Lio Rush Turns Attention to Family and Music Career After WWE Release

Former Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush was laid off by WWE as part of the company’s pandemic-related cost cutting. He’s not itching to get back in the ring, happy to focus on life at home and other creative outlets.
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Lio Rush’s first post-WWE project is complete.

Rush released his 13-song album, Ever After, earlier this week, and he is grateful for the chance to share his creation.

“This music opens up the portal to my soul,” said Rush. “These are all my real experiences, and I did my best to be as vulnerable as possible. In my wrestling career, a lot has been said about me. I wanted people to see another layer of me through my music.”

Rush wrote all of the music and pieced together the album over the past six months. His partner in the project, like in life, is his wife.

“My wife, Sarah, she’s been through every part of my wrestling career with me, every step of the way,” said Rush. “She is my biggest support system, and she’s also really talented. She helped out a lot with this album, and she came up with the concept and parts of the lyrics to ‘Ever After,’ the last song on the album.

“We worked on the track list together too, which was one of the most fun parts of creating the album. I hope people can follow the list as they listen to the album.”

Rush has had a memorable spring. After he was released by WWE in April as part of the company’s pandemic-related cost-cutting, he has fully immersed in his music.

“I’m really excited about the song ‘Black Heart’ for wrestling fans,” said Rush. “That’s where I think a lot of my fans will gravitate toward that song because that’s the name of a character I did on the independent scene in CZW. That name ties into the character and ties into real life, and it will be pretty cool for wrestling fans to hear.”

Only 25, Rush has already reached extraordinary heights in wrestling. Though he is a wrestler by trade, his greatest moment of fame came in the build to WrestleMania 35 as the manager for Bobby Lashley. He also had a standout moment in NXT, winning the Cruiserweight title from Drew Gulak in October on live television. Rush could easily step back into a wrestling ring and be an asset for a number of different promotions, but he stressed that he needs time away from the business to reassess his future.

“The question of ‘What are you going to do next?’ tends to come up when people get released from WWE,” said Rush. “I’d be surprised if anyone had a legitimate answer. With everything going on in the world, no one knows what’s going to happen next. It’s all a waiting game to see what happens next.

“After I got released, seeing the situation that the world is in and the wrestling business is in, this is the perfect time to be with my family and heal my body. Wrestling is not a necessity to me right now. My focus is on my family.”

Rush’s run with WWE was full of highlights, but also mired by behind-the-scenes frustrations dealing with the politics of wrestling.

“My experience in the WWE had some highs that I really enjoyed, but there were a lot of lows that I had to overcome,” said Rush. “There were also some things I didn’t morally agree with, in terms of the way things were handled. And that’s fine—different people have different experiences, and I can only speak for myself. There are a lot of good memories I can hold onto, but there are other some times that will stick with me emotionally for the rest of my life.”

Rush plans on capturing his WWE career through his music.

“I’m already working on my next project,” said Rush. “You can definitely expect some stories to come out in music form about my career in WWE.”

Available on all streaming platforms, Rush’s Ever After album also represents a chance for him to reconnect with his audience.

“Music is like therapy for me,” said Rush. “And I love letting people in on my creations. I hope people stick with me. I have nothing but respect, love, and admiration to all of the people who have watched, rooted for, and supported me as I accomplished my wrestling dreams. I’ve put out a lot of tracks, but this is different. I’m definitely excited for people to listen.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.