Why did Lio Rush quit The Challenge? Double Agents rookie explains decision to leave early

the challenge double agents rookie lio rush talks about traumatic experience in episode 6
The Challenge: Double Agents rookie Lio Rush needed to leave the show early. Pic credit: MTV

Early in the sixth episode of The Challenge: Double Agents, another rookie competitor left the game in a surprising fashion.

It wasn’t due to an elimination event or being medically disqualified, as Lio Green decided to leave the show for the sake of his own mental health.

He recently shared more details about why he left Double Agents early, with a statement online to share some more of his journey and how the experience helped him grow.

Lio Rush leaves Double Agents during Episode 6

Last week, fierce rookie Natalie Anderson had to leave The Challenge due to an unexpected personal matter. One of the other promising new rookie competitors on Double Agents season was former WWE superstar Lio Rush, who was full of heart and competitive drive.

An early moment in the season involved him confronting Chris “CT” Tamburello during the house deliberation meeting, saying he’s flipped guys as big or bigger than him in the wrestling ring.

He and his partner Gabby Allen went through five episodes without being put into elimination or volunteering to go for their Gold Skulls. During the daily mission on top of a speeding truck, Lio grappled with Challenge veteran Darrell Taylor in a bit of wrestling.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lio Rush (@thelionelgreen)

However, early in Double Agents Episode 6, he was seen having a conversation with Nany Gonzalez as she asked him how being on The Challenge has been for him.

“It’s definitely different. There’s a couple of little triggers, like, for me. Like when I was a teenager, I stayed in a group home for a little bit. So like, waking up with strangers, is similar to here, and sometimes that kinda like freaks me out,” Lio shared early during Episode 6.

During his confessional interview, he shared that “simply just waking up” would trigger those past emotions for him. He also revealed that even though his experience in the group home wasn’t for that long, it was “traumatizing.” Lio shared with Nany that sometimes looking out the windows and seeing the mountains reminds him he wants to be home.

Soon after his talk with Nany and the confessional was shown, the scene shifted to an emotional video call Lio had with his wife back home earlier that day. After that, footage showed Lio packing up his items and then sharing a moment with teammate Gabby Allen. In tears, she revealed he was a great, supportive partner for her and gave him hugs goodbye.

At the daily mission, host TJ Lavin later shared with the cast that he fully supported Lio’s decision to leave because the “No. 1 priority” for the competitors isn’t competing or winning, but their health.

Lio shares statement online

Following last night’s surprising departure, Lio Rush took to his social media, including Instagram, to share a post about his decision to leave. He included a photo of himself standing with his wife Sarah, who is expecting. Lio currently has two kids.

As far as his story, he mentions being let go by WWE in April of 2020 as the pandemic was starting and had “no real hope of what was next.” However, he received the opportunity to appear on MTV’s The Challenge just weeks later, with a $1 million prize up for grabs.

Lio shares that he was excited to embark on that journey as he’d always wanted to be a reality TV star and this would give a fresh start for him and his family. However, as he was part of The Challenge, he started to realize how difficult it was for him.

He said being in The Challenge house made him more vulnerable than he expected. He shared that it helped him grow, but also made him realize he had to do what was best for his mental health.

“I was made to be the villain a few years ago and it was heartbreaking. I want to stand before you today as a hero. A hero to anyone out there that suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD or any mental illness. A hero to the boys and girls who look like me,” Lio said of his appearance and departure to take care of his mental health.

“I came into the house knowing that it’ll be a challenge for me mentally on top of the challenge itself. To my @challengemtv fans and to all of the dope people in the house. Thank you for helping me grow,” he shared.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lio Rush (@thelionelgreen)

For those wondering, Lio Rush doesn’t seem to have officially retired from MTV’s The Challenge. He says he promises to return in the future but has more important life matters at the moment.

“I promise I will be back, but for now it’s time for me to get ready for my little one to come into this world and be here for my beautiful wife during our pregnancy,” Lio shared in his IG post.

The Challenge: Double Agents airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.

Episodes of The Challenge are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

The link above is an affiliate link. This means that for any qualifying purchase you make, we may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments