Note: This story originally ran on Fightful Select this afternoon
The ongoing saga in regards to Lio Rush's heat continues, and Wednesday Fightful heard from the man himself.
During an extended Twitter thread, Lio Rush responded to rumors of backstage heat and issues with co-workers. Over the past week, several stories have emerged detailing Rush's deteriorating reputation backstage. During that thread, he singled out Fightful -- who reached out both before and after the tweets.
"My issue has never been with Bobby (Lashley)," Lio told Fightful. "Being with Bobby has helped the both of us out tremendously. It’s given me speaking confidence I didn’t know i had. I never was a promo guy on the indies. But being with Bobby made me a promo guy. My issue isn’t with my on screen role. 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."
A story from PWInsider had also been published this week, stating that Rush refused to "pay his dues" so to speak by providing water to veterans on a European tour, as is the case with many main roster rookies. Rush would address that as well.
"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 told us.
On Saturday, Fightful revealed that there was a situation that garnered heat on Rush involving Finn Balor. Several Fightful sources stated that Balor let Lio Rush know that Vince McMahon and other management would probably look down on Rush's wife sitting in on rehearsals. Rush would somewhat deny that story, and instead blame someone else.
"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 shit the flies backstage is ridiculous and I’m surprised more people aren’t speaking up," Rush said.
As far as Lio's disappointment with how wrestling media covered the story, he opened up about that, and the way that he'd like to see things handled.
"These sheets should spread positive messages to the world but they only want to spread false, negative reports to damage someone else's career. What’s wrong with spreading truth? Thank you for reaching out to me, and I appreciate you for doing that. I honestly do. I’ve never been about the BS or politics or anything else rather than showing up to work, doing my job and providing for my family. I grew up in the worst parts of DC, and certain things that I was taught will always stick with me and why I’ve gotten to where I am now in life. I realize that people will talk regardless of how much positivity you try and push out into the world," Rush closed.
It's worth noting that WWE typically doesn't provide wrestling websites with talent interviews or breaking news stories, as is often done.
When a source that originally contributed the the report of Rush's heat read the Select story with Rush's words, they said they didn't think that he was a bad person, instead "arrogantly oblivious to what a WWE gig requires."
Editor's note: Lio's comments are provided in full, with only minor punctuation and capitalization changes.
Photo Credit: WWE