Joey Ryan Interview

Joey Ryan interview
by Travis Gray

Joey Ryan, who was nominated for SoCal Rookie of the Year in 2001, recently talked with Travis Gray about his start in wrestling, his views on some of his matches, and his plans for the future.

Travis Gray: I’m sitting here with “The Forsaken” Joey Ryan

Joey Ryan: (Smiles) I’m no longer “The Forsaken”

Travis Gray: So your just Joey Ryan?

Joey Ryan: Yup.

Travis Gray: What got you started in the wrestling business?

Joey Ryan: Well, like most guys who start, I was a big fan growing up. Decided to give it a try, found a school, started going to the school. My friend actually was the one who talked me into it. He wrestled for a little while. We trained together. He was my tag team partner to start with. We had about 5 matches together. It took a big toll on his body so he decided to stop after that and I kept going.

Travis Gray: What school did you find first?

Joey Ryan: School Of Hard Knocks

Travis Gray: That’s in…..

Joey Ryan: San Bernardino, EWF.

TG: Well touching on the subject of you as a fan growing up, what were some of the wrestlers that you really took into?

JR: When I was younger, Ricky Steamboat and the British Bulldogs. As I got older, Shawn Michaels, definitely, and Bret Hart.

TG: What did you think of training in the beginning, what were some of the first thoughts in your head?

JR: The first training day I had, Mikey Henderson was in class and we did chopping drills and he made me wanna cry with how hard he chopped me, but after I got through that, the second day I trained, Los Cubanitos were there and I was limping for about 3 or 4 weeks after that.

TG: So about how long into your training did you have your first match?

JR: I stated training in February 2000 and then I had my first match in September of 2000.

TG: And that first match was with?

JR: It was, Me/Stitches/The Nomad/my partner who quit Vs. Pat Anderson/Aggravated Assault/Brian Owen.

TG: You think it went well?

JR: It went real well. We got over with the fans real well. We did an angle where we ran in from the crowd to make the save cause it was a 4-on-2 situation and then we evened it out and had the match in the main event.

TG: That was in EWF right?

JR: That was EWF.

TG: So how did/do you like working for EWF?

JR: I love it. It’s a great bunch of guys. It’s a real fun atmosphere. The crowds are real fun.

TG: What was your favorite match there?

JR: My favorite EWF Match, I wrestled Aggravated Assault quite a few times and always had fun when I wrestled those guys. Probably one of the matches I had with them.

TG: You worked there for a while. There’s a rumor going around that EWF has somewhat of a “workers can’t work elsewhere” kinda rule, and as a lot of people
know by looking at recent cards, you no longer just work for the EWF. So what made you stray way from just working for EWF and work some other promotions?

JR: Well you know, I just try to give some other places a try. UPW was getting real big so me and Stitches decided to go check some Lite Shows and we decided to go and enroll in some classes and start training there too. It wasn’t anything against the EWF, it was just to get more of a variety of training
and to work more shows cause UPW ran a Lite Show every week and just to get more experience.

TG: What was your first impression of UPW?

JR: Very professional. Again, it’s not a knock on the EWF or to say EWF’s unprofessional, but UPW is run more like a business, which had more of a professional feeling and the classes were more set up where they were broken
down with beginner, intermediate, advanced, as to where with EWF
classes are pretty much everybody is in at the same time, so if you’re more advanced and a beginner is in then you have to lag a little bit, but UPW broke it up to where advanced guys would learned advance stuff.

TG: Who were some of the first guys you started training under at UPW?

JR: When I first started training there I trained with Damien Steele for a couple of weeks. Then he headed back to XPW and then Tom Howard took over the classes and you know some times Samoa Joe would train the classes. Now it’s
Tom Howard on the Saturdays and Spanky on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

TG: So what are Lite Shows like?

JR: Lite Shows are probably the best shows to do, because you have someone there watching every moment of your match to tell you what you did right and what you did wrong.  Like Tom or Spanky or Rick. They will watch your match and watch every little bit and tell you what works and what doesn’t and it helps you when you do other shows.

TG: For working a lot of the Lite Shows, is it hard to make it onto some of the bigger Galaxy shows?

JR: It really depends on the person and how far they come along and of course looks help. Like if you look like a wrestler and you can get though a match then you are more likely to get on, but it really depends on the person and how
quickly they can advance.

TG: Who’s the most fun to work with at the Lite Shows?

JR: Spanky.

TG: So you started your career more with an American Style?

JR: Yes, definitely American Style.

TG: And you have moved on a little bit to some other shows like WPW. What’s it like working a little more different style like Lucha, which WPW tends to stray to?

