Joey Ryan Talks Getting His Start, Working For WWE, PWG, Daniel Bryan Getting Over, TNA, More
Wrestling Inc.: You also worked for WWE for the first time back in 2005. You've wrestled several matches there. What was that experience like?
Ryan: It was really cool. My favorite time I ever worked with WWE was in 2005, my first time there, because it was just like it was everything that I ever dreamed it would be, as far as getting in front of the audience and being there. I know that it was an enhancement match or whatever and I wasn't a feature player in it, but just the spectacle and everything, it just was awesome. It's one of my most positive memories in wrestling.
Wrestling Inc.: And then you also went back there in 2011. What changes did you notice when you back there the second time and how did the second run end up happening?
Ryan: Well actually I was there several times in between that. Every time they come to southern California, they always call me up and ask me to come down and just be on hand as extra talent if they needed it. Even if I wasn'tů I didn't always do stuff in the ring or I wasn't always on camera, [but] I was there a lot. I've done several dark matches for like, Velocity or Heat or even Smackdown matches over the years. An ECW match even.
Not many significant changes, I mean [there were] a lot different faces. A lot of new faces, a lot of new names over time. A lot of the guys I know pretty well. I'm good friends with them. I guess now as opposed to then is I was a little bit more walking on egg shells, a little nervous to be around that because I didn't know so many people, but now, it's just like a reunion when I go back there. It's like, oh hey, because I've known all those guys for years now.
Wrestling Inc.: When you worked with them, you didn't quite have your look and your persona down yet, right?
Ryan: Right, it's ever evolving.
Wrestling Inc.: You ended up catching TNA's eye. How did that end up happening?
Ryan: That was through David Lagana, who is a writer at TNA, because I worked with him in Ring of Honor and in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood here in LA. And then he got hired on to be a writer on the Ring Ka King project, which is like TNA's sister project in India, and they were looking for guys. He actually had an idea that he used a couple times in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood where teamed me and Nunzio up as kind of like a Hollywood and Broadway kind of thing, different coast kind of thing, the same kind of swarmy characters, so he brought that to the India show and I was able to wrestle in front of a lot of guys in the offices of TNA that had never seen me wrestle before and then when they were doing the Gut Check stuff at TNA they were looking at guys on the independents to bring in and do it. They already had footage of me that they owned from Ring Ka King and I think Al Snow got to watch it and Bruce Prichard got to watch it and they decided that they would use me on Gut Check.
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.
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