Lio Rush

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Lio Rush
Lio Rush August 2018.jpg
Rush in January 2017
Birth nameLionel Gerard Green[1]
Born (1994-11-11) November 11, 1994 (age 25)[2]
Lanham, Maryland, U.S.[3]
ResidenceLanham, Maryland
Spouse(s)
Sarah Lai Wah (m. 2018)
Children2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Lio Rush[3]
Lennon Duffy[3]
LI Green[3]
Billed height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)[4][5][6]
Billed weight160 lb (73 kg)[4]
Billed fromDistrict of Columbia
Washington, D.C.[4]
Trained byMCW Training Center
DebutNovember 2014[7]

Lionel Gerard Green (born November 11, 1994) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Lio Rush. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the NXT and 205 Live brands, where he is the current NXT Cruiserweight Champion in his first reign. He is best known for his time as the manager of Bobby Lashley. Before WWE, he was known for his time in Ring of Honor (ROH), where he was the winner of the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament, as well as his time in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), where he was the former CZW World Heavyweight Champion and a former two-time CZW Wired Champion.

Early life[edit]

Green was born a child to two gospel singers. His childhood bedroom sat above his father's recording studio. He remembers wanting to be a professional wrestler since he was five years old. As a teenager and into early adulthood Rush struggled with mental health. During his teen years there was a point it got so bad he had to be hospitalized for a few days.[8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Independent circuit (2014–2017)[edit]

Rush debuted under the ring name "LI Green", but after a negative response to the name from promoters, he changed it to "Lennon Duffy".[3] He learned wrestling during 2014 with MCW Training Center. He debuted at the 2014 Tribute To The Legends and created a tag team named "Sudden Impact" with Patrick Clark, who would go on to work for WWE as Velveteen Dream.[6] On July 18, he won the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup XV, defeating Brandon Scott, Drolix, Eddie Edwards, Matt Cross and Shane Strickland in a six-way elimination match.[9] On October 3, he and his teammate Patrick Clark won the MCW Tag Team Championship, defeating The Hell Cats and The Ecktourage.[10] They lost the title thirteen days later to The Ecktourage.[11] He also competed for Evolve Wrestling where he defeated Fred Yehi on November 6.[12] He lost his match against Ethan Page the following day.[13] Lucha Libre Elite announced Rush as a participant in the Elite World Championship. On Thursday June 23, 2016, Rush defeated David Tita in the first day of the Elite World Championship to make the quarter final. On Saturday June 25, 2016, he was defeated by Michael Elgin. On February 18, 2017, Rush made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at "Only Kings Understand Each Other", where he was defeated by Ricochet. On May 27, 2017, Rush defeated Ken Broadway at House of Glory's "Adrenaline" to capture the HOG Crown Jewel Championship, ending Broadway's almost year long reign. Rush lost the title to HOG World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Gangone in a title for title match at House of Glory's "Never Trust a Snake" on July 1.

Combat Zone Wrestling (2014–2017)[edit]

Green, as Lennon Duffy, made his debut for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) on December 31, 2014, defeating Slugger Clark.[14] He and Clark began to compete together as known as Sudden Impact. On September 12, he changed his name to "Lio Rush" and started a feud with Joey Janela, where he faced him, Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley at Down With the Sickness 2015, match won by Janela.[15] At Night of Infamy, on November 21, he wrestled Joey Janela for the CZW Wired Championship on a losing effort.[16] On December 12, during Cage of Death XVII, he won the CZW Wired TV Championship, defeating Janela for the title.[17] He made his first successful defense against Kevin Bennett on January 16.[18] He lost his title against Joey Janela on February 13 at CZW Seventeen.[19] On March 26, 2016, at CZW Proving Ground, Rush defeated Joey Janela, Dave Crist and David Starr to win the CZW Wired Championship. Rush lost the Wired title back to Janela in a Ladder Match at Down with The Sickness on September 10, 2016, After his feud with Janela was over he stepped out of the Wired Championship picture and started a feud with Sami Callihan becoming a heel in the process for the first time in his career and adopted a darker gimmick.[20]

