AEW and NJPW star Lio Rush recently sat down with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, where he discussed the importance of having more options in his work.
Rush described that it was important for him to know that Tony Khan wanted him at AEW: “It’s always a cool thing when you have somebody passionate about what you love doing, Tony is clearly, incredibly passionate about professional wrestling. A lot of his excitement bounces off people and his energy is very contagious when it comes to wrestling. It’s cool to have a boss that thinks of wrestling in that aspect. When it comes to me in particular, it was a nice feeling to have someone with that much influence and power say, ‘this guy is good and I want him as part of my company.’ That’s such a compliment, a really cool compliment. I’ super appreciative of that.”
He then praised Khan for allowing wrestlers to work for different companies: “It doesn’t come up in conversation a lot. You see so many people within AEW work all these other places and it’s just where we are at in wrestling. It’s exciting times. you’re seeing so many people pop up in different places and you never know who is going to show up where, announced or unannounced. The fans are so excited about wrestling. A show can be sold out already without even having to name particular people and you could be going to that show and see somebody show up. That’s super cool. It’s pretty well-known that Tony is excited about his pool of talent and as long as we’re being safe and doing good business, then it’s good business for AEW. It doesn’t come up a lot. It’s just, ‘Hey, I have this show coming up, is this cool?’ ‘Yeah, as long as it doesn’t run into anything.’ It’s exciting.”
The freedom and ability to have the choice is decisive for Lio Rush’s mental health: “I got offered a deal initially and things happen, things change, the world of wrestling has changed. I will say this, this is no secret, this is me pointing out the obvious; I’m a lone wolf. I go where I want, I like putting things on my resume and I like working different places and wrestling anybody and everybody. We’ve seen that since I left WWE. I’ve been to AAA, MLW, AEW, New Japan. (My independence) is very important. It’s very important for my mental stability. I never really like being stuck in one spot, especially if I don’t have control over that, this is the time’s we are in with wrestling right now and it’s a beautiful thing that you can have someone be signed here, but also work there and signed to multiple deals, but still be able to pop up. We just saw Mickie James get announced for the Royal Rumble, that’s incredible. It’s no secret. I’m on a deal with AEW, but I’m also on a deal with New Japan. I’m also doing my own things back at home. It’s pretty open-ended and it’s exciting.”
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