Lio Rush has opened up about his past issues with Mark Henry in light of both men now working side by side in AEW.
The new AEW signee and Mark Henry have had somewhat of a tempestuous relationship dating back to Rush’s time in WWE. Following his departure from the company, Henry commented on a situation where he claimed he had tried to help Rush navigate the political waters of the WWE locker room.
Lio Rush responded to the statement by Henry with several tweets appearing to question Henry’s commitment to helping fellow African-American talent. This did not sit well with Mark Henry and threats of legal action followed with Henry claiming Rush had committed slander against him.
In the months since the pair traded barbs, Rush has signed with AEW after making his debut at Double or Nothing. This has naturally led to speculation about the relationship between the two men as they now both work for the same company.
However, Rush has now revealed that he and Henry have spoken about their issues and enjoy a “super cordial” relationship.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions podcast, Rush explained that the pair agreed to disagree, admitting they’re both very strong personalities.
“Me and Mark Henry’s relationship is super cordial now,” Rush said. “I think it came down to two very strong personalities and two very different eras of wrestling. And I think we just kind of agreed to disagree. We’re about to be working together now and AEW is such an incredible place to be and it would be foolish of us to carry on any kind of whatever it was. Cause it was pretty random and wild. But I want to take you back to the first time I was in AEW.
The first time I meet Tony Khan, I remember I was walking backstage and I was trying to meet Tony Khan in person for the first time. Somebody told me he was in his office. I’ll never forget, it was like a movie in a scene. I open up the door a little bit and I see Tony Khan, I open it up more and I see Mark Henry. And I’m like ‘out of all times, why now?’
But I’m glad that it happened that way, because Tony knew about the little issues that we had together, and he said we should probably talk it out, which we all agreed. We talked a little bit during that night. But then I saw him again the other week. And it was me coming down the hotel elevator, and I open up the elevator and there’s Mark Henry just solo. And I’m like ‘alright, great!’
So we started talking and then later on in the night, we figured we should take a picture. I thought that that was a pretty cool thing in itself, that we were able to have a conversation. And I thought it be cool for everyone to know that we had that conversation and squashed things.”
During the conversation Rush also reflected on his release from WWE. The star spent three years with WWE from 2017 until being let go during a series of budget cuts in April 2020.
Rush admitted that he was left “angry and confused” by his departure.
“When I left WWE, or when I got fired, I was just so bitter,” Rush said. “I was angry, I was confused. And I didn’t know if I even loved wrestling anymore, I didn’t know if I liked wrestling anymore. I saw so much stuff circulated around the internet, to the point that I was really believing it. I just saw so many reports from notable websites saying that there was going to be releases in WWE today. When I saw that, it was just a little pinch in my heart. Something just felt wrong.
I called Mark Carrano and I said that I saw all of these reports and I just wanted to know if it was true. And he said ‘Lio, I was just about to call you. Yeah, unfortunately we are going to be letting you go today. We just want to thank you for everything that you’ve done for the company. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we hear from you.’”
“I didn’t even ask why, I just kind of took a deep breath and was like ‘okay. Thank you. Thank you for everything.’ And then literally, about fifteen minutes later, that first announcement that was filled with names happened.
I think that was the darkest day in wrestling, and then it just got even darker and darker because there was another group of people, and then another group of people. People were just like ‘what the hell is going on?’ What’s even crazier is that it seems like, now, it’s like an annual yearly thing.”
During his time in WWE, Lio Rush was an NXT Cruiserweight Champion, having won the title after a hiatus away from the company. Rush was initially on NXT before being called up to Monday Night RAW to become Bobby Lashley’s hype man, but took time away with much speculation that he had “backstage heat” after refusing to carry luggage for veterans.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.