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William Regal details why WWE wouldn’t sign Rush


When WWE made the decision to release William Regal from his contract due to “budget cuts,” it felt like a mistake.

While he hadn’t been an in-ring performer in, oh, almost a decade, being “retired” by his former pupal, Claudio “Don’t-call-him-Cesaro” Castagnoli, Regal was a fixture of NXT as an in-universe authority figure and a behind the scenes talent evaluator who had a hand in bringing more than a few of your favorite performers into the company and helped to hone the crafts of more than a few more.

Free to go wherever he darn well pleased, Regal mosied on over to AEW by the request of Tony Khan and promptly helped to re-shape some of the promotion’s top guys in his image, unifying Jon Moxley and Brian Danielson into a killer one-two combo, elevating Wheeler Yuta from a member of the Best Friends to a full-on Pure Champion – literally – and even bringing his final in-ring foe, Castagnoli, into the fray as the team’s newest member. Regal has been money on the commentary microphone, money as a manager, and money in the ring, too, yelling out Blood and Guts in a way that would make even the most brand-loyal long-time NXT fan smile.

Surely Regal is a man with story after story after story to tell about what he saw in specific stars and why certain performers fell through the cracks in his scouting process, including a very interesting nugget about the opponent of Interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, Rush , that he dropped on the wrestling world while on commentary during the opening match of Fight for the Fallen.

Rush was reportedly rejected by the WWE brass.

Rush has been a professional wrestler for 14 years. He’s wrestled in well over 1,400 matches, according to Cagematch, including bouts against many of the best performers in the world today, and at 33, he’s surely watched his contract come up more than a few times on his globe-trotting trek around the independent wrestlingworld. He’s signed contracts with CMLL, Ring of Honor, and now a per-appearance deal with AEW and has performed in many of the world’s other top promotions, too, from stints in NJPW to Lucha Libre AAA and seemingly every other indie promotion Mexico has to offer.

And yet, the one company that has always eluded Rush has been the WWE.

But why? His fellow of him La Faccion Ungovernable member La Sombra signed with the promotion in 2015 before being repackaged as Andrade, as have other performers he’s wrestled like AJ Styles. Heck, according to Dave Meltzer, there was a time when the WWE was interested in Rush as recently as three years ago but, for one reason or another, they didn’t pull the trigger. Here’s what he had to say on an episode of The Observer as dictated by Wrestletalk.

“There’s been a lot of talk regarding Rush when his contract expires here at the end of the year. The two key points are that Andrade, who was not happy in NXT and WWE for a long time when not being used, is happy now, has a good relationship with Charlotte Flair, is getting a push and making money. So the attitude of being negative to his good friend about coming has changed. WWE has obviously wanted Rush for some time, but the second issue is he’s still under contract to CMLL until early 2021.”

Seriously, what gives? Rush’s contract with Ring of Honor was terminated at the end of last year, and his CMLL contract reportedly expired, too; Was the promotion scared off by his relationship with Andrade? Or maybe they just did not like his age, as he turns 34 in September.

Well, according to William Regal’s commentary during the opening title match on AEW’s Fight for the Fallenthe man who likely scouted the Toro Blanco let it slip that his former company felt that Rush was “too violent” for WWE’s taste and thus was consistently passed over in favor of more, um, appropriate performers who will do things the WWE way, instead of the way one learns things as a certified road warrior across every major promotion the world has to offer.

Sidebar: How can anyone watch Rush’s match at Death Before Dishonor with his brother Dragon Lee and not want to sign him to a long-term deal? He’s an incredible performer who just has it.

Now granted, maybe that was Kayfabe; maybe William Regal walked out to the ring with a piece of paper with that line written on it and simply waited for the right time to pull the trigger. But the man formerly known as King Regal is just too good to script his lines like that. No, that felt like a genuine adlib by a man who has forgotten more about wrestling than most will ever learn, and fans are better off for learning it.

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