Lio Rush had spent over a year in NXT, but was still trying to find his footing when he was suddenly called up to WWE Raw.
Rush had an entertaining pairing with Bobby Lashley for several months in 2019, but as he tells Fightful, he had no idea what was planned even as he walked in to the arena the night he debuted.
"So, we would get these random text messages of like, “Hey, we need your information. You’re needed for this thing.” Like, I don’t know who it is, but we just get the messages and we’d give the information. I remember I was on 205 Live at the time. I was coming back home and I was just resting. I think it was a Saturday. I end up getting a text and it said, “Hey, Lio. We need your information. You’re needed for RAW on Monday.” I was looking at it, my wife was right next to me, and I was like, “This must be a joke. Somebody’s messing with me right now.” Then I got a notification on our little talent relations app and I saw that I was booked for Monday Night RAW and I was like, “Oh, man, this is crazy.” But, they didn’t tell me what I was doing. I just showed up in my suit, scared as hell. I set up my stuff in the locker room and I went in catering. I was just waiting around that day. I didn’t know why I was there," Rush said
No word from anyone at the top, agents or producers. It wasn't until Bobby Lashley himself approached Lio that he was clued in that they were going to be working together moving forward.
"Then Bobby Lashley walks up to me and says, “Hey, what’s going on, man? You hear what we’re doing?” I was like, “Uh, no, I haven’t. We’re doing something?” and he said, “Yeah, I think. I don’t know all the details, but I think we’re supposed to be a team or something.” I was like, “Oh, man, that’s crazy. Okay.” Then he was like, “Yeah, Paul Heyman said that he was going to talk to us later about the details.” So, a couple of hours later I’m suited up. They told me to just go in the wait in the arena. Bobby and Paul come in, and they’re telling me what the deal is and that this is Vince’s idea. I’m like, “Okay.” I was asking him like, “Is this permanent? Or is this just for tonight?” They’re said, “No, I think this is you’re on RAW now.” I was like, “Oh, shit.” That was cool," Rush remembered.
Rush would go on to manage Lashley for months, until he was taken off WWE TV in the spring.
Lio also opened up about his future, his music career, and much more in the exclusive interview with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp which you can view above. We'll have much more from this interview over the next couple of weeks. Make sure to check out Lio's music and other upcoming projects at his website.