By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Forbes Interview with Lio Rush
Conducted by Alfred Konuwa
Full interview available at Forbes.com
On whether he thinks WrestleMania 36 will happen: “A lot of people are refreshing their timelines on Twitter to see what the hell is happening now in the world. If the situation is the same or getting worse, I don’t see—it’s not that I don’t see it happening—it’s just that I don’t think it’s the smartest thing in the world. Plus I know that the whole ban—[Florida’s] ban—is in effect right now. And I know a lot of fans, especially during WrestleMania, they come out from all over the world.”
Whether he’s comfortable wrestling during the coronavirus pandemic: “I am not. Just because how the situation has kind of flared up, and the little amount of time it has [flared up], I just don’t think it’s smart. I dunno. I just feel like all of the wrestlers, and the production crew and just everybody involved are coming from different states, and coming from different countries, and travel through airports and being in contact with everybody. So, yeah, I definitely…I don’t feel comfortable with the whole idea of it.”
On previously claiming to be broke: “I’m not gonna say I was in a financial struggle. I’m good now, I’ve always been good. I just felt like, at the time, I wasn’t getting treated fairly in the company for the things that I was doing for the company. I felt like I wasn’t getting compensated the way I should be, whether that was through merchandise with Bobby [Lashley] or him being on signings or him being on interviews. I’m in this speaking role for Bobby on television, but when it comes to the merchandise and the appearances and the interviews and everything—it just sucks.”
On focusing on his music and an uncertain future in WWE: “Honestly, this is such a time of uncertainty in my life right now I really don’t know what is next for me other than continuing to push my music. I dunno, wrestling-wise I just gotta see where the cards are kinda dealt in my favor and just seeing where I stand in WWE. It’s a rough time for me right now, especially with everything that I’ve gone through in the company and coming back and…yeah, I’m not—I’m just not feeling it right now. I’m just trying to focus on my music.”
On race relations in WWE: “If you are an African-American, or a Latino or a woman I feel like it gets made into this special moment [by WWE] when I feel like it shouldn’t be history. I wish that the ‘black history’ would just be labeled as history, because if we keep doing things and saying this is something cool that’s happened in black history within the company then people will just see it as a moment in time rather than this is the way it is.”
Rush also talked about his musical influences and his budding hip-hop career.
And… back to the doghouse for Lio. Rush hasn’t put the company time in for Vince to accept anything less than 100% bootlicking.
That may be true, OK definitely true with Vince’s pettiness, but he’s not really wrong with what he is saying. Everyone is supposed to be practicing social distancing, but pro wrestling is about as close as humans can be to each other legally in public. It may end up being nothing, but do we really need to chance it?
I can live without wrestling for a couple of months. Better yet, take the TV time and show some old PPVs. Make Raw classic WWE PPVs, NXT can be Takeovers, Smackdown you could do highlights from recent PPVs and overlay new commentaries to continue building current stories. Then when all of this is over, do a draft and start everything fresh.