I recently spoke with former TNA star Joey Ryan. In the third and final part of the interview below, 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.

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.

You can check out the second part of the interview at this link, 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 more.

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

Wrestling Inc.: I know you've noted before that TNA was never late in giving you your payments and things like that. Their expenses obviously went up a lot last year when they went on the road live every other week, and now they're kind of scaling that back. I know as a long time fan of wrestling yourself, it's obviously good for everyone to have a viable number two company. What changes do you think TNA needs to make to be a viable alternative to WWE?

Joey Ryan: I've seen the show recently. I still have friends on the show and I'm still friends with guys like David Lagana, so I'm going to watch his product that he writes. So I watch the show still. I would like to see, and this is just me as a fan, I might not even be the demographic that they're going for at all, but I've noticed how they've streamlined the roster. There isn't that many wrestlers anymore that filter through and the roster is a lot smaller than when I was there. I've noticed that they've taken to having more interview time or promo time than in ring stuff. As a fan I'd rather see them dedicate that time to the wrestling. I think they have an incredible roster and I think a lot of those guys can really go that they have on the show.

Rather than a 20 minute promo and a seven minute match, I'd rather see a seven minute promo and a 10 minute match, 20 minute match, or whatever. I'd rather see them focus more on actual wrestling, because I think that could be something they have different. Because like, WWE obviously has a talented roster, and they have some of, if not the best wrestlers in the world. I think they're hard to compete with on the soap opera end of professional wrestling, but I don't think it's hard to compete with them on the pro wrestling side of it. So I think if you focus more on the wrestling and less on the soap opera, I know the drama is what gets people captivated and interested in wrestling, but you can tell a story within a wrestling match itself. WWE is such a big entity that it's hard to compete with when you do a product similar to theirs. So I think that by trying to get an alternative audience, rather than trying to get their audience, I think you have a better chance of growing.

Wrestling Inc.: You've worked with WWE in the past. You were at the tryout camp there in late August, right? How did that go?

Ryan: I mean, it was what it was. I don't even know how to really describe it because it didn't have a whole lot to even do with professional wrestling. It was more just conditioning and they focused very little on professional wrestling and very little of the drills they ran that had to do with professional wrestling. We did hours and hours of rolls and cardio and then like a minute on promos. So it was like, really different than I thought it was because I thought they'd want to focus more on seeing everyone's acting abilities or everyone's personalities, but they really didn't. It was more like, let's just have a look at everybody and see what we like. I don't even know if there was any kind of measuring stick to be like, well if he does this well or they do this well then we're going to have our interest in them.

It was more kind of just them having a look at everybody and just getting everybody in one room and making their decisions based on what they personally liked or not. My only feedback from them really was that they feel like I'm too, which was kind of confusing to me, they feel like I'm too old and experienced to be in developmental. I'm in my 30s now, but my age and experience didn't change from when they invited me to the camp, so I didn't really understand that. To them, they're in control of how they do their system. So that was my feedback. They just didn't feel like it was the right time in my life to be in developmental. They're not bringing anybody straight onto TV at the moment because they've got a full roster themselves. So it was what it was.

Wrestling Inc.: Is that strange having worked for 14 years in the business, all over the world, like you mentioned just non-stop, having even worked for WWE in the past, and then having to go to a tryout and into a developmental deal?

Ryan: It's a little strange, yeah. It's weird where pro wrestling's maybe the only, if not one of the only industries where you can have too much experience. They obviously want to format the wrestlers themselves to the exact style and way that they want it. In my opinion, you see very little difference in the guys that are coming out of developmental because everyone has the same trainers and everybody is learning the same things from the same people. So I think a lot of guys that they're bringing up from developmental are pretty interchangeable, which I think actually hurts the business in the long run. It hurts their product in the long run. But again, it's their product and how they want their product to be.

So I think it's weird that pro wrestling's one of the few industries where you can have too much experience and be too unique or too set in your own ways to get a job, at least with the top company. Obviously every wrestler in the world wants to work for them, so they have to figure out a system that works for them so that they can find the guys that they want. I mean, I understand from that aspect too. It is what it is. For me, throughout my entire career I've been either a love him or hate him kind of guy. Either people love me, or they hate me, and there's very few people that are just in between on me or they just don't care, which I prefer. I'd rather invoke an emotion or I'd rather somebody invest like or hatred in me than not care about me, and for some reason or another in WWE, a lot of years it was John Laurinaitis was not a Joey Ryan guy. So I though this was my best chance to go because he's no longer in the position that he was before, but at the same time my age is elevated and not really what they're looking for.

