wrestling / News

Lio Rush Reflects on Getting Heat For Tweet About Emma, Talks Training With Shawn Michaels & More

May 25, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Lio Rush

– Lio Rush spoke with ESPN for a new interview and discussed his initial signing with WWE, getting heat for his tweet about Emma after her release and more. Highlights are below:

On initially meeting William Regal in 2106: “He just told me to keep working hard. Keeping pushing ‘Good things happen to people who wait.’ He definitely noticed my hard work and the passion that I had to be a professional wrestler and be one of those top-tier athletes and top-tier wrestlers in the sports entertainment industry. That was my first interaction with anybody from WWE.”

On being offered an NXT contract in 2017: “WWE took notice. They saw the heart, the drive, the determination, motivations that I have to be one of the fastest rising stars professional wrestling has ever seen. My journey to get to the WWE was a lot different. It’s definitely unheard of for a guy of my age and level of wrestling experience to be able to create a name for myself and get signed to the WWE within less than three years. It’s incredible. Being at Full Sail University, not knowing one day it would lead me to be back in Orlando, but this time not being a student at Full Sail but actually being an employee at the Performance Center”.

On Velveteen Dream: “He’s always had the drive to be one of the best in the world. He has a work ethic like no other. Strong mindset. He’s dedicated to his craft and he believes in the things that he says, and I think that is a huge, key factor in anyone’s success. [Velveteen] has always been that guy that is looked at as soon as he walks in a room. He has the charisma. He has the personality. Just that fire in his eyes that you don’t see from a 22-year-old…That being my first match was pretty cool. We’ve known each other for years now. We all went through Maryland Championship Wrestling and trained together, so for that to be my first match with Velveteen being across the ring from me and Jessika Carr officiating that match was a pretty cool feeling.”

On getting backlash for his tweet about Emma after her release: “It was definitely a difficult situation. I’ve worked so hard and spent years trying to brand myself and to show the world that Lio Rush is a top prospect in the professional wrestling world. So it was a bit rough to see so many people turn on me for that, but I’ve owned up to my mistakes. I have said my apologies. What else can you do? You live, you make mistakes and you learn. I know a big thing that I tweeted out shortly after that — ‘a mistake shouldn’t be your attacker, it should be your teacher.’ I’ve definitely learned from that situation. I definitely have not let that situation change the pacing of me succeeding in anything.”

On his love of music: “[My passion for music] has always been there. I always knew I’d get into the music industry in some kind of capacity. I’ve been influenced by friends that I’ve made over the years and the culture that I’ve been around the years. That led to rapping.”

On trying to find success in both music and wrestling: “All of this is just about continuing to brand yourself. Continuing to make a name for yourself. Continuing to show that we wrestlers aren’t just one-trick ponies. People are constantly asking, ‘What’s going on with wrestling? What’s happening with wrestling?’ The perception of a professional wrestler only knowing how to be a professional wrestler and nothing else is a little crazy to me. Yes, I’m still a professional wrestler. Yes, I’m still a father. I’m still everything else, but yes I can do other things, and yes I can be successful in other things. We’re capable of many things, whether that’s bodyslamming somebody in the ring or whether that’s, for me, making an impact in the music industry.”

On working with Shawn Michaels at the WWE Performance Center: “The fact that I’m being able to be trained and coached by one of the greatest in-ring performers who has ever lived — and that’s the ‘Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels — for him to be one of the trainers there and to be able to learn from him and just follow in his footsteps is a pretty cool thing. Even Triple H. Him being the boss of everything is absolutely incredible. Being a fan, being somebody who’s wanted to be a professional wrestler since they were 5 years old and growing up watching Triple H, watching Shawn Michaels, and then to one day wake up and report to work and that’s my coach. That’s my boss. It’s absolutely incredible.”