Former WWE Writer Kazeem Famuyide Talks Instilling Confidence In Lio Rush To Be Himself On WWE TV

Kazeem Famuyide explains why he specifically enjoyed working with Lio Rush and Bobby Lashley.

"The 24-Year Old Piece Of Gold" Lio Rush was paired with Bobby Lashley in September of 2018 to be the "hype man" for Lashley. Lashley and Lio are still a pair as of this writing and along their journey together, Lio has guided Lashley to an Intercontinental Title victory. Lio will be in the corner of Bobby Lashley tomorrow at Fastlane when Lashley teams with Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin to take on the reunited Shield.

Lio Rush and Bobby worked closely with former WWE creative writer Kazeem Famuyide who departed from WWE in early February. Kazeem spoke about his experiences working with Lashley and Rush when he joined the 'Wrassle Rap' podcast. Famuyide specifically mentioned that he found joy in helping Bobby and Lio because they needed it to a certain extent when they were first paired together and added that he tried to instill confidence in Lio Rush to show the already-existing confidence that he had.

“The first people I worked with just so people knew what I was doing -- I was getting the gist of it, it was like, I’d work with Bobby Roode on certain stuff and Mojo and The Riott Squad and just little backstage bits, just so I was getting the hang of stuff. But, when I first actually started doing in-ring promos and live stuff, and getting on headset and calling sh*t from Gorilla, that’s when I started working with The New Day and Lio Rush and Bobby [Lashley] which was probably my favorite thing to work with." He said. "I loved working with New Day. That’s absolutely my… that was the most fun I’ve had working with those guys but you know, working with Lio and Bobby was a specific joy I had because they needed it the most. Lio was brand new, and he was young and he was somebody that trusted me a lot. I kinda got to give him the confidence to be like, ‘Hey, the sh*t that you do on social media, we can do that on TV. You can be yourself. You’re different and that’s a good thing.’ He didn’t really have to try and fit into the mold of what he saw work. He [could] kinda just be him, and to his credit, a lot of that social media sh*t, he did with no help. He did all that sh*t all on his own and it kinda helped Bobby get over as well, and I think when we first put Lio with him, the first two weeks it did really well. I thought Lio got Bobby really hot as a cool baby-face. I think Elias was over as fu*k as a heel. Kevin Owens, obviously, amazing heel as well, and we got people to actually root for Bobby because of Lio and my inspiration for him was like Floyd Mayweather and Jimmy Hart." Famuyide compared. "Like an urban Jimmy Hart. Lashley don’t gotta talk, I do the talking for him and he came in, he had the whole catchphrase for the first couple of weeks. The, ‘He looks like money, smells like money because he is money. He’s the heavyweight, he’s back to dominate’. Like it was a whole thing, and for the first couple of weeks, I started seeing crowds getting into it. Like when Lio would come out, they would start, ‘He’s the heavyweight, that’s back to dominate. He looks like money, he smells like money because he is money’ and that’s something he came up with minutes before we went on to RAW.”

Kazeem Famuyide discussed how he and the lead writer for 205 Live felt that Lio was starting to get over as a baby-face. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon expressed his opinion about Lio and told Kazeem that people want to boo Rush and not cheer him. Kazeem stated that when the heel turn happened for both Bobby and Lio, that's when Rush got to let himself fly on the microphone.

“Me, him [Lio] and my guy John Beckstrom who’s the lead writer of 205 Live who’s a great dude. We thought we were getting him over as a baby-face and then a couple of weeks later, kinda cooled, and you know Vince, he needs to be [in the mix] all the time. He sees something that’s working like, ‘God, nobody wants to cheer this guy. Fu*k him’.” Kazeem laughed. “So that’s when we switched to the heel turn which I think also worked really well because it also so happened that K.O. had to go take some time off to recover from surgery so it was the perfect time to turn Bobby and have him be the reason why K.O. had to go away and do the whole knee deal, and that’s when Lio really started to get his legs under him as a talker, and that was really fun.” He shared.

As mentioned, Lio Rush will be in Bobby Lashley's corner at Fastlane and to hear some predictions for tomorrow's show, head over to the Fightful Pro Wrestling YouTube channel for our preview and predictions video.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the 'Wrassle Rap' podcast with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.

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