Lio Rush was 22-years-old when he signed with WWE. At the time, the company was hiring every popular independent wrestler they could get their hands on. Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and more joined the company at the same time as Lio. He felt like he’d become a part of something great.

When the honeymoon wore off and the childhood fantasy was confronted by reality, Lio Rush was quickly told he wasn’t ready for TV and that he needed to work on his promos. Rush recently said on Talk is Jericho that even when he did what they told him, nobody was listening.

“I got signed to NXT when I was 22-years-old. I actually ended up being in the same class as Adam Cole, Dijak, Fish, O’Reilly, all of those Ring Of Honor guys and I thought that was so cool. I don’t know, that was very wild to me that I was a part of that class and I didn’t have to tryout. I felt like I accomplished something.

…When I got there, it was strange because I was being told that, ‘Oh, you’re not ready for TV, you need more experience,’ and stuff like that. At the time, I was just like, ‘I guess I understand. But why did you sign me?’”

…I’ll never forget I was doing a promo class in NXT, I believe Corino was leading at the time. I remember the lead NXT writer was there, I had asked him to watch my promo and he said that he would,” he said. “As I’m doing my promo, I’m kind of looking at him to see if he’s watching and he’s just texting. But I had asked him if he’d watched it and he had told me that he’d watched it. He had told me that I wasn’t ready and that I wasn’t going to be ready for a while.”

Lio Rush briefly left wrestling after his release from WWE. After a break, he returned and signed with All Elite Wrestling. He’s been serving as a mentor of to young Dante Martin.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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