Rush will look to extend his Ring of Honor title reign on Sunday at the Best in the World pay-per-view.
He will defend the belt against Bandido, which is a matchup that should be a wonderful clash of styles. Rush is ruthless and violent in the ring, willing to win at all costs. That is a stark contrast from Bandido, the masked luchador who has an incredibly captivating approach in the ring as a babyface. Part of the responsibility for a champion is to make new stars, which Rush will seek to accomplish in this bout. It should be a high-flying, physical affair and serve as a breakout moment for Bandido in his first ROH pay-per-view main event.
Currently in the midst of a 494-day title run, Rush is the undisputed top force in ROH. He leads La Facción Ingobernable, the spiritual successor to Los Ingobernables, and the group has been presented as an unstoppable force in ROH. His brother, Dragon Lee, also a key part of LFI, will challenge Tony Deppen on the card for the ROH television title.
In an interview translated from Spanish, Rush spoke with Sports Illustrated about the upcoming pay-per-view, the potential of working with Andrade in ROH, his recent surgery, and the next championship he is planning on adding to his collection.
Sports Illustrated: As we approach the 500-day mark, what are you proudest of so far during your ROH title reign?
Rush: I am extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished in Ring of Honor by becoming the first and only Mexican person to make history by winning the title twice, and I did it in a year. Everyone on this roster wants to take my championship, but no one can do it.
SI: So much of this title reign has been spent without a live audience due to the pandemic. There will be a limited-capacity crowd at Best in the World. Finally, you have a chance to work your magic as champion in front of a crowd.
Rush: It is very exciting for me to wrestle in front of a crowd again. Without the fans, wrestling is nothing. This show is called Best in the World, and I’ll show them why I am the best in the world. That is why I’m ROH champion.
After my suspension [a story line where I and LFI were suspended for the month of May], I had surgery on my knee. I am now healthy and stronger than before. I’m back with a more powerful mentality, more violence, and I’m ready to cause even more destruction. My desire is to continue to be the best in the world.
SI: In addition to the upcoming match at Best in the World, you also have an upcoming triple-threat match against Bandido a week later at the Big Lucha show in Mexico. Bandido should make a phenomenal opponent for you to showcase your excellence as champion and talent as a headliner. You wrestled two years ago at the 17th Anniversary show; do you think he is now ready for the main event?
Rush: Bandido is a great fighter, and he is ready for this moment. He is young, talented and hungry. In wrestling, those are the dangerous ones. We have wrestled before, but this time will be totally different. And Bandido is great in the ring, but so am I. He will experience a different style of punishment in this match, and I will show him how to be the champion in the biggest match of the night.
SI: Fittingly, like you mentioned, this ROH pay-per-view is named Best in the World. The best in the world may very well be your brother Dragon Lee, who looks to regain the TV title. What makes him so special in the ring?
Rush: My brother Dragon Lee can do things in the ring that people can only dream of. There is a lot of talent in ROH, but no one like Dragon Lee. Every match he is in is spectacular, and that will be the case again when he wins back his title.
SI: Would you ever consider pursuing the tag titles with Dragon Lee? Or would you defend the world title against him, potentially at a signature ROH show like Final Battle in December?
Rush: I love to tag with him. When we team together in Ring of Honor, it will be clear why we are the most dominant two wrestlers in the world together. But no, I would not like to defend my title against him. I am not interested in a rivalry against my brother or father [La Bestia del Ring]. We are family. Our goal is showing we are the best, not fighting each other.
SI: You are close with Andrade, who just made an outstanding in-ring debut on Wednesday for AEW on Dynamite. Do you think we will ever see Andrade in ROH?
Rush: After all we have been through, it has made us brothers. So at some point, Andrade may come. People will see something different if Andrade comes to Ring of Honor. If that happens, there will be no one who can stop LFI.
SI: Is Andrade the right person to dethrone Kenny Omega for AAA’s Mega Championship this August at Triplemanía?
Rush: If Andrade doesn’t win, I’ll be the one to take the championship off Kenny Omega. If I get into the ring against Omega, I’ll take his title and make it very clear who is number one in the ring.
SI: You are cementing yourself as the most dominant champion in all of wrestling. What should fans expect to see at this Sunday’s pay-per-view?
Rush: Ring of Honor is my empire. LFI is here to dominate. All those who oppose, like Bandido, be ready to face destruction. We have no mercy for anyone. We are true violence. We are LFI, and we are back for what is ours: all the gold on our waists.
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Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.