Lio Rush says his career is being sabotaged by a WWE employee who wants him out.
The 24-year-old has been the subject of several negative reports, with claims of legitimate backstage heat being published within the last month.
Rush is also said to have had an issue with Finn Balor, while several other roster members want him out of the locker room. However, speaking in a recent interview with Fightful, he claims that it all boils down to a WWE worker trying to get him fired.
"Me and Finn are cool, and my wife has never been an issue," he explained. "There is someone who works for WWE who has hated me since the day I’ve worked for ROH and now that they work for WWE they’re leaking false information to get me released. At a certain point, I have to defend myself so that’s what I decided to do. We’re all human, and we’re all grown a** adults. The kind of s**t the flies backstage is ridiculous and I’m surprised more people aren’t speaking up.”
It was reported that the locker room's problems with the young wrestler stem from his refusal to continue the tradition of new talent taking up duties for established stars, such as handing out water and carrying their bags.
“It’s not about race and it has never been," he says. "But public perception is important to me and when we have fans that travel all over the globe and watch us get off of buses and into hotels, the LOOK of a black kid carrying waters and bags for other wrestlers is just not a good look, especially when I’m trying to portray myself as a superstar as well.”
Rush has also complained about his low pay and his being "forced" to pay for his own accommodation while he's on the road. He also claims he isn't getting any money for merchandise bearing his catchphrases.
“My issue has never been with Bobby," he declared. "Being with Bobby has helped the both of us out tremendously. It’s given me speaking confidence I didn’t know I had. I never was a promo guy on the indies. But being with Bobby made me a promo guy. My issue isn’t with my on-screen role.
"My issue is the fact that I haven’t been on meet & greets with Bobby, haven’t been getting paid for merchandise for us that has my catchphrases on them. I have been sent to live shows and TVs and forced to pay for my own rental for 5 days as well as hotels while not making enough money to do so. Walking around broke in the biggest sports entertainment industry that there is while having two kids and a wife to support.”
From Shane Douglas’s 1996 Torch Talk: After taking out draws for road expenses, he made $1,400 (~$2,300 in 2019) in 3mos. in his 1995 WWF run. In the same period, his bank account went from $16k to $600.— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) May 2, 2019
Still wanna doubt Lio Rush’s story at a time when house shows are losing $? pic.twitter.com/pigrU024m7
What This Means
Rush's complaints certainly seem warranted. From what he's saying, his pocket is taking a hit even if he's working for one of the most profitable companies in the world - and he isn't even getting paid for merchandise he's helped inspire.
If someone really does want him fired, though, whoever it is seems to have his best interest at heart as he's very likely to earn a better living outside WWE.