Joey Ryan Talks Getting His Start, Working For WWE, PWG, Daniel Bryan Getting Over, TNA, More

I recently spoke with former TNA Superstar Joey Ryan. In the first part of the interview below, Ryan discussed getting his start in the business, being one of the founders of PWG, Daniel Bryan getting over, working for WWE as an enhancement talent, TNA inviting him on Gut Check and much more.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of our interview, where Ryan discussed his time with TNA, if his heat with Taz was real, his career highlight, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan being in charge, teaming with Matt Morgan, his TNA release and much more.

You can follow him on Twitter @JoeyRyanOnline , and on Facebook at facebook.com/JoeyRyanOnline.

Wrestling Inc.: How long have you been a wrestling fan? Have you been a wrestling fan since you were a kid?

Ryan: Yeah I have. I have three older brothers, so some of my very earliest memories are watching wrestling with them. I remember vividly watching Wrestlemania 2, because when Jake the Snake's snake wrapped around the dude's neck and he started foaming at the mouth, I was like five years old at the time. That left kind of a lasting impression that sticks with you when you're that young. That's one of the earliest memories that I have.

Wrestling Inc.: Who were your favorites back then?

Ryan: I was definitely a Hulkamaniac. I liked a lot of the "good guys" like Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, the British Bulldogs. When you're a child, obviously you're going for the fan favorites. So those were the ones that really stuck out to me.

Wrestling Inc.: How'd you get your start in the business?

Ryan: I grew up with it with my older brothers and then I kind of fell out for a few years and wasn't really much of a fan. I didn't pay close attention to it. I got into high school and I got with a group of my friends there that were watching it and obviously that's when, it was like the 90s, the Monday Night Wars were going on and stuff. Wrestling was pretty hot. So, I started watching it with a group of friends and then we were in line for a WWE show in Anaheim and we got a flyer for an independent wrestling show. We didn't really know anything about it, actually we didn't even know independent wrestling existed at all. We went and checked it out and really, really liked them a lot. So we investigated further. We checked out the website and saw that they had classes and they were training wrestlers and stuff like that. So, a couple of us decided we were going to sign up for some classes and see how it went.

Wrestling Inc.: Were you just hooked basically right from the start?

Ryan: Yeah. It was really… I played a lot of sports growing up and stuff like that. The athleticism and the work out you would get during a wrestling training session just kind of reminded me of baseball or football practice when I was growing up. So, I was kind of used to that kind of punishment, the endurement that it takes when you train with a sport like that, any kind of athleticism like that. So yeah, when you get down to it, it was real fun right off the bat.

Wrestling Inc.: You also were one of the founders of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. What made you guys decide to start that?

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