On May 13, 2017, Rush beat Joe Gacy for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to Davey Richards at a non-CZW(DEFY Wrestling) show, ending his reign at only 17 days. On July 8, Rush announced that he would be making his final CZW appearance on August 5.[21] Rush defeated Janela at CZW Once in a Lifetime for his last match in CZW and against Janela.[22]

Ring of Honor (2015–2017)[edit]

Six months after his professional wrestling debut, Rush took part in a Ring of Honor (ROH) training camp. He, however, was not signed due to his limited experience.[3] After getting more experience wrestling on the independent circuit, Rush took part in another training camp and, now with the backing of Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, Adam Cole, Jay Lethal and Kyle O'Reilly, was signed as a participant in the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament.[3] Rush made his debut in ROH on December 19, 2015, beating Vinny Marseglia in a dark match.[23] Rush went on to compete in the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament, defeating Jason Kincaid on January 9,[24][25] going on to defeat Brian Fury on February 6 to win the tournament.[26] On March 31, ROH announced that Rush had signed a contract with the promotion.[27] On Supercard of Honor X Night 1 at April 1, 2016, Rush unsuccessfully challenged Jay Lethal for ROH World Championship. At Survival of the Fittest night one Rush defeated Misterioso Jr., Hangman Page and Sho in a Four corner survival match to be in the Survival of the Fittest tournament final. The Next night Rush was in the Survival of the Fittest match where he was the last to before he was eliminated by Bobby Fish. At Final Battle Rush replaced ACH in the Six-man tag team tournament final to determine the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions where he teamed with Kushida and Jay White and was defeated by The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O'Ryan and Vinny Marseglia). In March 2017, it was reported that Rush had given his notice to ROH.[28]

WWE[edit]

NXT and 205 Live (2017–2018)[edit]

On July 9, 2017, it was reported that Rush had been offered a NXT contract and that his signing was imminent.[21] WWE confirmed the signing on August[29][30] Rush made his first televised appearance on the October 4 episode of NXT, where he was attacked by Velveteen Dream (his former tag team partner Patrick Clark). On the October 11 episode of NXT, Rush was defeated by Dream in a match.[31] On October 29, Rush joked on Twitter about Emma following her release from WWE; he received criticism from WWE wrestlers and issued an apology.[32] The tweet resulted in Rush being pulled from all NXT events until November 30.[33][34] He would make one additional appearance on NXT television, losing a squash match to Lars Sullivan. He was then off television again until April 2018.[35]

In June 2018, Rush was moved to WWE's main roster as part of the cruiserweight division, appearing on 205 Live.[36] Upon his debut, he went on a winning streak, defeating Noam Dar, Akira Tozawa and three jobbers. He suffered his first loss in a 5-way number one contendership match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, that was won by Tony Nese. He suffered his first pinfall loss to Cedric Alexander a few weeks later.[37]

Alliance with Bobby Lashley and hiatus (2018–2019)[edit]

On the September 17 episode of Raw, Rush became the hype man and manager of Bobby Lashley[38] and was responsible for turning Lashley heel when he encouraged him to attack Kevin Owens multiple times after their match on October 8.[39][unreliable source?] Rush then would later help Bobby Lashley capture his first Intercontinental Championship in a triple threat match against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, when Rush distraced Rollins, allowing Lashley to spear Ambrose and pin him for the title.

