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The Lio Rush PR battle has turned up a notch.  According to PWInsider:

Rush's claims are interesting, especially since WWE sources have claimed today that Rush was offered a new, five-year contract that was said to be in the $300 thousand range, but turned it down, instead, according to multiple sources, asking for double that number.

 

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1 hour ago, Phantom Lord said:

I saw this posted from The Observer. 

But you didn't see it posted in this thread the page before? 😉

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Here is the full PWI story (so you don't have to destroy your computer)

Quote

By Mike Johnson on 2019-05-02 13:14:00
WWE Raw star Lio Rush has become one of the most talked about personalities in the business with numerous reports in recent weeks about heat behind the scenes and issues within the company.

Rush, 24, responded to a number of those reports during an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of The Fightful.com website yesterday, an interview that led to WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry decrying Rush's claims on an edition of SiriusXM Radio's Busted Open Radio show that aired this morning.

In the interview with Sapp, Rush responded to our report that he had heat during the November 2018 European tour for not wanting to handle menial tasks assigned to junior members of the tour, including bringing water to veteran talents at the gorilla position following their matches and carrying coolers into hotels in advance of talents having a common, private area to congregate after shows, stating, "It’s not about race and it has never been, but public perception is important to me and when we have fans that travel all over the globe and watch us get off of buses and into hotels, the LOOK of a black kid carrying waters and bags for other wrestlers is just not a good look, especially when I’m trying to portray myself as a superstar as well,"

One WWE talent who was on that tour, however, contacted PWInsider.com this morning to point out that while Rush blew off the responsibilities, The Authors of Pain and Drake Maverick, who were also on their first European tours did not.  The source questioned why those three talents, especially one already as well established as Maverick was in the industry, had zero issue with paying respect, but Rush did, wondering if it was because Rush had brought his wife with him on the tour.  That same source noted that there would be no way a fan would know if Rush brought water backstage to a veteran wrestler and would have been seen carrying coolers alongside other WWE stars who were junior members of the tour.

Mark Henry also took exception to Rush's claims today on the air, commenting that when he started in the company in 1996, assisting Yokozuna was his responsibility and commented, "It's not a race issue. It's an ego issue. Who are you? Nobody is exempt from being respectful to the business and paying homage to the guys drawing money. We all have done it. Steve Austin did it. The Rock did it. You better than The Rock? Get the hell out of here!"

In his Fightful interview, Rush defended himself against allegations that he had brought his wife backstage without permission and claimed there were forces trying to get him fired, commenting, "Me and Finn [Balor] are cool ,and my wife has never been an issue. There is someone who works for WWE who has hated me since the day I’ve worked for ROH and now that they work for WWE they’re leaking false information to get me released. At a certain point, I have to defend myself so that’s what I decided to do. We’re all human, and we’re all grown ass adults. The kind of sh** the flies backstage is ridiculous and I’m surprised more people aren’t speaking up."

Rush did not elaborate on who within WWE he felt was out to get him.    

However, PWInsider.com can confirm there had been multiple complaints made about Rush bringing his wife backstage and allowing her to change clothes in the women's locker room dating back to the November 2018 European tour.  There was also an incident where Rush brought a group backstage at a TV taping last year and when the group were stopped for not all having proper credentials, the group loudly began yelling at a female member of WWE's security team, which did not ingratiate Rush to certain members of the locker room.

During the November 2018 tour, PWInsider.com was told by several sources that another veteran talent (not Finn Balor) attempted to speak to Rush about his issues, only to be rebuffed and told by Rush that he, "works for Vince, not you."  That veteran talent was later approached by WWE management as Rush had complained about him speaking to Rush, when he was not an executive in the company and therefore was "Rush's equal, not his boss."  When word of that made the rounds, it led to Rush being removed from the locker room for a period of time after that tour and that point, his issues became less of a regular occurrence in the locker room.  In recent weeks, that has changed.

The issues surrounding Rush are not new and have been discussed for many months.  On this morning's edition of Busted Open, Mark Henry noted that he approached Rush (and it should be noted we are told Henry has been a huge supporter of Rush behind the scenes) and asked him about the stories Rush was having issues in the company. 

Henry stated, "I pulled him aside the last time I saw him and told him 'I'm hearing stuff in the locker room. What's wrong?' He said nothing's wrong. It was a blatant lie to my face. I let him know that if he has a question, right now is the time to do that."

During the interview with Fightful, Rush also implied that he was not able to make a livable wage working for WWE, which signed him to a developmental deal in 2017, stating, "My issue isn’t with my on-screen role. My issue is the fact that I haven’t been on meet & greets with Bobby, haven’t been getting paid for merchandise for us that has my catchphrases on them. (I) have been sent to live shows and TVs and forced to pay for my own rental for 5 days as well as hotel while not making enough money to do so. Walking around broke in the biggest sports entertainment industry that there is while having two kids and a wife to support."

