Joey Ryan On Staying Indie, DDT Pro’s Influence On Wrestling, The 24/7 Title Being Social Media Friendly

Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

Joey Ryan spoke with the media following the screening of his new documentary This Is Wrestling: The Joey Ryan Story at Starrcast. Ryan talked about DDT Pro’s influence on the professional wrestling world, including how no matter what you think about their promotion’s antics, it’s still creating a good debate about professional wrestling:

“They came over here during WrestleMania weekend and had a show of their own that was well-received. They had a match at the Joey Ryan Penis Party for the [Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship] and they did a lot of their antics; good or bad, it was probably the most talked about thing—whether people were positive or negative—it was probably the most talked about match on the show. It reaches people. The good thing about a divide is now there will be discussions and arguments and debates over it and keep people talking about it.”

When WWE introduced their 24 / 7 title, their were immediate comparisons to DDT’s Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship and the former WWF Hardcore title. Ryan noted that the DDT title was born as a parody of the latter, but they never phased it out and sees WWE’s new title as a tool to help get other talent much like DDT helped him:

“It’s been a championship for almost 20 years and they’ve had 3,000 champions. [DDT] never went away with it once they brought it in, but yeah, when they had me win it and bring it to America, I did stuff with Scott Hall, Rey Mysterio and the Young Bucks, it helped [create] a lot of hype for me. I could see where they could say they can use it to hype their own guys and get their own guys over. It’s a tool, it’s very social media friendly.”

Related: Joey Ryan On ‘This Is Wrestling’, The Audience Connecting With His Story

Ryan’s status had been a hot topic as of late, with ‘free agent Joey’ finally choosing to stay independent in a hyped announcement at a recent Bar Wrestling event. During our interview, Ryan was asked about where he might end up in the next five years. He hinted at staying independent, but said things are going to be exciting for female wrestlers and independent wrestlers in general. Ryan noted that all of the opportunities provided by the major promotions will create new openings for talent, and the indies’ need to create new stars will give wrestlers more work.

“I might just stay independent. I was in a Lucha Underground contract that wasn’t favorable and just got out, so I’m not really looking to get into another contract. The way I look at independent wrestling is there is going to be a lot of work out there, and I’ve told people this too—people that have been like ‘can you give me contacts to Cody, the Bucks, I want to try and get into AEW’—I’ve said ‘I can, but don’t be in a rush to sign anything you’re not fully happy with. When they go exclusive, there’s going to be a lot of work on the independents, especially for the girls because they signed a lot of the top girls. I just feel like there’s going to be a whole lot more work on the independents in the next five years with these exclusive deals going around. I might just ride that out because the indies are friendly to my style and I can excel there.”

Related: Free Agent Joey Ryan: ‘I Choose You, Independent Wrestling’