Following the Royal Rumble, Rush and Lashley began feuding with Finn Bálor. His last match on 205 Live would be a number one contendership fatal four way on February 5, 2019, that was won by Akira Tozowa.[37] Lashley's feud with Balor lead to a 2-on-1 handicap match at Elimination Chamber for Lashley's title, where Rush was ultimately pinned by Bálor, resulting in Lashley losing the Intercontinental Championship. After the match Lashley attacked Rush, leaving him laying in the ring.[40] The next day, Rush and Lashley were defeated by Finn Balor and the debuting Ricochet. The next week, Rush unsuccessfully challenged Balor for the Intercontinental Championship. However, on the March 11 episode of Raw, Rush helped Lashley to regain the Intercontinental Championship from Balor. The following week, Braun Strowman and Balor defeated Lashley and Rush in a tag team match. Near the end of the match, Lashley fled the ring, leaving Rush to be pinned by Strowman.[41] Following that, he did not wrestle for the company and stopped appearing alongside Lashley after WrestleMania 35 in April.[42][43] Following the April 15 Raw, Rush started an imposed sabbatical away from WWE.[8]

Amidst reports in May that Rush has backstage "heat" over issues regarding his attitude, including reports that he was disrespecting veterans, on May 15, Rush removed all mentions of WWE on his social media and replaced it with an email for booking inquiries.[44] The problem has been chalked up to be a possible misunderstanding, due to Rush not adhering by the unwritten rules of the professional wrestling industry.[8] In June, he started posting vignettes on Twitter seemingly promoting a return, while PWInsider reported that he was headed back to NXT.[45] However, as of August there was no timetable for his return to the ring.[8]

NXT Cruiserweight Champion (2019–present)[edit]

Rush made his return to NXT on the September 18 episode as a babyface and defeated Oney Lorcan to become the No. 1 Contender for Drew Gulak's Cruiserweight Championship.[46] Rush successfully captured the title (which was now renamed to NXT Cruiserweight Championship) on October 9 episode of NXT.[47]

Professional wrestling style and persona[edit]

Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated praised Rush's ring work saying, he was "highly talented in the ring" and delivered "a combination of athleticism and flexibility few others possess." During his early days in WWE, Rush became a heel manager for Bobby Lashley, a role he was praised for due to his promos.[8]

Other media[edit]

Rush made his video game debut as part of the Rising Stars Pack of downloadable content created for WWE 2K19.[48]

In August 2019, Rush released his debut single as rapper, a song titled "Scenic Lullaby". According to Rush, the song is a "first-person account of [his] darkest days and the pain he continues to carry."[8]

Personal life[edit]

