Joey Ryan had been in IMPACT Wrestling for only a few months before radically changing his gimmick. In December, the raunchy, greasy, penis-plexing superstar shocked audiences by appearing in glasses, sweaters, and slacks. The former King of Sleaze had become reserved, almost puritanical Joseph P. Ryan. He also quickly formed a stable around himself, with controversial IMPACT stars Katie Forbes and Rob Van Dam. Joey Ryan talks about gimmick change and more with the Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
“Well, there were a few reasons. One, it’s about time. I know I haven’t been in Impact that long, but I’ve been doing the character for five years. A lot of people don’t realize that the first penis flip was five years ago. It has been a long time, and you have to keep growing and moving forward or things are going to get stale. It’s not that the character of Joey Ryan was losing its audience, as it was growing still. But you want to catch it before it happens and don’t want to change while you’re on the decline, because then it comes off as more desperate. It’s like the old Seinfeld thing – you walk out when you’re on top. Give the audience something different while you’re still hot.” – Joey Ryan
Ryan then spoke about his new group, #CancelCulture –
“Impact was looking for new heels and I came up with this. Obviously, it’s a take on Right to Censor, and originally my initial pitch was Right to Cancel. It’s more contemporary with social media and they tweaked it to Cancel Culture. Right to Censor was based on TV, as there weren’t much social media in the 90s. Now, in modern times, with Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, there are a lot more world critics out there. It’s still something that’s relevant and a lot of ideas in wrestling you can recycle. You can change them and make them more contemporary in today’s world. It’s a different time now, but it’s the same idea. So, it still plays in today’s society.” – Joey Ryan
Joey Ryan clearly sees the need every once in a while to reinvent yourself in pro wrestling –
“It’s almost like a band, where you’ve got your songs that you know your audience is going to come up for. Now you’re trying to get your new material to get that same reaction. It’s fun and different, and I’m enjoying it.” – Joey Ryan
Listen to the full podcast here
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