Lio Rush has been out of AEW for way longer than he was in the promotion at this point.

Initially debuting at Double or Nothing 2021 as the joker in the Casino Battle Royale, Rush was injured in his initial debut but returned to Tony Khan’s company in November of the same year, where he began to team with Dante Martin, who was without his partner, Darius, who was absent due to injury. Handed a bitcoin millionaire bro sort of gimmick, and tasked with working with Martin largely against Lee Moriarty and Matt Sydal, Rush took part in five total matches over his AEW run, two in Battle Royales, two in tag team contests, and only one singles match, versus Rayo, which lasted a little under three minutes on an episode of AEW Dark. While he hasn’t been a full-time wrestler for much of 2022, as Rush suffered a dislocated shoulder at PWG Battle of Los Angeles versus Buddy Matthews that sent him to the hospital, Rush returned to GCW in October for a series of scrambles and has since gone on to wrestle seven more matches, including a GCW World Championship bout at Hit Em Up versus Nick Gage.

So what’s next for Rush? Only time will tell, but after hinting that he could return to AEW in the past, his recent appearance on the Say Less podcast, dubbed “The Rebirth of Lio Rush,” Rush clouded up those prospects as, after being asked if Khan knew what to do with him in the ring, the “MOTH” gave a very interesting answer, as transcribed by Fightful.

“Of course not,” Rush said. “When I say things, I don’t wanna sound like it was breaking news because I feel like these things are so blatantly obvious. It’s like, yanno, he made it pretty clear to me, verbally, that when he was a fan of me, it was when I was in WWE and I was doing the manager stuff with Bobby [Lashley]. If that’s how he saw me, that’s the only light he sees me in… [then] that’s [probably what] he’s gonna shift me to be in that kind of role. Which I’m not, yanno… I’m so grateful for that time period [in WWE] because it taught me how to talk, it taught me how to present myself and build others up. No, I don’t think that [they] exactly knew what to do with me. That’s always a frustrating thing, but like you said when [I] say stuff it just gets f*cking blown up.”

Already announced for NJPW’s Super Junior Tag League in a Chaos tag team with Yoh, Rush isn’t exactly hurting for in-ring opportunities, but expecting him back in AEW might be a fool’s errand, as Khan probably doesn’t think too kindly of his comments.

Lio Rush said the door wasn’t closed to AEW over the summer.

While Rush may be playing down the prospects of working for AEW now, or at least wanting to work for Khan’s company assuming they want to use him in a managerial role, back in June, his tune was notably different, suggesting that it was only a matter of time before he crossed paths with TK again, as he detailed on the Generation of Wrestling podcast h/t 411 Mania.

“I don’t think anything is ever closed,” Rush said. “Nothing is ever closed, nothing. I feel like I made the best out of the opportunity I was presented while staying true to myself. That’s honestly what is most important to me. That’s what is most important to me. I can’t hop on a plane and go all over the country and not be myself. I can’t live this double personality lifestyle. I don’t have the energy for it. There are things in my life that mean a little more to me, that are closer to the surface than doing something that I don’t feel comfortable with for a paycheck. That’s one bag out of a million. I’m not tripping over it. I do think, one day, it’ll be inevitable for me to cross paths with Tony again. Look what New Japan is doing with AEW right now. Even with my departure, there was no bad blood. The situation was what it was, and we parted ways. I don’t think that door was closed, at least from what I know. I don’t know how they feel on the other end, and I’m not worried how they feel on the other end, I’m doing me. When that time comes, it comes. If it doesn’t come, it’s not meant to be.”

Could the day eventually come where Rush returns to AEW? Sure. Could he even fill a quasi-managerial role, maybe working with someone like Swerve Strickland where they work tag team matches together, and he provides support on the outside while”The Realest” is working for championship gold? Potentially so, but for the time being, it seems like that idea is more hypothetical than forthcoming.