ROH World Champion Rush has been making waves since breaking into the U.S. wrestling scene in 2018 and has been a major highlight in the company this year. Now, details about his future status with the company have become news due to his contract coming to an end.
A Battle of Dueling Contracts: ROH vs. MLW
Rush began wrestling in the states regularly in late 2018 first for MLW. It was through CMLL’s working agreement with ROH that Rush came in. His younger brother Dragon Lee had already started wrestling for the company in 2016.
Rush impressed quickly and already had a ton of buzz behind him from his New Japan and CMLL work. Like La Sombra—Andrade Almas—it was only a matter of time before he began making regular U.S. appearances.
Both MLW and ROH were in heavy negotiations with Rush with MLW offering the juicier contract between the two. According to Dave Meltzer, the ROH World Champion was supposed to have a match at MLW’s New York taping back in early April but he was already scooped up. MLW owner Court Bauer summed it up to politics coming into play with CMLL and ROH.
That contract was said to have been $200,000 a year with MLW handling Rush and his family’s American citizenship and settling in the U.S. As expected, the company wanted to build Rush as one of its top stars and likely its World Champion.
MLW would’ve also gotten Rush on with BeIN Sports for soccer commentary. This would’ve only boosted him as a name with MLW targeting the Hispanic market.
As for ROH’s deal, it was $150,000 for one year, a likely ROH World title push, and whatever indy dates he could get. There had to be other incentives in the deal to make it a hard pick. I mean, stuff like merch is expected. Or it could’ve just been a decision made purely on the relationship between CMLL and ROH.
Rush is a company guy and while the decision was ultimately his, he opted not to complicate things between ROH and CMLL—two parts of the ROH/CMLL/New Japan trifecta.
Out of CMLL
The later part of this year has been an interesting one for lucha libre. You have Rush and Dragon Lee, big names for CMLL, being released for accepting outside dates that CMLL hadn’t cleared. For Dragon Lee it was PWG’s BOLA 2019 tournament, one he appeared in the year prior. Meanwhile, Rush accepted dates for The CRASH and Kaoz promotions in Mexico.
I guess CMLL said, “La Bestia’s boys are out of control!” Even though Dragon Lee has done little to nothing to rock the boat his whole time in CMLL. Plus, Rush took the lesser of two deals to not complicate anything between CMLL and ROH. Their father La Bestia left CMLL in support of his sons.
The Future for Rush
Now, Rush holds the ROH World title and the company has to navigate this situation. If it’s just business, Ring of Honor can keep both brothers and keep working with CMLL. New Japan is good, they’re not particularly involved in this at all. Dragon Lee is a part of the junior heavyweight division but that’s all good.
If ROH is to make a move and wash their hands of issue, it would likely be between now and Final Battle. Rush is scheduled to defend his ROH World title against PCO on December 13. A bit after that, his contract is up with the company.
It’s unknown if MLW would extend another deal to him. The contract situation a year prior left a bad taste in the company’s mouth about dealing with CMLL wrestlers. However, Rush is no longer with the company so maybe things will pan out there.
I don’t see him going to Impact although of all the promotions with national TV, the most “that was unexpected” promotion is Impact Wrestling. You’ll miss out on Impact for a few weeks, tune in, and there are new folks in the mix of the main event.
AEW seems extremely likely if they offer something juicier than MLW was offering. WWE bringing Rush into NXT is a strong possibility. That is if you don’t factor in that close friend Andrade Almas told Rush and Dragon Lee to really think about WWE and be weary. This was when Almas wasn’t pleased with being on the main roster.
We’ll see where Rush goes from here.