Backstage News on WWE’s Original Plans For Lio Rush, Crown Jewel

The original plans for Lio Rush on WWE 205 Live was for him to continue the act he had done with Babatunde Aiyegbusi in WWE NXT.
The idea was for Rush to be the lead heel on the cruiserweight brand and have him constantly hiding behind the 6 foot 11 inch Aiyegbusi, according to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Rush and Aiyegbusi experimented with the gimmick at various NXT Live Events.
Rush ended up making his main roster debut in June of this year on 205 Live but he didn’t get a significant run as he was called up to RAW in September to be the manager for Bobby Lashley, leading to Lashley’s heel turn. Aiyegbusi remains in developmental but it looks like they don’t have much for him these days. Aiyegbusi appeared on the main roster back in April of this year at The Greatest Royal Rumble Event in Saudi Arabia, entering The GRR Match at #37 before being eliminated by Braun Strowman.

Below are some photos of Rush & Aiyegbusi together on the yellow brand before Rush’s call-up:

#NXTFSLive Lio Rush w/ Babatunde vs. Chico Adams – Dark Match pic.twitter.com/BhBbtFEB9L
— JJ Williams (@JJWilliamsWON) April 11, 2018

Time for Babatunde and Lio Rush. #NXTVenice pic.twitter.com/RCpkkSctEy
— Richard Phillips (@TBRaysRichard) May 20, 2018

Lio Rush is here, riding on the shoulders of Babatunde. #NXTVenice pic.twitter.com/yifgTh9ocZ
— Greg Parks (@gregmparks) April 14, 2018

There is no word yet on why Lio Rush didn’t do his usual mic work at WWE Crown Jewel on Friday but speculation is that it had something to do with creative changes for the local crowd in Saudi Arabia. Rush spoke some words for Bobby Lashley as they walked to the ring for the first-round World Cup Tournament loss to WWE Intercontinental & RAW Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins, but Rush did not continuously rant on the mic during the match as he has done on RAW for several weeks now.