New Japan contracted wrestler Lio Rush has announced his intention to retire less than two weeks after making his AEW debut. He was the 21st, and final entrant, also known as the joker in the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing, and during the match, he suffered an injury. Now, in an Instagram post, he has announced that he has re-evaluated his life and decided that he will step away from the business once he heals up and completes his obligations with New Japan.
I have written and erased this post so many times purely out of not being able to wrap my head around this. The moment I went home in a sling, I kept saying to myself “this was like any other time I got a little bruise or strain and I will shrug it off and continue on my new journey.” Once the pain subsided and I started to feel just how uncomfortable it was to feel my arm hanging from my body, I sunk into an immediate and rapidly growing depression because I knew something was wrong.
Got the news that I’d be taking some time off due to this injury. Me thinking it would only affect my wrestling obligations, I still tried to go on about my days as I knew them. Realized just how much this would affect my everyday life. For anyone who knows me, you know that I work endlessly for me and my family. It became more and more frustrating everyday finding little things that I could no longer do. Like simply putting on a shirt and a much harder fact to deal with, not being able to pick up my newborn son…
Now here comes the part that kept me up every night since #DoubleorNothing…knowing that I just made my surprise debut in one of the most exciting times in my career. That part sucked. But I’m grateful. Grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had this past year since my WWE release. So cool of #AEW still wanting to sign me despite separating my AC in the Casino Battle Royal. Which would have led to me being the first person in history to be signed to two major wrestling organizations simultaneously. This is an unexpected turn down a road I would have and could have never saw coming…
But I’m looking at this as a blessing in disguise. Since the injury, it’s given me some time to think. Think about what I want in life. What I want for my wife and my kids, and what’s going to make me happy as far as my mental health is concerned. The timing of this injury has forced me to to stop and reevaluate and ultimately it’s resulted in making the decision to retire from professional wrestling…
Thank you to the fans who have fought it out with me for the past 7 years and the people in my corner. Thank you to all the promoters and friends that ‘ve met along the way who believe in me and my vision. This has been a great ride, but it’s time to get off and do what truly makes me happy. Due to contractual obligations with NJPW, I will be making final appearances once I am healed. But for now, thank you all from the Bottom of my heart and I’ll see you all soon.
26-year-old Rush is a former WWE Cruiserweight Champion but was released by the company as part of the companies mass cuts in April 2020. He did contemplate quitting the business previously to focus on music and went as far as to wrestle a retirement match against Joey Janela. However, he would return a few months later. Since then, he has competed for MLW, New Japan, and even wrestled as a Spider-Man-inspired character called Aracno at AAA TripleMania XXVIII. Additionally, he appeared on MTV reality show The Challenge but quit the show citing mental health reasons.
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