Joey Ryan Talks Time With TNA, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Working With Matt Morgan, His Release
Wrestling Inc.: You mentioned teaming with Matt Morgan. Did you say, was that something you came up with? Or was that something Eric came up with?
Ryan: It was Eric Bischoff's idea. He definitely liked Matt being my muscle. Kind of like a Shawn and Diesel thing from the 90s. But it was a little different,he had really big ideas for it. He wanted to put a girl with us and he wanted to different things with us. But we were limited on time and how much time he could dedicate to me and Matt as a team. A lot of people like to make that comparison, to Shawn and Diesel, but it was different then because Shawn was the focus and the attention of that group and Diesel was his muscle. They had big plans for Matt. They were doing stuff with Matt and Hogan at the time. So it's hard for that dynamic to get over when it's not so much the big guy helping the little guy.
It was supposed to be… when the attention's on Matt rather than Matt just helping me, you know what I mean? Like I think it was more of a… obviously we're trying to protect Matt and I think after a lot, you know, because they wanted to build him up to this thing, they didn't want him being too vulnerable. After a while, you can only do that for so long where I'm getting beat up and Matt's just watching because that looks stupid for the team if like I'm getting beat up and him not being the one to save me. But they didn't want Matt to be the secondary player in that situation. Like I said, had we been able to dedicate more time to it, because a lot of ideas that were pitched to us or came up for us were never executed to fruition. But yeah, it was definitely Eric Bischoff's idea.
Wrestling Inc.: Do you think it was just cut way too short? Or did you kind of see it going that way?
Ryan: I think it was cut short. I think it was almost… like I said, there's only so much time on TV and they wanted to put us on TV and they had Chavo and Hernandez as the tag team champions on TV. So they had to be on TV too. So I kind of think they rushed feuding for me and Matt and Chavo and Hernandez, because they didn't really want us to be tag team champions. They wanted us to do our little own individual things. So, they put us with Chavo and Hernandez for a while and I really liked working with them. The matches were great, but they didn't want to put the titles on me and Matt. It was one thing where we didn't have a chance to grow ourselves as a team before we started taking losses. It was always me taking the loss and protecting Matt. Matt starts to look kind of stupid if I'm the one who's always getting the losses. So I think if we had a little bit more time or if the roster was a little bit thinner, they could have put us with someone else and let us build, like establish ourselves as some sort of force to be reckoned with before we started going after the tag championships. Especially if we weren't going to win the tag championships, I think the build would have helped us a lot.
Wrestling Inc.: Were you surprised, because you're one of the few talents not from WWE, you were really starting to get over with the fans, that they didn't do more with you at that time, or even earlier this year?
Ryan: Yeah. Obviously, like I said, they had big plans for Matt and I was kind of the secondary player for our team. But I thought eventually we were going to do our own stuff and I thought I'd get to be more the character that I want to be rather than… I mean there was bits and pieces of me and I got to do some promos that were good. But I thought I'd get to be more of the Joey Ryan character, just starting doing more of our individual things. But then I honestly just became a victim of a budget when we went on the road. Stuff was costing more money and they had to tighten the budget and I wasn't… me and Matt had just finished feuding with Chavo and Hernandez and they didn't really have anything for us, so they pretty much just cut a bunch of guys that they didn't have anything written for TV. They were trying to save money where they could because going on the road was expensive, and I understand that, because they had to grow. They wanted the company to grow, so I understand the move to the road, but I just became expendable at that point to them because I wasn't on TV currently in a story line and they needed to turn the corner and make some money, turn going on the road into a gain for them.
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