As of May 2017, Green resided in Lanham, Maryland, where he wrestled in high school before becoming a professional wrestler.[49] He has two sons, that as of August 2019 were six and one years old.[8] He married Sarah Wah on December 21, 2018.[50][better source needed] Green stated that the tattoo he has on his stomach, is a poem that was written by his mother for his deceased brother, Lorenzo, who died at an extremely young age. Green also stated that he did not know about his brother until his mother told him about him on his first day of high school.[51]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WWE signs Lio Rush". WWE. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Lio Rush". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Van Der Griend, Blaine (May 20, 2016). "Lio Rush out to make a name for himself". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Lio Rush". WWE.
  5. ^ Farrell, Sean (2016-02-09). "Lanham's Lio Rush to compete for Ring of Honor contract". thesentinel.com. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "MCW Lio Rush profile". Maryland Championship Wrestling. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Shepard, Brad (July 28, 2015). "Shamrock Cup winner Lio Rush talks about his career influences, Tough Enough's Patrick and more". PW Insider. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g https://www.si.com/wrestling/2019/08/05/wwe-lio-rush-music-mental-health
  9. ^ "Lio Rush shines at MCW Shamrock Cup 15". Online World of Wrestling. July 20, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "MCW Tribute To The Legends". Cagematch. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  11. ^ "MCW Autumn Armageddon Tour 2015 – Tag 2". Cagematch. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  12. ^ "Csonka's Evolve 51 iPPV Review 11.06.15". 411 Mania. November 7, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Csonka's Evolve 52 iPPV Review 11.07.15". 411 Mania. November 7, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  14. ^ "CZW Dojo Wars #17". Cagematch. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  15. ^ "CZW 09/12/15 Down With the Sickness 2015 iPPV Results". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. September 12, 2015. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  16. ^ "CZW 11/21/15 Night of Infamy & WSU Cherry T Results". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. November 21, 2015. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "CZW 12/12/15 Cage of Death XVII iPPV Results". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. December 12, 2015. Archived from the original on December 15, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  18. ^ "Smash/CZW Smash Vs. CZW". Cagematch. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  19. ^ "CZW 02/13/16 Seventeen iPPV Results". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. February 13, 2016. Archived from the original on February 19, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "CZW 03/26/16 Proving Grounds 2016 Results". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. March 27, 2016. Archived from the original on March 28, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "New WWE signing imminent". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "Once In A Lifetime". 3 April 2017.
  23. ^ "ROH on SBG #224". Cagematch. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "LIO RUSH IS NEXT TPT COMPETITOR!". Ring of Honor. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "ROH 01/09/16 Winter Warriors TV Tapings Results *SPOILERS*". Pro Wrestling Ponderings. January 9, 2016. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "3/9 ROH TV Report – Top Prospect Finals, Daniels vs. Dalton Castle, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. March 9, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  27. ^ "ROH signs top prospect Lio Rush before ROH Title shot". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  28. ^ "Evolve news and notes". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  29. ^ "WWE officially confirms Lio Rush signing". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  30. ^ Clapp, John. "WWE signs Lio Rush". WWE. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  31. ^ Currier, Joseph (September 14, 2017). "Lio Rush makes his debut at NXT TV tapings". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  32. ^ Currier, Joseph (October 29, 2017). "Lio Rush apologizes for tweet about WWE releasing Emma". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  33. ^ Johnson, Mike (November 27, 2017). "WWE running United Center in Chicago, holiday wishlist and more WWE news". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  34. ^ Williams, JJ (December 1, 2017). "NXT Lakeland, FL, live results: Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  35. ^ "Matches « Lio Rush « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  36. ^ "Lio Rush Victorious In His 205 Live Debut | Fightful Wrestling". www.fightful.com. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  37. ^ a b "Matches « Lio Rush « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  38. ^ "UNDERTAKER RETURNING TO RAW NEXT WEEK, NEW ROLE FOR LIO RUSH".
  39. ^ Messano, Tommy (8 October 2018). "Bobby Lashley finally turns heel". Cageside Seats.
  40. ^ "Live WWE Elimination Chamber results and analysis". February 17, 2019.
  41. ^ "Braun Strowman teams with Finn Bálor and declares for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". WWE.
  42. ^ "Matches « Lio Rush « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  43. ^ Nissim, Mayer (8 April 2019). "WrestleMania 35: Review, results and video highlights". Digital Spy.
  44. ^ "411MANIA". Lio Rush Removes WWE References, Adds Booking Information to Social Media Accounts.
  45. ^ "411MANIA". WWE News: New Lio Rush Vignette Appears to Build to NXT Return, Regal Remembers Dusty, The Revival, More.
  46. ^ Clapp, John. "Lio Rush def. Oney Lorcan to become the top contender to Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak". WWE.com. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  47. ^ @WWE (October 9, 2019). "The clock just struck GOLD. @itsLioRush is your NEWWWWWW NXT #CruiserweightChampion! #WWENXT #NXTCruiserweightTitle" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  48. ^ Cole, Caitlin (2018-12-19). "Complete WWE 2K19 Roster". Rumble Ramble. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  49. ^ "Lio Rush Celebrates CZW Title Win With Adorable Phone Call To His Son (VIDEO)". Pro Wrestling Sheet. May 15, 2017. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  50. ^ "PHOTOS: Lio Rush Gets Married In Las Vegas, Meets Former WWE Superstar In Traffic". 24Wrestling. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  51. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ_XG79eSto
  52. ^ "5/13 CZW 'Sacrifices' results from Voorhees, NJ: new CZW champions crowned". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  53. ^ "CZW Wired Television Championship history".
  54. ^ "CZW Wired Champion". Archived from the original on 2010-12-22.
  55. ^ "MCW Tag Team Championship history".
  56. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2017". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  57. ^ "Full Tournament Results From WrestleMania 34 Axxess Day 3 - WrestlingInc.com".

External links[edit]