Lio Rush: The Top Prospect’s Rush For CZW Gold


On May 13th, Lio Rush won his first World Championship by pinning Joe Gacy to become the CZW World Heavyweight Champion. A major accomplishment for the 22 year old wrestler out of Maryland with less than 3 years experience as a professional wrestler.

His first match in Combat Zone Wrestling was on September 12, 2015 at Down With The Sickness. In what was supposed to be a 1 on 1 match with Joey Janela scheduled because of the performances the two were having at the CZW Dojo Wars events, until Caleb Konley interrupted the two before the match even started. Shortly after Trevor Lee came out and the match became a four way match. With Janela coming out the victor, Janela and Rush shook hands in the middle of the ring while the combat zone crowd in attendance was showed their appreciation for Rush’s performance. At the next event, Tangled Web 8, Rush was in a dark match. While the event was absent of the new prospect, it had Rush’s future rival Joey Janela defeating Tim Donst to become the CZW Wired Champion.

With the last two CZW events of the 2015 calendar taking place on November 21st and December 12th, Rush and Janela took the slot of the second most important match of these events, the opening match. At Night of Infamy 2015, Janela and Rush had the singles match they were scheduled to have 2 months prior, but this time with the CZW Wired Championship on the line. Janela defeated Rush in the first encounter with a surprise pin. At Cage of Death XVII, Rush returned the favor as Janela had the crossface locked in, Rush countered with a pin. Rush became the CZW Wired Champion exactly 3 months after his first match in CZW and a year after his debut match at CZW Dojo Wars.

On February 13th CZW celebrated it’s 17 year anniversary with CZW Seventeen. Rush vs. Janela III would take place as a 2 out of 3 falls match. Within 10 seconds of the match Rush would pin Janela for a 3 count and was awarded the first fall. Rush couldn’t hold the lead as he tapped to the crossface twice, making Joey Janela a two time Wired Champion.

This second title reign wouldn’t last long as Janela would defend the championship in a four way match against Rush, David Starr and Dave Crist at CZW Proving Grounds. While the refree was distracted by Scarlet and Graves attacking David Starr, Rush lowblowed Janela and got the pin cementing his second CZW Wired title reign. After the match Rush took the mic and said he busted his ass for a year and a half and guys like Joey Janela get over more than he does. The reason he gets over is cause he’s a relatable CZW mark like all the fans. He said he will be at Dallas but for a better booking cause he hates CZW and it’s time for him to go to the big leagues making big money, referring to the match Rush and Janela were scheduled to have at WrestleMania weekend.

Rush’s first title defense would be in August against John Silver. Rush made his way to the ring in a white suit, new attitude and being accompanied by two men referred to as the Dixon Line. To gain extra heat with the fans he told the ring announcer Larry Legend, to introduce him as the million dollar rookie, the 21 year old piece of gold, fighting out of the Land of Honor. John Silver seem to have the upper hand throughout the match until Rush made his way to the back where Silver chased after him and threw him back in the ring. Rush immediately hit the Spanish Fly for the win.

The next title defense would be the end to the feud with Joey Janela and would take place a year after the feud began. At Down With The Sickness 2016 the CZW Wired Championship would be defended in the annual Chri$ Ca$h Memorial Ladder Match. The year before had the four way between Rush, Janela, Caleb Konley and Trevor Lee open the show and had Mike Bailey vs. AR Fox in an amazing ladder match as the main event. The night saw the debut of the “Black heart” Lio Rush as he made his ring entrance to Ciara’s cover of the Rolling Stone’s “Paint It Black.”

The match itself saw both men taking great risks to win the match, including Janela leaping from the top of the Flyers Skate Zone onto Rush who was laid across two ladders. When it seemed like Rush had the match won, Janela pushed over the ladder, sending Rush through a table that was set up on the outside floor. Janela then became 3 time champion.

Following the loss, Rush wouldn’t appear in the Combat Zone until December’s Cage of Death 18, where he defeated CZW veteran Sami Callihan. On April 8, 2017, Rush would receive a CZW World Heavyweight Championship match against champion Joe Gacy. Mid-match Gacy accidentally hit the referee with a springboard cutter intended for Rush. A second refree would come out and the match would continue as Rush pinned the champion and became new CZW World Heavyweight Champion. The celebration would be short lived as the original referee would reverse the decision and restart the match. Gacy would get the quick roll up for the win. Rush would get revenge on the refree later in the night by giving him a pedigree and then challenging Gacy to a CZW Rules Match.

At CZW Sacrifices Rush would defeat the CZW Champion Gacy becoming the 4th wrestler to become both CZW Wired and CZW World Heavyweight Champion, alongside Drew Gulak, Devon Moore and Joe Gacy. Unfortunately this title reign was short lived at 13 days. In his first title defense he would lose the championship to Davey Richards outside of a Combat Zone ring, at a Defy Wrestling event.

Lio Rush is set for a rematch for the championship but in a 4 way match, as Davey Richards is set to defend the CZW World Heavyweight Championship against Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and Shane Strickland. The title defense takes place on July 8th at CZW EVILution where the Man of the Hour has the chance to become two time CZW World Heavyweight Champion.

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