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Lio Rush announces his retirement from professional wrestling

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Just over a week after making a surprise appearance at AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view, Lio Rush has announced that the is retiring from professional wrestling. 

Rush (real name Lionel Gerard Green) made the announcement Tuesday night on Twitter and Instagram. 

The 26 year-old Rush thanked New Japan Pro Wrestling, who he is currently signed with.  He also thanked AEW as well. 

Rush debuted in the independent scene under the in-ring name of Ll Green in 2014.  After promoters did not like the name, it was changed to Lennon Duffy.  He would then debut in  Combat Zone Wrestling under the Lennon Duffy name until December 2014, when it was changed to Lio Rush. 

He also made appearances for Ring of Honor between 2015 to 2017.  On July 9, 2017, Rush was offered an WWE contract to appear in NXT.  During the September 17, 2018 episode of Raw, Rush would become the hype manager of Bobby Lashley.  After a short absence from WWE due to reportedly issues with backstage heat, he made his return to NXT on the September 18, 2019 episode.  Rush was released form his WWE contract on April 15, 2020 as part of the budget cuts due to COVID-19. 

Following his release, Rush returned to the independent scene and just recently signed a contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Rush also held the Major League Wrestling Middle Weight Championship and the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship.

You can check out his Twitter post, along with his lengthy Instagram post below:

“I have written and erased this post so many times purely out of not being able to wrap my head around this,” Rush wrote. “The moment I went home in a sling, I kept saying to myself ‘this was like any other time I got a 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.

“(I) Got the news that I’d be taking some time off due to injury. Me thinking it would only affect my wrestling obligations, I still tried to go on about my days as I knew them. I realized just how much this would affect my every day life. For anyone that knows me, you know I work endlessly for me and my family. It became more and more frustrating everyday finding little things 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.”

Rush also revealed he had suffered the injury at Double or Nothing, where he was the Joker entrant in the Casino Battle Royal. He closed his statement by saying he would fulfill his contractual obligations with New Japan before officially retiring and also posted an x-ray of his injury.

“Now here comes the part that has kept me up ever since Double or Nothing,” Rush continued. “Knowing 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 after 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 with two major wrestling organizations simultaneously. This is an unexpected turn down a road that I would have and could have never saw coming.

“But I am 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 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 stop and re-evaluate and ultimately its resulted in making the decision to retire from professional wrestling. Thank you to all 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 I’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.”

A six year pro, Rush made his name on the independent circuit and Ring of Honor before signing with WWE in 2017. He would become best known for managing Bobby Lashley in the fall of 2018 and holding the NXT Cruiserweight Championship in late 2019. Rush would later be among the many WWE releases in April of 2020, reportedly brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rush would return to the independent scene in July, taking on Joey Janela at GCW’s Homecoming event. He would tease retirement, but eventually continue his career, working for GCW, New Japan Strong, MLW and AAA, where he wrestled under a mask as Aracno at Triplemania XXVIII. He would capture the MLW World Middleweight Championship and the AAA World Cruiserweight Championship during this period, though the latter reign went unrecognized by AAA. Rush is also a rapper, having released two albums, Ever After and The Final Match, over the last two years.