Joey Ryan Talks AEW and WWE Signing Up All the Indy Talent

Posted By James Walsh on 06/15/19

– Joey Ryan was the guest on Sam Roberts’ NotSam Wrestling podcast and discussed the departure of big names from the indy scene due to their signing with WWE and AEW. Ryan said that while the departure of stars like Candice LeRae, Adam Cole and others has taken a lot of marketable names from the indies, it has opened up spots for new talent to shine. Some highlights are below:

On the departure of Candice LeRae and other friends to WWE and AEW: “Candice’s departure had the biggest effect on me and what I do. Because obviously, half of my bookings were teaming with her somewhere. But you know what? It’s kind of weird, ’cause you would think that all these guys going to NXT or signing exclusive deals, even with AEW, would hurt independent wrestling. But I find that, let’s say if Adam Cole doesn’t sign with NXT, then maybe there’s no spot for Flip Gordon to shine in Ring of Honor. So I feel like in independent wrestling, there’s always people waiting in the rings, talented people, to take those spots when somebody leaves, that those spots might not have been open before they left. I think it’s helped that those guys, even though they’re my friends and I miss them, and I wish I saw them more often, those guys departing give me more work. Because now I’m kind of a bigger name in independent wrestling when there’s less of us around, more people want a bigger piece of me. So it’s actually helped my business that they’ve gone onto these different places. I feel like there’s always another guy to come up and take the spot, and just needs that opportunity.”

On if he feels pressure to try and make sure independent wrestling stays healthy: “I do have pride in I guess how I have helped independent wrestling or just booking my own shows, Bar Wrestling out in LA. You know, just having that place for people to work. Just to keep it growing and keep it interesting and keep the industry healthy, the independent wrestling side of it healthy. But I’m finding that it is not just these people who have been wrestling forever finally getting noticed. I feel like the wrestlers [are] getting younger and younger. I guess it is like that with every sport; baseball is getting younger and younger, football is getting younger and younger. These guys are read to go, and learn quick. You’ve got guys like MJF, who is [in his] early 20s. I mean, I know he is with AEW now, but these guys that are wrestling, they understand what I didn’t understand until maybe I was 30. They’re getting it sooner and earlier, and they’re working with more of a variety of people. So, I feel like even it’s not within the industry already, there’s people that are training in wrestling school now that haven’t even debuted, that are going to make a big splash because of all the available openings in independent wrestling.”