Lio Rush announced his retirement from professional wrestling, but he’s not done with NJPW quite yet. He announced as part of his retirement reveal that he will finish up his obligations with NJPW after he can return from injury. He had a very unique deal all around.
It was noted on Wrestling Observer Radio, that Lio Rush had a deal with NJPW, but they also didn’t mind him signing elsewhere. It was reported that New Japan Pro-Wrestling gave The Man Of The Hour permission to sign with All Elite Wrestling as well. He could even work for MLW and the indies, but NJPW wanted to be first priority.
“He had a deal with New Japan, and an interesting on because New Japan gave AEW the okay to sign him. New Japan would have priority on dates, but originally, the nature of the New Japan contract was he could work for AEW. He could work for MLW and he could do indies, whatever, but New Japan would have first priority; and New Japan would also have the the right to turn stuff down. But they weren’t going to do that.
“In fact, they actually gave him permission to sign an American contract with AEW. Which also I think is very important politically, because New Japan would give someone who they have under contract the okay to sign with AEW tells me that New Japan believes that they are going to be in business with AEW and not WWE. So that’s actually a pretty important part of this story too.”
Lio Rush’s deal was not only an indication of how he was a special situation, but NJPW and AEW are also likely much further along with any talks than NJPW and WWE are.
Nick Khan, WWE’s President, is reportedly still working on an exclusive deal with NJPW that would see WWE as the company’s only North American partner. Apparently, Tony Khan was right to drag that deal.
Will we see Lio Rush take back this retirement announcement eventually? Sound off in the comments!