That’s a highly contested honor these days, so I acknowledge the enormity of the statement. Still, you have to recognize when someone is putting in the effort to take that mantle, as disturbing as it may be.
You may not know Joey Ryan. He was an independent wrestler who became very well known on the indie circuit, as it had something of a popularity boom in the past few years. Ryan’s gimmick, and buckle up here, was his penis. Most of his matches centered around getting opponents locked onto that particular appendage, which he could “use” to flip them or temporarily paralyze them. It would take a longer explanation than is needed here. Ryan also ran his own promotion, Bar Wrestling, one of the better known independent companies in the industry.
You might be thinking, “Well only a true asshole would actually center his wrestling gimmick around his dick.” And you’d be right!
Of all the names to come out during the #SpeakingOut movement last year, Ryan’s was the name heard most. Seventeen different accusations were levied against Ryan of unwanted sexual advances, assault, grooming underage girls, and various other acts of dangerous grossness.
Most of the wrestlers named during #SpeakingOut had the good sense to simply fade into the background for a while, or ham-handedly clamor at blaming it on substance abuse or other afflictions that are in the break-glass-in-case-of-being-revealed-as-a-monster case. Not all of them, of course, because awful men tend to stay that way. But most. That wouldn’t do for Ryan, though.
Last summer, Ryan released a video at first denying all the claims against him, or trying to explain them away, while also trying to shame some of the accusers. That would have been bad enough, but anyone that centered around his manhood isn’t into half-measures. Ryan sued several of his accusers for defamation. Three of the suits have already been thrown out, others are pending, and one was moved to the Eastern District of US court. That one is against Pelle Primeau, for which Primeau has a GoFundMe to help with his legal fees.
Again, you’d think that Ryan would be done digging this hole that he couldn’t possibly escape. But again, you’d be overdosing on logic and decency. This is wrestling after all, an entire industry built on making you think they can’t go some place or do something and then they do that very thing. Usually that’s a good thing, not the abhorrent behavior of a dangerous scumbag who seemingly has no perspective.
Ryan apparently tried to set up a charity show in Tennessee for March 20th, called “The Wrestling 4 Women’s Charity” show. Up until yesterday, not much was known about the show. Then tickets went on sale and the poster came out on Twitter, which featured Ryan on it and the ticket info listed Bar Wrestling as the company running the show.
Some AEW wrestlers were booked on the show, but once Ryan’s involvement became known, AEW president Tony Kahn pulled all of them off it. Other performers also pulled out, and the show and all mention of it on social media was taken down. The show was reportedly going to be televised by FITE TV, or at least it claimed it was, but they ended all involvement when finding out of Ryan’s presence as well. Or FITE TV might not have ever had any involvement at all.
It appears that Ryan tried to sneak a show onto the masses under the guise of being a benefit show for women, perhaps somehow to repair his image? Show contrition? Put a thumb in everyone’s eye? Who knows? According to Big Swole of AEW, Ryan had attempted to do the same earlier in North Carolina, but those shows never got off the ground to the point of revealing who was behind them, like this one did. And there’s no real charity being benefited by it.
The only proper move for Ryan, which has been the case since he was the subject of that litany of accusations during #SpeakingOut, would be to admit his career is over. That would be the only consequences he would face, as Ryan hasn’t faced any criminal charges. That’s actually quite light considering what he’s been accused of. But Ryan, like a lot of men, doesn’t want to accept any consequences for his actions, and will hide behind a fake charity to prove his point.
Shocking that someone whose world was based around his dick is actually also a giant one.