JR: My style is still American, like I’ll do a Lucha spot, but it will be more a novelty. Like I’ll work the American match but like one spot will be Lucha, and it will be like, “well the American guy did a Lucha spot”, and it’s more like that over there, instead of working a full Lucha match. Except the match I had with the Ballards (3/3/02 – Los Rojos Locos (Ballard Brothers) & B-Boy vs. American
Rebel, Joey Ryan & Lucky) that was pretty much all Lucha over there at WPW, cause those guys are great.

TG: So you mainly work with the Lite Show talent over there [in WPW]?

JR: On and off. I’ve worked with Lil Cholo and King Jackal and American Rebel and those guys are primarily Lucha so it just depends on the week.

TG: What are some of your favorite matches at WPW?

JR: There was that one on Halloween that everyone seems to like (WPW 10/28/01 – B-Boy, Paul London & Joey Ryan vs. Supa Badd, Lucky & Ghetto Matt). Although, it was fun, I thought it was really bad to be honest. I actually
liked some of the ones that I worked against the Lucha guys, like the one I had against King Jackal. It wasn’t a singles match, although I don’t recall the teams, you know when you work week to week it kinda all blends in after a while, it think it was me and Lil Cholo vs. King Jackal and Infernal. It worked primarily
Lucha and I was proud of myself afterward cause I was able to get though a Lucha match. Then the ones with the Ballards were real fun and just working with different guys. And like I said, you work so many matches over there cause they run every week. Some are good and bad.

TG: What are some of the styles you like watching as a fan?

JR: I like American, that’s where my heart is.

TG: Now at the past MPW show (MPW 1/12/02 Joey Ryan, Scott Lost & Lucky vs. Jason Allgood, Pinoy Boy & XTC), you got the chance to work there. What was it like working in a different type of atmosphere, as some people would

JR: I had a six-man so, most of my stuff I did was with Pinoy Boy and I’m real confident when I work with him so I really didn’t worry about the crowd to much there. The one coming up with Excalibur I’m a little more conscious of the fans, cause it isn’t a six-man, but I did the Rev Pro (CPW 1/13/02 – Mr. Excitement, Joey Ryan & Cyberspace vs. Disco Machine, Excalibur & Jason Allgood) show against him and we seemed to work ok together so I’m pretty confident in that match too.

TG: You’ve worked both as a heel and a babyface. Which personally would you rather work as?

JR: I like being a heel just because, honestly, I’m a cheesy face. I like being a heel cause I’m in more control of a match.

TG: So you’ve had a chance to work with just about all the promotions around SoCal. Which one have you had the most fun with or liked the most of your matches there?

JR: That’s hard to say. I think consistently UPW and Lite Shows. I’ve had more consistent good matches there.

TG: Which promotion would you like to work with more in the future?

JR: You know, I like working different locker rooms and different people so I really can’t pick out one. UPW seems the biggest right now so if I had to pick one I would probably do that or EWF cause that’s where I started.

TG: You have worked about 2 SCWA shows. Do you think working the SCWA shows there is a little different atmosphere since they have a lot of heat for having a number of untrained or semi-trained workers on their shows?

JR: The guys I’ve worked with there are like Prodigy and XTC and they are trained guys so I don’t mind working against them. Plus obviously as an independent worker they pay me to wrestle there. When guys like Frankie [Kazarian] and B-Boy are on the show too, I don’t see anything wrong with it cause no one is ever gonna call Frankie or B-Boy a backyarder. And as long as I’m not working against backyarders, I don’t think it’s a problem.

TG: What do you think of the SoCal scene in general?

JR: This is the only scene I’ve known so I can’t really compare it to anything. I’m looking to do some stuff in Texas with Paul London and then maybe eventually head east if Spanky gets something going over there. Maybe I’ll
head out to what ever he ends up in.

TG: You’ve been around SoCal for a couple of years. Do you think it’s on a positive level right now or is it coming down?

JR: I think with anything that’s consistent with the wrestling world, is that times are up and times are down. Like obviously with shows like UPW, they haven’t run since December and there next show is in two months. That is a little down time.  I don’t think it’s really going bad. I just think it’s a little down time and it will probably pick up soon. There are more feds coming out, like MPW is running every couple months and so it will eventually pick up and everyone will start running monthly again and hopefully get more fans coming.

TG: How about a little bit of word association?

JR: Sure

TG: Spanky

JR: Spanky is probably the biggest influence in my wrestling career. Since Spanky’s been out here, I’ve had the privilege to work with him and train with him. I think my wrestling has gone up 150 degrees better. He’s got the experience and training and I’m just lucky that he has shared his knowledge with me and I’m really sad to see him go. But, I know there’s more for him elsewhere then there is here. It would benefit me and guys who train with him more if he stayed out here, but it would benefit him more to get out of here.

TG: B-Boy

JR: Real innovative guy. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him a few times. He’s always fun to work with. He’s real cool. A really nice guy too.

