The debut of Lio Rush on The Challenge Season 36 will bring the first-ever competitor from the world of professional wrestling to join the series.
He may have asked for some tips from another professional wrestler who got his start the other way around, as Mike “The Miz” Mizanin started on MTV’s Real World and The Challenge before ever stepping foot in the WWE.
Lio is no longer with the WWE but is still working in professional wrestling right now. As he does, viewers will be watching him compete on Double Agents as a rookie. Here’s what to know about the professional wrestler, musical artist, and upcoming movie star.
Lio Rush’s pro wrestling career includes WWE, NJPW
While his full name is Lionel Gerard Green, he’s better known as Lio Rush. He celebrated his 26th birthday on November 11 and is from Latham, Maryland. He’s currently married to Sarah Lai Wah and they have two children together. They announced a third child was on the way in 2020.
As far as pro wrestling goes, he’s been active in the business since 2014. That’s when he started on the independent circuit to work his way up to bigger wrestling organizations. He’s only 5-foot-6 and 160 lbs, but capable of picking up guys heavier than himself and doing all sorts of acrobatic moves.
His early wrestling jobs included Combat Zone Wrestling and Ring of Honor before he joined WWE’s NXT in 2017. NXT was like a minor league or developmental organization for new wrestlers to train and transition to WWE.
He eventually made it onto the main roster as he was part of an alliance with WWE superstar Bobby Lashley, who he helped to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship. He stopped appearing with Lashley and wrestling for the WWE as of April 2019, taking a break.
He’d return to NXT in September. Rush won a championship there, as he became the NXT Cruiserweight Champion in October 2019 and held onto the belt for a 63-day reign.
As of mid-April 2020, the WWE released Rush from his contract citing budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that opened the door for him to compete on The Challenge: Double Agents.
In early November 2020, it was revealed that Lio would wrestle at a New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) event which features an eight-man tournament. Rush will take on El Phantasmo in the first round. An official promo video was released to hype up Lio ahead of the event.
Lio is also a recording artist
He’s not just talented as a wrestling star, but also as a recording artist. Lio released an EP called 11:11 in 2019, and then the albums Ever After and The Final Match in 2020. All of these are available for digital download or streaming on iTunes and other platforms.
One of his recent singles is called Do You Remember? which Lio shared in an Instagram video clip (below).
View this post on Instagram
Lio recently released his own wrestling theme music called Feel the Pain ahead of his participation in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling event.
This gives Lio something in common with fellow Double Agents rookie Mechie Harris, who also records his own music.
Lio’s in a video game and could be a movie star
Lio Rush officially debuted in a video game as part of downloadable bonus content for the WWE 2K19 game, originally released in 2018.
In addition, he was reportedly set to have a part in the movie, Legends of the White Dragon, which is inspired by the Power Rangers series. It will also feature some of the original members of the series, per Wrestling Inc.
“It is actually a Power Rangers movie, so it’s kung fu times 100. They’re still casting. I’m just part of the cast. We haven’t gotten who’s going to be who yet, but I will be in the movie. There’s a chance [I could be a Power Ranger],” Lio said in an interview.
Where to find Lio on social media
Lio has an official Instagram page where he shares plenty of videos and photos related to his wrestling career, music, personal life, and, more recently, MTV’s The Challenge.
He shared the clip below in which some of The Challenge veterans gave their first impressions of Lio Rush.
View this post on Instagram
In addition to Instagram, fans of The Challenge can find Lio Rush on Twitter. He also has a YouTube channel with some of his music and wrestling promotional videos to give more of an idea of what he’s all about.
Despite being just 5-foot-6, one has to think that Lio Rush’s wrestling skills and artistic abilities could make him a great competitor on The Challenge!
The Challenge: Double Agents airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.
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