Joey Ryan Talks TNA ReleaseOver the Fourth of July holiday The RCWR Show’s Lee Sanders sat down to talk with former TNA IMPACT WRESTLING star Joey Ryan.

In a 25 minute interview Joey Ryan talked about his release and time in TNA Wrestling, Hulk Hogan behind the scenes, TNA President Dixie Carter, working with Matt Morgan and more! Check out the transcript of the Joey Ryan interview below. The actual Joey Ryan interview itself can be heard on Tuesday’s The RCWR Show July 9th at 11:00pm EDT here

Lee: One thing I’ve been noticing with the TNA brand is the storylines for some don’t last long in the company. Time on screen seems to diminish, thus making fans not have that same level of excitement as when they first joined the company. Good examples of that is when Christian came to TNA. They shot him to the TNA championship, then after 2-3 months that level just seemed to fade away. RVD, Chavo Guerrero, even yourself to a certain extent.

Do you think this is a correct assessment? Is this a case of poor writing and/or booking? You yourself was one of the co-founders of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla so you know a thing or two about booking and writing.

Joey Ryan: I think what it comes down to is TNA’s television time. The brand doesn’t have as many outlets as the WWE brand. It’s a little bit harder to get TV time especially when you’re not in a storyline that they’re focused on right now.

They’re pretty booked up with Aces & Eights, Main Event Mafia. If you’re not in those storylines, it’s pretty hard to utilize you. And then with them going on the road and it costing more money, I can see where if you’re not in a prominent storyline currently then you’re probably easily expendable. I don’t know as far as the other storylines go. I wasn’t there for Christian or whatever. They kind of want to stay focused on what they got. They want to make sure they don’t spread themselves too thin. The storylines they have currently are going over everything else.

Lee: We recently saw TNA President Dixie Carter give a interview to Wrestle Talk TV a few weeks ago. She said that a lot of the storylines we’re seeing is done weeks in advance. She said that for a guy like Rockstar Spud they can’t just throw him on IMPACT television because of storylines already in place. Do they actually have a lot of these storylines we’re seeing written weeks in advance.

Joey Ryan: I’m not in the production meeting or the writings meetings. If they do they don’t tell us as in this day and age of wrestling and the internet, there’s a leak everywhere. If they handed out scripts saying here’s the next four weeks of television then 2-3 days later each of those scripts is on the internet because that’s the way the world is now. Maybe they do but they but in the process they give the talent a heads up week to week. Can’t say for show how advance these storylines are written.

Lee: Could you tell folks how & why this release came about? How’d you find out?

Joey: They weren’t using me very often since I stop teaming with Matt. I did a match with Joseph Park, I came back and refereed the knockouts matches, an X-division three way. Mostly I was sitting at home collecting a paycheck. I kind of figured it was coming. How long can you sit at home and collect a paycheck for not really doing anything? I got a call from Al Snow who’s in talent relations couple days before the 4th. He told me it was coming and that it is was budget cuts, we have nothing against you or your ability. We’re happy with your work, keep the door open, love to have you back but we have to do these budget cuts. Since I’m not in a prominent storyline me and a few others got the axe.

Lee: For the record you, Madison Rayne who left on maternity leave, Taylor Hendrix, Crimson which just has me dumbfound as he was undefeated for 470 days. Longer than CM Punk’s reign as WWE champion, and Virginia native Christian York.

All within the same week. Talk about being young as you all are between the ages of 24-36. Lot of time for growth and marketability. Do you feel that TNA dropped the ball with you guys or you specifically?

Joey Ryan: I wish I had more time to shine and show what I can do. The storyline with Matt was more for Matt and I was the sidekick. When we split I thought I was going to be me more but it never really came to light. I would have appreciated and used the timely wisely had they given it to me to do some stuff on my own. It just didn’t happen. They’ve been making cuts here and there but before even before the six cuts that happened this week. They cut Kid Kash, Doug Williams…they’ve been tightening their belts a bit. I don’t know if there’s a better wrestler than Doug Williams and they didn’t keep him.

Maybe a feel a little bit that they dropped the ball just cause I know what I can do. I can’t hold it against them because I’m not part of their current storylines. When they looked at where they could tighten the belt at I’;m not surprised they went in my direction.

