At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Finn Balor challenged Bobby Lashley for Intercontinental Championship. It was a Handicap Match, so Lio Rush teamed up with Lashley in the bout. In the end, Finn Balor pinned Rush and won the title. After the match, Bobby Lashley attacked Rush and laid him out in the ring.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, Rush has a poor reputation backstage, or in other words, backstage heat. While it’s unknown whether this was the reason for his booking at Elimination Chamber, it wouldn’t be a surprise if that turned out to be the case.
“I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin,” Johnson said on PWInsider.com’s audio show (h/t Ringside News).
“There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people — including other workers the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
While Rush and Lashley appeared to have split at Elimination Chamber, they worked together last night on Raw. Rush interrupted an in-ring promo by Balor, saying he doesn’t deserve to be Intercontinental Champion. Lashley then attacked Balor from behind, which led to Ricochet emerging for the save. Balor and Ricochet then faced Lashley and Rush in a tag team match, which ended with Ricochet scoring the victory after nailing Rush with the 630 Splash.
The aforementioned is not the first time we’ve heard about Rush upsetting people in WWE. In 2017, he received significant criticism from his peers for making a joke on Twitter about WWE releasing Emma.