Earlier this week, Lio Rush took to Twitter to refute some of the reports about backstage heat on him and specifically mentioned the Fightful website.
For the record, everything said in the Fightful report has been confirmed to me by a WWE source and the stories about the backstage heat on Rush I’ve heard them since he signed with the company.
“My issue has never been with Bobby (Lashley),” Rush told Fightful Select. Rush said Lashley has helped him a lot and he helped to give him speaking confidence. “My issue is the fact that I haven’t been on meet & greets with Bobby, haven’t been getting paid for merchandise for us that has my catchphrases on them. (I) have been sent to live shows and TVs and forced to pay for my own rental for 5 days as well as hotel while not making enough money to do so. Walking around broke in the biggest sports entertainment industry that there is while having two kids and a wife to support.”
What is interesting about the comments above from Rush is that recently offered a better contract to stay with WWE. PWInsider reports that Rush was offered something in the range of $300,000 per year to stay with the company and he declined and asked for double that amount.
Rush responded to a story reported earlier this week about not paying his dues when he was asked to provide water to veterans.
“It’s not about race and it has never been, but public perception is important to me and when we have fans that travel all over the globe and watch us get off of buses and into hotels, the LOOK of a black kid carrying waters and bags for other wrestlers is just not a good look, especially when I’m trying to portray myself as a superstar as well,” Rush said.
It should be noted that other wrestlers have been asked to do similar things for veterans and this was not a case of hazing or a rib being played but something that has been a tradition for decades for younger wrestlers as a way to earn respect in the locker room.
Rush also claimed that things are cool with him and Finn Balor after Balor spoke with him about bringing his wife with him on the road. Balor told Rush that bringing his wife to rehearsals would probably not go over well with Vince McMahon.
“Me and Finn are cool, and my wife has never been an issue. There is someone who works for WWE who has hated me since the day I’ve worked for ROH and now that they work for WWE they’re leaking false information to get me released. At a certain point, I have to defend myself so that’s what I decided to do. We’re all human, and we’re all grown ass adults. The kind of sh*t that flies backstage is ridiculous and I’m surprised more people aren’t speaking up,” Rush said.
Several sources told me that Rush has brought his wife to other events and there were others (not just his wife) brought into the backstage area at other times. This is similar to what happened with Enzo Amore when he was in the company and it did not go over well with other wrestlers.
No decision has been made yet on what to do with Rush but he was not featured this week on Monday Night Raw. There has been talk of moving him back to NXT. He has been pulled from the European tour and I was told that he is officially done as Bobby Lashley’s “hype man.” Vince McMahon is not a fan of managers but he gave Rush a shot in the role because he was a fan of his promo work.
On today’s Busted Open Radio, Mark Henry said he pulled Rush to the side to ask what is going on and said Rush “lied to my face.” Henry added, “If you can’t pay for a rental car, you can’t pay for a hotel with the money that you’re making every week then you need to change the way you’re spending. You can’t blame that on the office. If you spent everything before you got it, that’s your problem.”