Joey Ryan recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Kevin Kellam while promoting this week’s MLW TV tapings at the Melrose Ballroom in New York. You can read a few transcribed highlights and listen to the interview below:
Joey on facing Richard Holliday for MLW at this week’s taping:
I’ve had a go with Richard Holliday one time in the past, so we’ll see how this one goes. He’s awesome, he’s great, and I’m looking forward to the competition. The whole show is going to be good because MLW always delivers and [Melrose Ballroom] is a really fun venue; it’s a fan-friendly venue.
Richard Holliday is very athletic; he’s strong, he’s in great shape. Not that I don’t wrestle guys like that very often, but he’s definitely—no pun intended—a little bit cockier and thinks being new to the scene he can handle an ‘old timer’ like me. Sometimes you just have to put those kids in their place.
Joey on how his Penis Plex and his in-ring proposal became much bigger than originally anticipated:
You can’t really plan that stuff, I mean, you can have ideas, but you don’t really know how they’re going to play out until you do them. The original dick suplex—or penis suplex, I don’t know what language is appropriate here—the original was in Japan and it was in a six-man tag and we did it towards the beginning. It was a spot with me and Danshoku Dino, and really didn’t think much of it, other than it could be kind of a funny counter to what he does. To his credit, it was [Dino’s] idea, and I always give him credit for it, but when the 27-second clip went online it took off. ESPN had it, The Soup had it, MTV had it, Tosh.O had it; it started really going viral and it was like ‘oh, I have to strike on this while it’s hot and capitalize on it.’
Initially I thought I’d get a good 2-3 month run on it, but it just grew and the people wanted to see it live, and through [that] I developed a whole character around it. It’s now my ’Stone Cold Stunner’ where I’m going to go for it the entire time and tease it and take it away and finally pay it off. I built my matches the same way that any other wrestler builds their matches where they’re actively trying to go for their finish. I just implemented a whole character around where my strength is my penis, which caught on; people dig it, people like it.
What works in my favor too is that it’s very unique to me. Obviously people have done penis spots before in wrestling, but what’s really hard—if a high-flyer does a cool move, it’s a cool move, but it’s a matter of time before someone else does it—the notoriety spreads through multiple people. Petey Williams will always be known as creating the Canadian Destroyer, but it’s now such commonplace in wrestling that it’s lost it’s notoriety for being unique. That lends itself to me with marketing; I have this character that not very many people can or even will try to copy.
The proposal, I just wanted to do something to surprise my now wife [Laura James]. I thought the most unexpected time was during the match. It wasn’t after the match, it wasn’t before the match, it was during the match, and I only had the promoter, the referee and the ring announcer—so he could pass me the microphone—were the only three in on it with me. Obviously I had a friend at ringside recording it, that way we could have the memory for our families. She’s from England, her family’s in England, so the easiest way for me to get them the footage was just to post it on YouTube. That was more of a planned moment than the penis suplex, but I didn’t know that it was going to make the rounds as much as it did. When it happened, I just put it on YouTube so I could show her family in England.
Joey Ryan talks about being seen by fans as a guy who doesn’t need WWE or a maverick in wrestling:
I’ve mentioned this before, and in just about every business in the world, the dream or goal is to be your own boss, to set your own schedule and be successful on your own terms. In wrestling, sometimes people get lost in the [idea of] ‘oh you have to be signed to WWE to be a success.’ To me, right now, that might be a step backwards.
Right now, I’m making a good living and doing it as my own boss. I get it—for the first 12 or 13 years I was a wrestler I was trying to get into WWE—but when I figured out I could do this on my own and be my own boss, I haven’t looked back. I’ve had more success than ever. It’s like a weird gray area, like people expect WWE to be the pinnacle of success, but there’s a lot of guys out there making a better living than they could in WWE. I think I’ve adapted well to the new era of wrestling; I don’t know if I would call myself the best wrestler. I do think I have a knack for marketing and I think I smart about the positions I put myself in. I guess that’s all-encompassing of what being a wrestler is. Wrestling is more than athletics, it’s also politicking, is also agenting your own stuff; there’s a lot of other stuff that goes into being a successful wrestler than what we do in the ring. I think I’ve adapted well and I’m strong at all of the parts of it. I think that’s come from me having the experience in wrestling when it was dry and it was hard to get bookings and fly you anywhere. I think that experience helps me get to the level I’m at now.
(Transcription credit to Bill Pritchard for Wrestlezone.com)
MLW will be at the Melrose Ballroom in New York on Thursday, October 4th. Ryan will face off with Richard Holliday at this week’s tapings.
Fans can watch MLW FUSION Friday nights at 8pm ET on beIN SPORTS, and stream new episodes online on demand starting at 6:05pm Saturday nights for free at www.youtube.com/