Rush's claims are interesting, especially since WWE sources have claimed today that Rush was offered a new, five-year contract that was said to be in the $300 thousand range, but turned it down, instead, according to multiple sources, asking for double that number.

Henry bristled at Rush’s claims, noting this morning, “If you can’t pay for a rental car, you can’t pay for a hotel with the money that you’re making every week then you need to change the way you’re spending. You can’t blame that on the office. If you spent everything before you got it, that’s your problem.”

As previously reported on PWInsider.com, there has been talk of sending Rush back to NXT with the idea of building him a new character and presenting him as something more than just a mouthpiece.  We are told that Rush has, at on at least one occasion, instead suggested the company release him so he can “show them” what he could accomplish outside of WWE. 

PWInsider.com has been told Rush has been pulled from the upcoming European tour, but that was a decision that was made a week ago.  He was backstage at Raw the two past two weeks but not used.  His current deal with WWE ends in 2020.

 

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1 hour ago, Rick said:

Playing identity politics is cute.

The Rock Eye Roll GIF

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He's absolutely right.  Having the black kid carry bags and water for a bunch of dudes who look like they're in a biker gang is a terrible look for the company.  Never mind the fact that he is far more talented than most of said wannabe bikers.. 

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6 minutes ago, Rick said:

Do you really want to go there?

I can tell you that you don't.

But let's just drop it because I'm not trying to give Rippa an aneurysm. At least not yet. 

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Posted (edited)

On Vince:  It's the same old story.  He's from the south..  ashamed as much as he ever was.  Lives most his adult life a hop, skip and a jump from my neck of the woods.  Pissed off because a guy who was actually BORN IN NEW YORK cannot pull off a southern accent...   Fucking moron. 

Edited by Niners Fan in CT
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Posted (edited)

Vince is a weirdo with strange hang-ups and the attitudes of an 1880s robber baron, but that aside, I don't really trust the word of Rush, company-man Mark Henry, or whatever nebulous company sources there are. We do know enough about this company, however, to know that it has a dumb culture and a capricious owner. 

At this point, if a wrestler has a lick of talent, some small following to grow upon, and marketing sense, it might just be better for the wrestler to raise their profile outside of the WWE machine and sell their  t-shirts and keep 100% of the profit for themselves. Social media has changed the game because it's not like in the mid-'90s, where if you weren't on USA, TNT, or TBS every week, you were totally forgotten about by most people within a year. Now, the people who watch wrestling are the type of people who will follow you from tiny company to tiny company if you're good enough and if you know how to reach out to your fans out there. 

I can't imagine that dealing with that schedule and that work environment is worth it for people who are good enough and know they're good enough to just bet on themselves. And if you're good enough to make it to WWE from the indies in the first place, you're in that top two percent that probably can make it on their own. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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1 hour ago, Rick said:

So he got that MF bag but demanded two MF bag's? Nothing but respect. 

Bag = payday? 

If so, I agree. 

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I am shocked that "The Silverback," "Sexual Chocolate," etc etc is just fine with hazing, guys demeaning themselves, and dehumanizing behavior in general.  Where is my fainting couch?

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4 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

I am shocked that "The Silverback," "Sexual Chocolate," etc etc is just fine with hazing, guys demeaning themselves, and dehumanizing behavior in general.  Where is my fainting couch?

Just for the record - Henry said he wasn't okay with Silverback

Quote

Mark Henry and Koko B. Ware, two of the most famous black wrestlers in the history of the WWE, joined HuffPost Live on Thursday to discuss the topic. Henry, who still wrestles under the WWE banner, recalled being given the nickname “Silverback” in 2007, in reference to a silverback gorilla.

“A lot of people remember the Silverback thing,” Henry told host Marc Lamont Hill. “Honestly, I could not do it. I told them: ‘I can’t do that. I got two little black kids at home.’”

Now that interview was from 2014 but take that for what it is worth

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I will never understand the people who think that they owe their job their dignity.  I had a boss that was an abusive dick, and he was always picking on this one guy to the point that that dude would break down crying.  I remember one day he really lit into the guy and as they were walking out of his office and I looked at a coworker and said loud enough for my boss to hear me, "If the choices are to come out of that office crying or coming out of that office in handcuffs for beating his ass, I'm choosing the handcuffs."  I never had an issue with him.  If Lio Rush thinks the bullshit is beneath him, it is fucking beneath him.  Point blank.  Period.  He gets to make that choice for himself.  So, if you let your job treat you like shit, and make you do things that insult your dignity, make that choice, but don't push that shit on other people.