Lee: Following up on Matt Morgan for a minute. I’ve got a 2-part question for you. What was it like teaming with The Blueprint and in the next 2-3 years do you see him being TNA champion?

Joey Ryan: I really enjoyed teaming up with Matt. I’ve actually become good friends with him. He’s a great guy and has great ability. You look at him and his athletic abilities, he’s a true athlete. The sky’s the limit with him. There’s not many people that are 7 feet tall that can do the kind of stuff that he does. Depends on if the writing team and the producers have faith in him to push him all the way. I would if I was running the company. I don’t see why not.

Lee: You would definitely have him champion?

Joey Ryan: Yeah I would. I’d have him in the main event picture constantly. Whether being a champion or going for it he’d be
around there.

Lee: There’s many folks out there that feel there are other wrestlers, even some in management that should have been let go instead. Some even questioning some of the moves that’s been going on like with the addition of Rampage Jackson. Do you care to comment further on that? Agree or disagree?

Joey Ryan-Possible Mastermind behind Aces and EightsJoey Ryan: It’s easy for folks on the outside to say why is he there, they should cut this person instead. Really when it comes to the backstage stuff it’s more of the inter-workings of the company. They have a system that works for them. To take out some those office pieces you’d have to upgrade the whole system and change the way they do business, the way they work and operate cause everyone has a specific job that maybe you don’t see in front of the camera that they do backstage.That comes into play when they decide on who to keep and let go.

Rampage Jackson is assigned to bring in a broader audience. You can’t fault them for that. They’re trying. Might not make wrestling fans happy but it might bring in more causal fans or crossover fans or what not cause that’s a recognizable person, recognizable name. They are trying their best to broaden their market and make a bigger audience overall. It’s not something that happens overnight. They’re’ taking the step to leave the IMPACT Zone and broaden their audience. They could either sit there and be what they are or try to grow. I appreciate that they’re trying to grow.

Lee: I’d love for you to go on record here. You definitely have no problem with Rampage Jackson joining TNA

Joey Ryan: I don’t. That’s the way wrestling is. For years they’ve gone to outside sources to try and get more of an audience. I never got a chance to meet or work with Rampage Jackson because I’ve been sitting at home. I met King Mo and he’s very was very excited to get into wrestling and the training. Rampage Jackson…if this is something he wants to do and he has the same passion that I do for wrestling then I can’t say he doesn’t there.

Lee: We’re hearing stores of wrestlers having to now pay for their own travel expenses as this is part of the budget cuts you mentioned earlier. Also payments to wrestlers, even those in management aren’t being paid on time. Some waiting 2-3 months even. Definitely kind of gives a black eye to the product. What’s been your experience on all of that?

Joey Ryan: I don’t know everyone’s contracts but with my contract I got a monthly guarantee. When I do shows I would get bonuses.

Far as travel, TNA would take care of my flights and then I was responsible for car rentals, hotels which could be evenly split with other wrestlers on the shows. I have a lot of friends I can rely on to do stuff like that. That all came into the show bonus. My paychecks were never late. There was never a set date like the 1st or 9th, 20th. If I was getting paid in February then the check would come in February. If I was getting paid in March then it be March. It wasn’t like April and I’m waiting on a February check or anything like that. I was paid the month I was suppose to get paid.

Lee: So for the record you definitely never had any problems getting paid on time or when you suppose to from the company?

Joey Ryan: Not at all.

Lee: That’s good to hear. How hands on is Hulk Hogan behind the scenes with wrestlers, We see what he does on TV but it really doesn’t do it justice? What’s he really like?

Joey Ryan: He’s great! Still very passionate for wrestling. A lot of people say he’s just collecting a paycheck. I disagree more with that. From the top of the roster to the bottom he gets it. He knows how to market yourself and make professional wrestling work. He’s always willing to listen or lend a hand or suggest an idea. What he likes and doesn’t like. It was one of the most valuable things I got when I was there. He’s been at the top for a very long time. What he see on the screen is the authority figure. Most of the stuff that he comes and does is written material or produced by the writers.

Him, himself, he’s very hands on with the talent. I really appreciated that when I was there.

