There are lots of talented performers on the market following WWE's mass release of Superstars. Joey Ryan was asked which of those he would like to see in Impact Wrestling when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I have a soft spot for Karl Anderson. We performed together a lot and were a tag team in 2006, 2007 and 2008. We won the NWA World Tag Team Championships together so I have a soft spot for him and would always love to do more stuff with him," said Ryan.
"But really, all of those guys who were released are super talented. This is the wrestling world we live in where these guys didn't get released because they couldn't perform. There's just over saturation as that company has too many people under contract and they had to let go of some. It benefits the wrestling world because now these guys are free agents and they can sign or not sign with any company they want. It's a whole new adventure for wrestling right now."
Ryan was a wrestling free agent in his own right late last year and chose to link up with Impact. He was asked why he chose to sign with Impact with so many promotions eager to bring him in.
"First and foremost, they wanted me to be me. They didn't want to change or alter it; they wanted me to be Joey Ryan and that meant a lot to me. The second thing was also being a non-exclusive contract, meaning I could still run Bar Wrestling and work the indies that I love working," stated Ryan.
"Probably the biggest factor was that I work with and appreciate all of the office – the agents and writers. I had a preexisting relationship with pretty much all of the backstage members. They are people that I trust and knew how I wanted to work and express myself. I could trust them to not change me. So, those three factors are the main things."
Ryan first worked for Impact back when it was TNA in 2012 and 2013. He compared what the environment is like now with Impact vs. back then.
"The previous Impact regime – and I don't want to speak negatively as Eric Bischoff was great to work with as was Bruce Prichard and Al Snow – but that was more of a strict regime. Maybe it was my personal status in wrestling at the time but it was more of a 'you're told what to do.' The current version of Impact is a little looser as far as the talent goes and they let the talent express themselves," said Ryan. "Instead of being told what to do, it's more of a 'this is what we need to get to done so how would you like to do it.' They ask for our opinions and how our characters would do it. That leads to more genuine performances and the audience enjoys the fact that they're allowing us to be us. It's a good mutual respect between the office and the talent as the current Impact Wrestling goes."
Ryan became infamous for his PenisPlex move which he used throughout the indies. With Impact now running shows without crowds, the move doesn't have the same effect without that audience reaction. Ryan was asked about trying to translate that move to a TV audience.
"I feel like people get it but also a lot of that move is the audience participation and reaction, which we can't see over TV. We're performing to a camera and it doesn't become a personal moment for the audience and that's the difference," stated Ryan.
He added that up until recently, they had an audience and that helped the audience at home connect more. Without the audience there is no genuine reaction and that makes it a little awkward.
"It might be a blessing with the change in character for me considering that we're not wrestling currently in front of an audience and not getting that reaction. That might come off a little more awkward on TV so the timing of the character change may be a blessing considering the state of pro wrestling and the world right now," said Ryan.
Joseph P Ryan can be seen every Tuesday night as part of Impact Wrestling. For more information please visit www.ImpactWrestling.com. Joey's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.