lio rush

Lio Rush: “NJPW Has Awakened Something In Me”


Lio Rush and YOH won the New Japan Super Junior Tag League this year. This earns them a shot at Catch 2/2’s (TJP & Francesco Akira) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 17. For YOH, it was his fourth tournament win, having won in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with longtime partner SHO.

In an interview with NJPW’s official website, Rush and YOH shared their thoughts in the aftermath of the tournament. You can read highlights of their comments below:


Rush discussing his emotions after the tournament: “I’m feeling a lot of emotions. I feel like this is a moment in my career that I’m very proud of. A real high point for me professionally. I worked so hard for this through injuries and surgeries, and I’m really overwhelmed by emotion. I’m trying to live in the moment, and soak it in because I know in a few weeks, we have the biggest match that the both of us have had in our careers together. So it’s enjoying the moment but also preparing for Wrestle Kingdom.”

YOH on what it was like to team with Rush: “It was a long tour. About a month ago, I met Lio in New York, and then we were all of a sudden a team for this tag league. I’d won the trophies three times before already, been IWGP Junior Tag Champion, so I had that confidence, but I didn’t know how me and Lio were going to gel as a team, and that was exciting, actually.”

Rush on his bond with YOH: “I’ve always felt like with other big milestones in my career, they’ve come with a bittersweet type of feeling. But coming here to New Japan was something I’d always wanted to do even before I signed with WWE. So I feel much more fulfilled, and I accomplished something that was my destiny. I’ve always felt I wanted a partner to go through the same things I do in the business, and I’m glad I’ve found that with YOH. I think we’ve gained a strong friendship and mutual respect, and these trophies are a testament to how strong our bond is.

“I have experience with different tag partners through my career, but I’ve never experienced a bond like I have with YOH. My other teams didn’t last very long, but I think that comes down to me not really knowing who I was fully. Coming into NJPW has awakened something in me that I’ve been looking for for a long time.”

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