Lee: What’s been your experience with TNA President Dixie Carter?

Joey Ryan: It’s been limited but She’s always been nice. Always honest about what shes and doesn’t like, what she wants to see and doesn’t want to see. I know a lot of folks want to tease her but she’s been in wrestling a long time now. She got the grasp of what works and doesn’t work. She’s a great boss to have because she’s clear in her decisions. That’s helpful as you don’t to work in a gray area. She has people like agents, writers, staff to monitor to the show and she’s not afraid
to put in her two cents when needed.

Lee: Sounds like she’s a really cool boss to have. The way her personality radiates of TV, she definitely comes off as a pleasant person to work for.

Joey Ryan: Yes. I don’t have any complaints.

Lee: There are those many folks out there that want for TNA to succeed but with some of the things I said earlier, the budget cuts, the releases, all that. Some would be as bold as to say TNA is going to become the next WCW or ECW. Maybe the McMahons will purchase it. What do you think will be the future of TNA whether it be 1 year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now.

Do you see it continuing to thrive and be as successful as it is right now?

Joey Ryan: I don’t see why it can’t be. They have all the right pieces in place. Again they are trying to broaden their audience. It’s all trial and error. For the people who might be jumping to conclusions with this is failing or this isn’t working but really they just got going. You have to give it some time for them to reach their goals. The talent is there whether it’s Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Kazarian, Daniels or even Kurt Angle. Some of the best wrestlers in the world are there. The talents in place, they just need time to work. I don’t see why they can’t work.

Lee: Speaking of the talent that’s there, who would you like to see become the future faces of the product. I know we got guys like Sting, Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe leading the pack right now. Who do you see being the future of the company in the next few years.

Joey Ryan: Hard to go against a guy like Bobby Rude who has all the pieces in place and is very talented in every aspect of wrestling. Or a guy like Austin Aries who’s breaking a lot of stereotypes right now by being a guy of short stature but still as a main player, main event guy. Chris Sabin’s been there a long time and with the right opportunity could really skyrocket. It really can come from anywhere but they have the roster under contract that could be the face.

Lee: Who would you like to see go into the TNA HOF next along with Kurt Angle, Sting?

Joey Ryan: Jeff Jarrett belongs in there. He;s the founder of the company and they guy that’s been there a long time. I would’ve thought he’d be the 1st one in. He’s deficient got to go in the next few years.

Lee: I agree otherwise they’re going to be a serious backlash. I remember when we did a poll asking folks about Sting getting the 1st inductee asking if it should be Jarrett or if it was right putting Sting in. With 70% of the votes it was in in favor of Jarrett going in first. I think Sting and Angle definitely HOF and deserve it but if Jarrett doesn’t get in the top three, top five, top 10, folks are going to be scratching their heads, wondering what’s going on.

So what’s next for you? What you got lined up?

Joey Ryan: I’ve been picking up my Indy bookings since things were slowing down. My schedules getting pretty full.

I’ve got Pro Wrestling Guerrilla stuff going on as you mentioned earlier as I’m back in the office. I’m start to doing more stuff in the east coast with FWE. I just got a booking from them couple days ago. Trying to get to as many places as I can right now. Gotta keep the money coming in somewhere

Lee: Where can folks check you out, maybe buy some cool merchandise.

Joey Ryan: If you’re on twitter follow me on JoeyRyanOnline. I’m always posting about what shows I’m going to be on even on Facebook if you search Joey Ryan you can find me. You can be my merchandise on Prowrestlingtees.com

If you’re a promoter and you want to book me, my email is joeyryan@hotmail.com Find me on social media as I’m always plugging the shows on that. I’m usually doing 2-3 shows a week now.

Lee: It was a blast to have you on the show last year and for sure a blast this go round. As I said last time you’re more than welcome to come on back. Whether to plug a wrestling event or you want to talk about something random. The doors always open to come back. We’d love to have you! We thank you so much for your time. Really means a lot.

Joey Ryan: I appreciate you having me back.

JOEY RYANLee: We appreciate you definitely.

Follow Joey Ryan on Twitter

Catch the Joey Ryan interview this Tuesday on The RCWR Show July 9th at 11:00pm EDT here