Mark Henry Joins AEW; Lio Rush Debuts in Casino Battle Royale
AEW Double or Nothing was a success because it relied on foundational aspects of pro wrestling to deliver a show that took AEW back to its roots, in no way more obvious than with the return of the AEW live crowd. But the company still had a few surprises to unveil last night, the most shocking of which was the announcement that WWE Hall-of-Famer Mark Henry has signed with AEW and will act as both a coach and as a commentator for AEW Rampage, the new show launching on TNT in August.
Henry arrived during some downtime before the main event. Henry was introduced by Tony Schiavone, shocking the crowd and viewers, as Henry seemed like he would probably be a WWE lifer. Then again, WWE isn't known for valuing its talent, especially as they get older, so perhaps its no surprise Henry wanted to go somewhere where he would be used.
Also debuting in AEW last night, though apparently on a "handshake deal," Lio Rush was the Joker in the Casino Battle Royale. Rush didn't win the match, but he did show off his ridiculous speed and athleticism.
The question is, have these two made up since feuding in 2020 over Henry's comments about Rush's rumored backstage behavior prior to his release from WWE, which Rush blamed on racial insensitivity, saying he was unwilling to participate in backstage hazing that required him to more-or-less act as a servant for established wrestlers. At the time, Rush lashed out at Henry for commenting on rumors Rush was difficult to work with, saying, "People like this need to get called out. It's sickening, it's disappointing and extremely discouraging. I love my fans and I pray that one day in the future the state of this kind of matter progresses. And this is why African American talent on the biggest platform will continue to not have equal opportunity because people like you constantly tear your own people down. A damn shame honestly."
"I have a lot of followers and he released the album, or song, or something, and he wanted to use that to get some attention," Henry responded. "Get some buzz. If he would've called me, I would've done it anyway. We would've just worked it. I would of really talked it up, we would of made world news, but now he said something slanderous. And, you can't question my blackness. Like nobody can question my blackness, pull my black card. No, not allowed. Nobody. My lawyer went to Harvard. I don't know what kinda lawyers he's dealing with, but I got those Ivy League people around me, and they're pissed! He needs to apologize."
Well, now they'll have the chance to work things out after all, face-to-face.
Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!