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7 minutes ago, supremebve said:

I will never understand the people who think that they owe their job their dignity.  I had a boss that was an abusive dick, and he was always picking on this one guy to the point that that dude would break down crying.  I remember one day he really lit into the guy and as they were walking out of his office and I looked at a coworker and said loud enough for my boss to hear me, "If the choices are to come out of that office crying or coming out of that office in handcuffs for beating his ass, I'm choosing the handcuffs."  I never had an issue with him.  If Lio Rush thinks the bullshit is beneath him, it is fucking beneath him.  Point blank.  Period.  He gets to make that choice for himself.  So, if you let your job treat you like shit, and make you do things that insult your dignity, make that choice, but don't push that shit on other people.

It's an American culture thing, I think. My grandparents, and to an extent my parents, saw a job as a place where you just take the bullshit for a paycheck because that's what you're supposed to do, and gosh, you're lucky to have that job anyway, right?

This mindset is harmful, but it especially doesn't work in a gig economy where many jobs are only contract or are easily disposable. In some cases, that makes workers MORE scared to speak out (see all the scandals with game developers talking about the highly-abusive work cultures in their industry that are popping up every month now). 

For other workers, it's freeing. You don't have to put up with the shit at work because you can always just go get another gig or two to replace it. 

But we do need a culture shift in this country. I'm not even talking about unionization, though of course workers should unionize whenever possible to protect themselves. People in general need to let go this idea that you're supposed to take a certain amount of shit because it's just what you do to keep your job and to advance. This attitude is what causes sexual harassment and assault at work, abusive relationships between supervisors and workers, racial harassment at work, etc. 

I go to work to do a job well and to get paid for it, not to put up with anyone's fuckery. 

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From that interview, all I’ve really gleamed is that Lio Rush doesn’t appear to realise he’s in the wrestling business

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13 minutes ago, supremebve said:

I will never understand the people who think that they owe their job their dignity.  I had a boss that was an abusive dick, and he was always picking on this one guy to the point that that dude would break down crying.  I remember one day he really lit into the guy and as they were walking out of his office and I looked at a coworker and said loud enough for my boss to hear me, "If the choices are to come out of that office crying or coming out of that office in handcuffs for beating his ass, I'm choosing the handcuffs."  I never had an issue with him.  

Did he stop riding the other guy? 

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3 minutes ago, Smelly McUgly said:

It's an American culture thing, I think. My grandparents, and to an extent my parents, saw a job as a place where you just take the bullshit for a paycheck because that's what you're supposed to do, and gosh, you're lucky to have that job anyway, right?

This mindset is harmful, but it especially doesn't work in a gig economy where many jobs are only contract or are easily disposable. In some cases, that makes workers MORE scared to speak out (see all the scandals with game developers talking about the highly-abusive work cultures in their industry that are popping up every month now). 

For other workers, it's freeing. You don't have to put up with the shit at work because you can always just go get another gig or two to replace it. 

But we do need a culture shift in this country. I'm not even talking about unionization, though of course workers should unionize whenever possible to protect themselves. People in general need to let go this idea that you're supposed to take a certain amount of shit because it's just what you do to keep your job and to advance. This attitude is what causes sexual harassment and assault at work, abusive relationships between supervisors and workers, racial harassment at work, etc. 

I go to work to do a job well and to get paid for it, not to put up with anyone's fuckery. 

My entire life I've struggled with the fact that a place who likes to refer to itself as the home of the brave promotes so much cowardice.  Our entire society is based on being scared to lose the little we got.  Fuck that, I don't have enough to be scared to lose it.  I have a strong enough support system that I could lose everything today and be working on getting it back tomorrow.  I've never really felt the fear to protect my ass over my dignity.  My ass will get better, but I'd hate myself if I didn't stand up for my dignity.

 

1 minute ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Did he stop riding the other guy? 

Hell no, but it is up to him to stand up for his own dignity.  He seemed to be OK with that type of behavior from our boss.  Like he would take up for him when we told him he needed to stand up to him.

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9 hours ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Oh my God, no wonder he wants out. All this indecisiveness would drive me crazy. Funny thing is my boss is like this too. The good thing is he works in Orlando closely with one department, and I work in Miami in another department, so I’ve only seen, and talked to him once in the last 4 years. But Luke has to see this old guy who wants to run a wrestling promotion, and a shitty football league at the same time every time he shows up for TV. 

"I'm not in the rasslin' business, pal!"

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3 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Hell no, but it is up to him to stand up for his own dignity.  He seemed to be OK with that type of behavior from our boss.  Like he would take up for him when we told him he needed to stand up to him.

Sad. That's some really beat down perspective. 

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1 minute ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Sad. That's some really beat down perspective. 

It is the same exact mentality that makes someone hear, "I don't think it's a good look for a young black guy to be carrying bags for a bunch of old white guys," and think he should do it anyway.  

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Is that five years at $300k per year, or $300k over the five years ($60k per)?  Because $60k a year, as an independent contractor, that has to pay for their own travel when they travel 100-200 times a year, all hotels, all meals, and whatever the insane health insurance premiums a professional wrestler has to cover, is some fuckin' bullshit right there.

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