Lio Rush Retires From Professional Wrestling

Less than two weeks removed from debuting with AEW, Lio Rush is stepping away from wrestling.

Lio Rush
AEW

Lio Rush has retired from professional wrestling.

The former WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion broke the news in a lengthy Instagram post, stating that a recent injury has helped put things into perspective for him, particularly when it comes to such things impacting his everyday life.

Rush has since edited his original Instagram comment, but here's what he had to say (h/t the Wrestling Observer):-

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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...

The 26-year-old thanked AEW for wanting to sign him despite getting injured while competing in Double Or Nothing 2021's Casino Battle Royale, which was Lio's debut for the promotion:-

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...

Closing, Rush thanked the fans for their support, said that while it had been "a great ride" he was now focused on doing the things that make him truly happy, and revealed that "contractual obligations" will see him work farewell appearances of NJPW once healed.

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The aftermath of Rush's April 2020 WWE release saw him claim that he "may not ever wrestle again" in a since-deleted tweet. Rush ended up returning to the ring that July, working two surprise appearances for Game Changer Wrestling, before amping up his activity level towards the end of the year.

As well as being signed to New Japan, Rush was an MLW regular until the promotion took a break in May, holding its Middleweight Championship for over 100 days.

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Best of luck to Rush in whatever he does next.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.