TG: Samoa Joe

JR: Samoa Joe is probably the most humble guy, which is surprising cause he got pushed real fast at UPW, but I’ve never seen him act like he was above anybody or better then anybody. He’s always the same with everybody.

TG: Rick Bassman

JR: Rick has always been really cool and really professional with me. I know he’s got a reputation, but I’ve never seen any evidence of the reputation that he
has. He’s always been real good to me.

TG: Devon Willis

JR: Devon Willis, he’s a character. He’s a good guy and a hard worker. I think he’s a little underrated, but if he got out more, then more people would see.

TG: Threat

JR: He really has fun with what he does.  He’s not the best, but he’s never claimed to be the best and he’s still a rookie so he’s learning, so he will get better. He’s really good at promoting himself, which kinda has a backlash when you’re a rookie because you have all this hype and you’re not there yet, but I think he’ll grow into hype.

TG: Your Lost Boys teammate, Scott Lost

JR: Scott is another really good guy. I like teaming with Scott a lot. I prefer teaming as the Lost Boys in places like the CWA, where there’s no “Old Lost Boys” so I’m not a “New Lost Boy”. It’s not really a replacement, but like at UPW it almost feels like I’m a filler if I’m a Lost Boy at UPW. Like at WPW they didn’t know Ryan Rufio so if I was a Lost Boy there, which I have done in the past, they don’t see me as a replacement.

TG: Funky Billy Kim

JR: He’s another real innovative guy and he works hard too. A real good guy to be around, real fun to work with.

TG: Excalibur

JR: I’ve only met him a couple of times, MPW and the Rev Pro show I worked (CPW – 1/13/02). We were against each other at the Rev Pro show and he was good to work with then. We didn’t do a whole lot cause it was a six-man, but I look forward to doing a singles with him.

TG: Super Dragon

JR: You know he has this bad locker room etiquette reputation, but when I was at the Rev Pro show, he gave me a hug backstage and greeted me real friendly so I didn’t see the bad reputation.

TG: Los Cubanitos

JR: I’ve learned a lot from the Cubanitos. They are really good instructors when they go to the EWF class and help Jesse train. The first match that I ever emphasized psychology in was a match against them cause I was 5 or 6 months into working and they came in and we actually used psychology. That match really was a turning point where they introduced psychology instead of
just doing moves.

TG: Jesse Hernandez

JR: Jesse, you know I love the guy. He was my original trainer. He’s always been real professional with me. We disagree on a few points about working other places, but I understand his points and I respect his points.


JR: He’s another real good guy. He’s a big fan of ours. He gets a little carried away sometimes, but he’s a big fan of the EWF and so I understand why he gets
carried away cause he likes everyone there so much.

TG: Pinoy Boy

JR: What can I say about Pinoy Boy? Like I said, I’m always real confident whenever I get to work with him. He’s another person that tries real hard, works real hard to get were he gets. He’s in there training at least as much as everyone else does to get better and he’s still really young so it’s gonna be real scary to see him in a few years, how good he gets.

TG: Martin Marin

JR: Martin has almost became a parental figure for me, kinda looks out for me. He’s the first promoter to really show interest in pushing me. He gave me the push to the WPW Cruiserweight Title, the first gringo Cruiserweight champion.
So yea, he’s become almost a father figure in the wrestling business.

TG: Paul V. of MPW

JR: Paul was really cool with me when I met him. When I met him, I wasn’t booked on the January 12th MPW card and I went there and Larry, I’ve known  Larry for a while, Larry [Park] of MPW, and he told me to come down and Paul. The moment I met him he seemed real excited to use me. He’d seen a tape I sent to Franco of MPW and he seemed real excited to get me on the card.

TG: Under Pressure

JR: I think he’s another underrated guy, he knows how to get over with the crowd and he can go in the ring too. I’ve wrestled him a couple of times and I’ve
enjoyed the matches I’ve had with him.

TG: Paul London

JR: Paul’s a really great guy. I look forward to working with him in the future. I talk to him on a regular basis. Financially, I’m kinda stuck in California and he’s stuck in Texas right now. Once we pull together, we wanna team up again and do something in the future together.


JR: It’s where I always go to find out what’s going on. I know that sounds like a commercial, but I wanna know what shows are happening and what’s going on.
The gossip is for the gossip. Sometimes it’s fun to read, but I mainly pay attention to the information and find out who’s running where and what’s going on. It’s real informative. Without it I probably would have never got on the Rev Pro show because I heard they had a show coming up and I heard about Rev
Pro though so it’s a real good informative place.

TG: Well thank you Joey Ryan for letting us do this interview with you, and good luck in the future and with your match at MPW, Saturday the 23rd.

JR: Thank you