Last year, Lio Rush looked to be on his way out of WWE when he was on a six-month hiatus from the company, before a monumental return saw the 25-year-old win the Cruiserweight Championship shortly after his return.
Now, though, Lio Rush has departed WWE and looks to be concentrating on his music career. I was fortunate enough to speak with the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion to find out how he made his return to the company, and discuss his relationships with Triple H and Vince McMahon.
Sportskeeda meets Lio Rush
You can watch a clip from the interview below, or read on for the transcript.
"That first hiatus that I had from the company, I was dealing with Vince and, yeah, he had said that he was going to reach out to me at some point during my time at home but I just never got a call from anybody or heard anything from anybody so I was dealing with Vince at that point."
Lio Rush would reveal he didn't really know where he stood with WWE management now but that his encounters with Vince McMahon, even after returning to the company, were always positive ones.
"Then, once I came back to the company, and I started to wrestle for 205 Live again, being at the same tapings as Friday Night SmackDown on Fox, I saw Vince, I would see Vince all the time and he would just... He would say, you know, "Hey, good to see you, hope you're doing okay," and stuff like that."
"It felt like... Even though he didn't really reach back out to me after the initial hiatus, it felt like he still acknowledged me, he still acknowledged the fact that I was away and now I'm back, so that was a good feeling to have from the boss."
Lio Rush, however, would reveal that things didn't quite go smoothly when dealing with his childhood hero Triple H.
"Triple H... I don't know if it ended on good terms or not because I feel like me and Hunter, we clashed heads a lot. We were always in disagreement as far as what the plan was for me and how he saw me as a character or how he saw me as an asset to the brand."
The former NXT Superstar would reveal how he had to break the separation between admiring The Game and speaking with him as an employee.
"I feel like we were just always disagreeing all the time and it sucked because obviously I looked up to Triple H when I was a kid and stuff like that, so it was weird trying to break that separation from being an admirer of his but now, at the same time, I'm an employee of his and he is my boss, so it was hard for me to separate the two and it was kind of disappointing every time I had a conversation with him - but the lack of communication leading up to the initial release was with Hunter."
Ahead of his release, Lio Rush said there was a lack of communication that convinced him he would be departing the company.
"You know, I was having some back-and-forth conversations with him and then, out of nowhere, it just kind of stopped four weeks. It just stopped. That's how I knew that something was weird, something wasn't right, and I felt like it was coming, my release was coming."
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