Lio Rush talks about landing in NJPW STRONG and walking through “The Forbidden Door.”
Lio Rush decided to give professional wrestling another try after coming out of retirement in the latter half of 2021 and now, he is not only a featured character on AEW television but will also be a major portion of the upcoming NJPW Strong tour which starts 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
In a new interview with Sean Ross Sapp, Lio Rush says that Rocky Romero is the reason he ended up wrestling for New Japan once again. Speaking about his experience with New Japan, Lio would say that the locker room is incredible and praises the structure of the promotion for not having a real tier-based system and providing shock moments for audiences.
“The reason is definitely Rocky. I'm forever grateful. Rocky is an amazing guy, an amazing performer, every time I always bring up Rocky's name, nothing is ever said poorly or bad about him. Thank God for Rocky. The locker room in New Japan is incredible. It's a breath of fresh air. You've got people in that locker room that are experienced, you've got independent legends in the States, you have legends in Japan, the up-and-coming guys in the States, guys coming over on excursion, and the young boys. It's so cool because you never know what to expect really and you never know what to expect with these matches. There's no real tier system in New Japan. You can see a young boy go up against somebody that has years of experience and you might see a shock win or it might not be a shock win, you might be looking at the future of New Japan and that was your first time seeing it. It's pretty cool and I'm happy down there.”
Speaking about the current working relationship promotions have with one another, Lio Rush highlights the real special nature of everything that's going on in wrestling today, saying that such working relationships were unthinkable for him growing up.
“I couldn't ever imagine or thought that wrestling would get to this point. Even when I was a teenager or a pre-teen looking on YouTube and watching the 'dream matchups' that people would make; Sting vs. Kane. Something as crazy as that, you're seeing matchups that you would have never thought could have happened, they are happening. I would say every week, but wrestling is on every day now. History is being made day after day after day and it's pretty cool to see, especially in New Japan. Even for myself, my favorite match in New Japan so far was against Taiji Ishimori. I didn't even think that was possible, but when it happened, I'm like, 'This is so cool.' I can't imagine how cool it must be as a fan to have seen that or any of these matches.”
In Seattle for New Japan, Lio Rush will be featured in a tag team match, teaming with Rocky Romero to go against Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson. Speaking about developing his comfortability in tag team wrestling, Rush says he's enjoyed the opportunity that tag team wrestling gives him to take fewer bumps. he would also say that his pairing with Rocky Romero is a match made in heaven, raising their chemistry as opponents making for an even better tag team with the two of them.
“It's been cool. It's definitely been different. I've been a singles wrestler for years. It's cool to dip my toes into something different. it's nice because I'm getting older and can take less bumps [laughs]. I got somebody else to get beat up. It's been fun, really fun, especially teaming with guys that have that experience and guys I have been crossing paths with over the years. Teaming up with Rocky, it's a match made in heaven and makes so much sense. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I made a tweet the other day where, we're like fire opponents, but we're going to be a dynamite tag team. The chemistry that me and Rocky have, even outside of the ring, it's definitely going to help prepare us to be a cool tag team in New Japan.”
We will have full coverage of NJPW STRONG: New Beginning USA from Seattle, Washington after the tapings are complete. We will also continue to provide results of the matches as they are on future episodes of NJPW STRONG in our results section.