Joey Ryan Talks Time With TNA, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Working With Matt Morgan, His Release
Wrestling Inc.: What was that like? You mentioned being a big Hulkamaniac when you were a kid, and now you're in TNA working with him and having him tell you that he's a fan of your character and your work.
Ryan: That was probably the highlight. I mean, you ask me what my favorite moment of my career is, that's it right there. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't even be in wrestling. I wouldn't have been a fan growing up. I have pictures of me as a kid with Hogan foam fingers and dressed up as Hulk Hogan and stuff like that. Here he's telling me that he's a fan of mine, I'm doing backstage segments with him and getting to work with him. He's a complete friend of mine. It would get to the point where, he's very busy on the days of the show when he was there because he was part of the, he was his on camera character but he was doing stuff backstage and stuff, but it would get to the point where he would kind of find me, or I would find him at some point, and we'd sit down. We'd have a conversation, we'd just kind of like… not even really about wrestling, we'd just kind of friendly talk. So I consider him one of my friends now, and that's like, me as a kid thinking that one day I would be friends with Hulk Hogan, it's just crazy for me to think about.
Wrestling Inc.: What do you think of all the backlash towards Hogan and Bischoff? You mentioned you like them both, but with a lot of people blaming them for the company not really growing or going to where it needs to go?
Ryan: There's obviously going to be finger pointing, no matter who is in charge or who is running it if there's different ideas. I think they were more about trying to take some chances, like going on the road was, I think, an idea of theirs to help the company grow because obviously you weren't getting genuine reactions anymore from the Impact Zone because fans were seeing everybody every week and they knew they would see them again next week and the week after that. So I think going on the road, they wanted to get more genuine reactions. But there's a risk. That's what they did in WCW, obviously they had money backing them so they had more room to fail and then rebound and fail and rebound and fail until they hit the nWo stride, so I think that's just it. They wanted to think outside the box and a lot of time in pro wrestling, it's hard to get people to think outside the box. People think that's the way it has to be because this is the way it's been done for years and years and years. So I think that a lot of the backlash, obviously whoever's in charge, if the product is not growing they're going to get the backlash. I don't think it was a lack of effort, I don't think it was anything like they weren't trying to sabotage or anything. Obviously they had a lot of different ideas going on, and a lot of times they had more ideas then there was time for the show.
When I talked to Eric about me and Matt Morgan teaming up, he had all these grand ideas about it. He wanted to do this and that with it. When it came down to it, they had two hours of TV every week and they had a pretty big roster. They had certain guys that they had to put on, so a lot of stuff was like oh, we'll have to do it next week or we'll have to do this because there just wasn't time. They had a lot of ideas like that where it was like, if they had been able to dedicate more time to the idea that he had for me and Matt, maybe me and Matt would still be there as a team right now. Because there was such limited time, only two hours a week every week, that isn't much time when you have a bigger roster. I think they felt, a lot of time, their ideas were too big for what they had.
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