On April 15, 2020, Lio Rush was released from his WWE contract as part of budget cuts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic following which the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion began working with many independent promotions including a short stint with AEW.
While speaking to Metro UK’s Alistair McGeorge, Rush discussed his WWE run as Bobby Lashley’s on-screen mouthpiece and mentioned comedian-actor Kevin Hart as the influence on his work as a manager. He said,
“That was the most fun I’ve had in my wrestling career. Even if it was something that I didn’t necessarily want to do – that wasn’t my first choice, to be a manager – but that was for sure the most fun that I’ve had. I was figuring it out, I was learning as time went on – and I did figure it out, i feel like I did catch a stride and find myself within the character. I found what worked for me, what got certain reactions, what was funny, what was gonna grab people’s attention the most. I had a lot of fun doing that character, overall.”
“I drew a lot from – I got a bunch of jokes on this, but I never said it in an interview, but I drew a lot of my inspiration from Kevin Hart. What I was looking at with Kevin was, he was so short – [laughs] he’s gonna hear this one day, I know he is! He was a shorter guy but he was so fired, he was so snappy. That was the biggest character trait with him that really stuck out to me, and I wanted to have that with my character. I wanted to look small in stature, but when you talk to me I wanted to be snappy and confident and funny.”
RUSH and YOH were the winners of the 2022 NJPW Super Junior Tag League Tournament.
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