“I’m Glad He’s Made a Choice” – AEW CEO Tony Khan Reacts to Lio Rush’s Retirement From Pro Wrestling

Published 06/10/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 28: Tony Khan, son of team owner Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, waits on the field before their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The pro wrestling world is still recovering from the tragic news of AEW superstar Lio Rush. Within days of signing up with the new promotion, Rush announced his untimely retirement because of a life-threatening injury.


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Just days after his debut at Double or Nothing, Rush took to Instagram and announced his retirement. Following the shocking news, AEW president Tony Khan gave his official statement on Twitter.


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Similar to the rest of the world, the news also shocked Khan. But at the same time, Khan understood Rush’s reasons to step back from the squared circle.

“Lio Rush reached out to me today, and he shared that he’d planned to announce his retirement from pro wrestling tonight,” Khan wrote. “While this news was unexpected, I’m glad that he’s made a choice that he’s confident will make him and his family happy. Lio is a great talent, and I enjoyed briefly working with him, and I absolutely wish him the best.” 

Lio Rush, who previously worked in WWE made his debut at Double or Nothing. Apart from AEW, Rush was also scheduled to appear on NJPW, and several other independent promotions soon.

Watch this story: Iconic Moments from the First-Ever AEW Double or Nothing

Why did Lio Rush retire?

As we mentioned earlier, ‘The Man of the Hour’ was a participant in the Double or Nothing Casino Battle Royale. Industry veteran Matt Hardy eliminated him with the help of the Private Party.

Somewhere in the match, Rush sustained a shoulder injury. While he initially brushed it off as “a little bruise or strain,” the reality was much harsher.


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The injury hindered his ability to do normal daily things like putting on a shirt or holding his newborn baby. This eventually led Rush into depression and he reconsidered his priorities.

He thanked AEW and NJPW, especially the latter for wanting to sign him full time despite the injury. Rush finally took the decision after thinking about his family.


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From almost simultaneously signing with two major promotions, Rush came to retire. However, he is grateful for the fans who supported him throughout his journey. In conclusion, Rush revealed he would step inside the ring for NJPW due to “contractual obligations” after he is healed.

As of now, Rush has begun a Stem cell procedure to recover quickly. Hopefully, we may see him back in the industry, even if it is for the non-wrestling roles.


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Angana Roy

1099 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.