New AEW star Lio Rush is determined to make things work under new boss Tony Khan and admits “butting heads” over “stupid things” with Triple H.
Lio Rush has joined All Elite Wrestling after making a short stop in the company back at the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view in July. Rush then went on to make some appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling before surprisingly announcing his retirement.
Now Rush is back in the land of All Elite as ‘LBO Lio’ looks to use his business acumen to align himself with some stars in the company.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions podcast, the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion discussed finding a kindred spirit in AEW President, Tony Khan:
“I remember flying from LA to Florida to have a conversation with Tony. A real conversation about just everything, about life and him getting to know me, me getting to know him. The first time that we met was at Double or Nothing, where I got hurt. So we talked that night.”
“There was a lot of me being so brutally honest with him, and a lot of him being brutally honest with me. And him expressing how much he really wanted me in AEW, and I thought that was so cool. That was the main thing for me, just because, and I think this will be the same for everyone that got released, there was that time we felt unwanted. We felt like we were just trash.”
“And I didn’t want to sign anywhere unless I was really wanted. I wanted to feel like I was a valuable asset to the company. And he reassured me of all of that.”
Lio Rush continued, commenting that Khan explained he had seen Rush on an NXT house show and how Khan is a completely different boss to his bosses in WWE – Vince McMahon and Triple H:
“He had seen in NXT a road show in Florida, and saw me and said that I stuck out to him more than anybody else on that show. And that meant the world to me. That was pretty cool. He had said the match that I was in and what I did and everything, so I knew he wasn’t lying.”
“Tony is such a great guy. I think that played a huge part in me wanting to be in AEW too because I didn’t want another boss like Vince. I didn’t want another boss like Hunter. People have different opinions about Hunter, but me and Hunter, we kind of always butted heads for multiple, stupid reasons.”
“But I didn’t feel like that with Tony. And I felt super connected with him and I felt like he was relatable. I felt like he cared about the same things that the boys in the back cared about. He felt hungry, he felt driven and passionate.”
Lio Rush says that part of coming to AEW was having the platform to try and find an audience for his work that is bigger than just wrestling:
“I liked his energy. I’m all about energy, and I just knew it was right. And with me doing what I was doing while I was injured, with rehabbing and finding out who I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing and where I’m trying to go and who I’m doing it for and stuff like that, I just saw such an opportunity to do something bigger than wrestling.”
“I keep saying that, but I mean it in a positive way. Not saying that wrestling is on the backburner, but it is, for me, so much bigger than wrestling. I’m trying to reach an audience that is bigger than wrestling. And I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
“I think with learning what I’ve learned in the past, my experience, all of my f*ck ups, all of my everything, I feel like I now, in this very moment, have the keys to success. It sounds so cheesy, but now I know what I need to do.”