Wrestling Inc.: Do you think your TNA run hurt your chances with the company because I know I've heard in the past from people that they don't want to bring in anyone from TNA or any people that kind of made their reputation in TNA. They'd rather just build from their own developmental, which again, seems kind of odd because if you have people can draw money and you don't sign them just because they weren't brought in a certain way, it just doesn't seem good for business.

Ryan: Yeah, I mean, I guess they have a system that works for them and they know how to control their system and work their system. I do think they are a little shy away from guys that were, shying away from guys that were in TNA andů everything's word of mouth now. I know a lot of people in WWE backstage, and I hear different things all of the time. One of the things is that they don't want, I've heard that they don't want guys who know that they can make money outside of the WWE themselves. They just want guys who think that they're going to be WWE or nothing, because then they're more like apt to be company guys. They're not going to realize that there's money to be made out there wrestling without WWE. They don't want guys that know that there is.

I've heard that they don't want guys who have made it already, they want to be able to claim we made that guy. He didn't do it himself, or he didn't make that guy, we made that guy. So I heard they're big on that too, not taking guys who already have a name so to speak. Just different things, but I just wish for me at least, they would have at least talked, because I've had WWE agents that just rave about me and tell me oh, you're too good not to be there. Even members of creative telling me that they want to work with me, but whoever the bosses are just were never Joey Ryan guys. So that's why I'm just a little upset with myself, but again, I understand that they need a system that works for them.

Wrestling Inc.: What problem did John Laurinaitis have with you, because you never really worked at the company full time?

Ryan: Right. I think he, and I'm not inside his head, but for whatever reason I hear from a lot of guys that he has a little chip on his shoulder about certain guys. I think, it's one of those things where he always wanted guys to be on their defenses around him and I never really was because I was really comfortable there, especially when I got WWE agents that were putting me over to him, members of creative and stuff like that. So I was always comfortable because I knew I had all these people that were putting me over to him, so I think he kind of didn't like that. I don't know him personally. I haven't talked to him more than this interview backstage kind of thing, but I always got the feeling that he was upset about how un-nervous or how comfortable I was there and not like a yes sir, no sir kind of thing. It's his prerogative or whatever. He was in charge. So, for whatever reason it was, he just never, he always kind of had a chip on his shoulder towards me.

Wrestling Inc.: Have you been watching TNA lately?

Ryan: Yeah, actually. I've been keeping track of it because my buddy Peter, who's Norv Pernum on there, he's got a good little run going on and actually my newest tag team partner in PWG, Candice LeRae, actually we did a show in New York for NWA too, Candice LeRae, had a match with Gail Kim a couple weeks ago. So I watch the product. I still have a lot of friends there. Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, I always want to see what they're up to.

Wrestling Inc.: What are your thoughts on their product lately, now that they have gotten rid of some of their higher priced talent and have been changing things up creatively, dropping Aces & Eights and some things like that? What have your thoughts been of their product recently?

Ryan: I think it's good. I think it's, they're giving a lot of new faces a chance to be on TV, which is always good. I think it's always good when you have a turnaround, when you mix new faces with old favorites. I think it's kind of understood now that they don't need to bring in, nothing against Tito Ortiz or Rampage Jackson, but they don't really need to bring in those kind of guys because it's not going to spike the ratings. Norv Pernum's going to draw the same rating as Tito Ortiz. That's the way it is. You're not going to have to pay Norv Pernum nearly as much as you're going to pay Tito Ortiz. So I think they're kind of understanding that, and they're just giving new guys chances to get over. If they can get guys over, rather than having to relearn guys that are already over, they can save money and have possibly a better product.

Wrestling Inc.: Thanks again, Joey for taking the time to speak with us. Do you have any appearances or projects that you'd like for us to mention for our readers?

Ryan: I'm always doing Pro Wrestling Guerrilla shows. You can check the website. I'm wrestling a lot. Almost every weekend I'm booked out, which is, like I said, I have to get my hustle on. So if you check my Twitter, it's @JoeyRyanOnline , I'm always advertising different products I'm on, different shows I'm on. Even if it's like, I live in Los Angeles so I've been doing a lot of acting stuff and side work doing that. I'm advertising all that stuff that I'm on, and I'm on Facebook too and Instagram. I'm on all the pretty social media friendly [sites]. So yeah, you can just check all that stuff and I keep it pretty well updated with my appearances.

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.

You can check out the second part of the interview at this link, 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 more.

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

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