Part one of the Joey Ryan interview is here, where 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 more.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the third and final part of our interview, where Ryan discussed how TNA can compete with WWE, TNA cutting back on high priced talent, attending the WWE tryout camp in August, problems with John Laurinaitis, if his TNA run hurt his chances to join WWE and more.
Wrestling Inc.: Was the idea all along that you'd go on Gut Check and lose, and then do the angle where you're kind of crashing they're TV tapings? Was that the idea from the beginning or did that just kind of happen organically?
Ryan: That was actually pretty organic because I mean initially… they didn't tell me because they wanted it to be as real as possible. Eric Bischoff was producing. He's really big on reality TV and getting real reactions from people. So they brought me in that night. They didn't tell me, but I figured I was going to be a no because I was the second number one and they gave the first guy a contract, Alex Silva. Whether they meant to or not, whether it was Ric Flair shooting on the company or whatever the rumors are now, they gave him one. So I figured they're going to bring me in and it's going to be for a no. And then they paired me up with Austin Aries, and I've worked with Austin Aries quite a few times. We had a match and it actually was really good on TV. It was a good, really solid TV match.
Wrestling's so subjective that you can critique anything. So of course, they could say I did this wrong and I figured the no was coming. But Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan really liked my look. So they even told me, right before I went out and did, the next week when we did the judges segment, Hulk Hogan pulled me aside and said, "Hey, no matter how it goes out there, we want you to know that we like you, we like your look and we might be able to do something with you in the future if it doesn't happen now," which kind of gave me the indication that they were going to tell me no. So I was kind of gearing up for that.
Obviously they had me present myself as a heel. So I was like, if I'm a heel I'm not just going to tuck my tail between my legs if I get a no. I'm going to stand up for myself. The biggest boost came literally like moments before I went out on camera to do it, Eric Bischoff pulled me aside and said, "Hey, I understand you're very good on the microphone," and obviously I'm like, "I'm alright." He's like, "Don't be afraid to speak your mind out there and just be real." When he gave me the go ahead to do that, I was like okay. I'm just going to go for it then. I was going to tell them how stupid they were for saying no. I had no idea for sure that they were going to tell me no when I went out there, but I had a pretty good idea they were going to tell me no. So I just went for it.
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