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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Lio Rush: Relationship With Mark Henry Is ‘Super Cordial’ Now, ‘Cocky’ Stigma Hurt Me To My Core

Lio Rush and Mark Henry are in a better place now, and the “Man Of The Hour” explained how the perception that he was too cocky affected him. 

Lio Rush appeared on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and talked about his wrestling career, which had its ups-and-downs in WWE. Lio dealt with the stigma that he was “cocky” for some of his actions while he was still in the company, and he explained why it wasn’t the case but still understands why things went the way they did.

“I think a lot of people thought I was super cocky, and that honestly hurt me to my core. It sucks when that’s the stigma about you. I think me, I’m just a very driven person. I’m very confident in my abilities and know what I’m capable of, as everyone else does. I think that a lot of people thought that I was cocky, which wasn’t the case at all. I just believe in myself so much,” Lio explained. “I’m a self-motivated kind of person, you know? I like speaking things into existence, I like saying I’m going to do something and then doing it. It’s not for anybody else, but for me.

“I think also, a lot of people don’t take into account that there is such thing as introverts and extroverted people within a wrestling company. I always went there to work, I had other things to think about, so it’s not like I was going to work to try to make friends. Obviously, friends are great, but that’s not my number one priority. I don’t know, I was just in a very unfortunate, hard position and I can see why things went the way that they did for me,” Lio noted, “but at the same time, it does suck.”

Asked if he ever spoke with higher-ups about needing to change that perception, Lio said there were two instances that he remembered having that conversation. One was with Bobby Lashley, since they were working together each week. The other was Xavier Woods, who just wanted to know his mindset, according to Lio. 

“I remember he pulled me into a room, he was just talking to me about what I was thinking, how I was as a person and how I can maybe better assist people warming up to me in a way. That’s so cool that he did that because it was real, it was genuine. When you talk about wrestling, it was just ‘how are you?’ But I think the overall aura of backstage WWE is a little difficult, for me at least,” he pointed out, “especially when you want to do your absolute best every week and you just want to work and make a name for yourself.”

Renee noted that Lio Rush is now with AEW and posted a photo with Mark Henry, who he previously had issues with in the past. The two traded jabs over social media last year, including Lio calling Henry a liar and claiming he destroyed the chances African American wrestlers have for success. Henry went as far as threatening a lawsuit for defamation, but Rush says their relationship is in a much better place now.  

“Me and Mark Henry, this is amazing, I’m so glad you asked this because you’re the first person to ask this… [laughs] Me and Mark Henry’s relationship is super-cordial now. I think it came down to two very strong personalities and two very different eras of wrestling, and I think we just agreed to disagree and we’re about to be working together now. AEW is such an incredible place to be and it would be foolish for us to carry on any kind of ‘whatever it was’ because it was pretty random and wild,” Rush said.

“But I want to take you back to the first time I was in AEW. The first time I meet Tony Khan, I remember I was walking backstage and I was trying to meet Tony Khan in person for the first time. Somebody told me that he was in his office and I’ll never forget, it was like a movie in a scene, I open up the door a little bit and I see Tony Khan, and I opened it up a little bit more and I can see Mark Henry. I’m like, out of all times, why now? But I’m glad that happened that way because Tony knew about the little issues that we had together and he said that we should probably talk it out, which we all agreed. We talked that night and then I saw him again the other week and it was me coming down the hotel elevator,” Rush explained, “and I open up the elevator and there’s Mark Henry solo in the elevator. I’m like, ‘Alright, great!’ So we started talking and then later in the night we figured we should take a picture because I thought that was a pretty cool thing in itself, because we were able to have a conversation, and I thought it’d be cool for everybody to know that we had that conversation and squashed it.”

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