Lio Rush looks back on WWE 205 Live days, hopes NJPW will use one of his songs as the theme for an NJPW Strong live special, meeting up with Tenille Dashwood, reacts to AJ Francis saying he wanted to be in a faction with him and Swerve Strickland

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

“Andrew Thompson Interviews” with guest Lio Rush
Host: Andrew Thompson
Full interview available at and

On waiting to see if NJPW will use one of his songs as a theme for one a NJPW Strong live special: “I definitely think that-that would be cool and that’s something that I’m looking to make happen. I want my music to help my wrestling career and I want my wrestling career to help my music career because it’s all me and it’s all things that I love and enjoy doing and even with the relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, they’ve been so open and willing to allow me to continue to do the things that I do outside of wrestling, you know? And I’m super grateful for that, you know?

“Even doing my own entrance music and always pushing out my own vignettes and promos and them showing them on the big screens at the shows and stuff like that so they’ve always been super supportive with what I’m doing, to, you know, build my stock value and my name value in hopes — you know, adding and bringing something a little bit different to the table with New Japan and I definitely feel like I bring something different to the table with New Japan and I can see it growing into something special. So, yeah, that’s a great idea and I — that’s something that I’m looking to try to make happen for sure.”

On 205 Live memories: We’d have conversations like that all the time [205 Live roster would talk about why WWE doesn’t put ‘the machine’ behind them]. Almost every taping, we’d have that conversation amongst ourselves and not even just amongst ourselves, even with, you know, people within the company… I think it was just that clear. I think it was that clear to everybody. You could see and just feel the frustration with all of the guys, you know?

“Because we were going out there and putting on a show and really, really trying to make a name for ourselves and I definitely felt like we trusted each other too so it kind of felt like a brotherhood, it wasn’t that many people. You know, you got Raw, you got Smackdown, you got NXT, rosters of people. You know, 30, 40, 50-plus, 60-plus but you know, with 205 Live, you only had those core amount of guys and it felt like we had each other’s backs so that was definitely a special time for sure. It was definitely a fun time. We worked hard, we worked hard. We’re proud of that groundwork that we laid. But yeah man, it was a fun time for sure. It was short-lived. It was short-lived but it was fun, definitely.”

On meeting up with Tenille Dashwood in May 2022 and getting to chat with her: “Yeah, yeah, that was cool. That was a really cool moment and I’m glad that it happened and I feel like so much has happened since then. So, you know, both of us talking about it and not really laughing on the situation but just thinking back on how crazy it was and how it changed my career, not so much changing her career [Lio laughed]. But, just seeing what transpired from it and me growing as an individual and seeing how I could have said or not said or approached things differently. I like growing and changing for the better. I never wanna have the same mentality that I had, you know, four or five, six years ago. So, it was cool that I saw her and as soon as I did, I walked up to her, we had a chat, and later on in the day, we took a picture and I’m glad that-that moment happened. Definitely one for the books for sure.”

Lio reacts to AJ Francis saying that he initially wanted to do a group with Lio and Swerve Strickland in NXT: “No, I never heard it. I mean I’ve heard it before, after the fact [that A.J. Francis wanted Lio and Swerve Strickland for the original concept of Hit Row]. But while I was there, it wasn’t brought up to me at all. But that would have been cool and it was cool because I believe we were all there at the same time too so it was definitely a possibility that it could have happened I guess. But yeah, it just didn’t pan out that way but I definitely think that it would have been cool, it would have been — you know, they made their own waves in their own right, you know? It would have been cool to be a part of that and you know, add to it whatever it is that I had to add to it.”


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