Back in early 2019 Lio Rush was on a roll on Monday Night Raw as Bobby Lashley's "hype man" and tag team partner. In January Lashley captured the Intercontinental Championship for the first time in his career, beating both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose on an episode of Raw. A month later Finn Balor challenged both Lashley and Rush, who had been helping him win matches, challenged the pair to a handicap match and escaped with the IC title after pinning Rush. The cruiserweight star was able to goad Balor into a rematch, which Lashley won thanks to interference, but Balor won the title a second time by breaking out his "The Demon" persona in a match at WrestleMania 35.
Lashley and Rush had teased some dissension throughout the program, and after Lashley lost the title a second time Rush stopped accompanying him to the ring (he disappeared from television all together due to reported backstage heat). However in a new interview with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Rush revealed he was going to become Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania 35.
"People are gonna like this, but at the same time, they're not, because I remember a lot of people were saying it. At the time, they were going to have me win the Intercontinental Championship while I was with Bobby and the whole and the whole storyline with Finn [Balor]," Rush said. "They were gonna have me win the title. But I forgot what happened. I forgot what happened and why that wasn't the case. I think the idea came from Elimination Chamber, where it was me and Bobby versus Finn in like a handicap match and I think they were going to do it again at WrestleMania but I was gonna be the one to win the title and it was just gonna throw everybody off. But yeah, for whatever reason, that got scratched."
Rush eventually returned to WWE programming as a member of the NXT roster. In October 2019 he beat Drew Gulak to become Cruiserweight Champion, then dropped the title two months later to Angel Garza.
Rush was one of the 30+ active wrestlers to be released by the company back in mid-April. He admitted elsewhere in the interview that he was on the verge of leaving during his seven-month sabbatical in 2019 before Triple H reached out and asked him to come back.
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