he was previously considered for an Intercontinental Championship run.
The report claims that the idea was discussed during Rush’s brief stint on Monday Night Raw in 2018 and 2019, which saw him manage and team up with Bobby Lashley. The switch was planned during their feud with Finn Balor, which involved the title changing a couple of times.
Rush did challenge for the championship during that time, and looking back at the storyline in hindsight, there are some moments where it made sense to put the title on him. After Lashley lost the title to Balor, he attacked Rush and their alliance looked to be over.
On a subsequent episode of Monday Night Raw, Rush also unsuccessfully challenged Balor for the championship. In the end, Rush ended up reuniting with Lashley after helping him reclaim the prize from Balor. After Lashley turned on Rush, it would have made sense to book a Triple Threat feud that revolved around the title.
The report doesn’t state why WWE officials opted against putting the title on Rush, but it could have been a combination of factors. For a start, he was rarely used as an in-ring competitor on Monday Night Raw, as he was brought up to essentially be Lashley’s mouthpiece. When he did wrestle, he mainly teamed up with Lashley in losing efforts.
Rush’s tenure on the red brand also led to him reportedly being on the receiving end of some backstage heat. As The Inquisitr previously documented, he supposedly upset the locker room with his outspoken opinions and claims that he wanted his own reality show. He also had an alleged backstage incident with Balor during this period.
During his time in WWE, Rush was also vocal about being unhappy about how much the company paid him. This reportedly didn’t sit too well with officials, who probably didn’t want to entrust him with a major championship reign until the drama had settled.
Prior to his release from the company, Rush was competing as a member of the NXT brand again. He even had a brief Cruiserweight Championship run toward the end of last year. The company seemed to be building the superstar up again, suggesting that he was on the way to bigger things eventually.