Joseph "Joey" Ryan Meehan (November 7, 1979) is an American professional wrestler best known by his ring name Joey Ryan. He is also known for his time on the independent circuit, working for promotions such as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), which he founded with five other wrestlers and where he held the PWG World and PWG World Tag Team Championships. He is a former NWA World Tag Team Champion with Karl Anderson.
Professional wrestling career
Training and early years (2000–2006)
Meehan is the youngest of three brothers and he remembers watching WrestleMania 2, when Jake Roberts used his snake. His favorite wrestlers were Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat and the British Bulldogs. However, he didn't watch wrestling until the 1990s, because his school friends were fans. When the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) came to Anaheim, a man gave them tickets to an independent show. After watching the show, he decided to train. Meehan started his professional wrestling training in February 2000 with Jesse Hernandez's Empire Wrestling Federation in San Bernardino, CA under Bobby Bradley. During this time, Ryan (billed as Joey Shadow) was part of a gothic stable, teaming with fellow trainees Sid Shadow anD Stitches. He then went on to Rick Bassman's Ultimate Pro Wrestling in 2001 in Huntington Beach, CA and later El Segundo, CA where he trained under Tom Howard and Brian Kendrick to whom he credits with most of his training. He returned to training in 2004 at the Inoki Dojo in Santa Monica, CA under Bryan Danielson.
During his early years, Ryan became a regular at many southern California promotions including EWF and UPW where he trained, as well as Revolution Pro Wrestling where he had his first matches against Super Dragon and also competed against Mike Quackenbush and had his first inter-gender matches with Sara Del Rey. His first national exposure came when he was brought into Gary Yap's EPIC Pro Wrestling where he has matches against Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) alum The Messiah, Frankie Kazarian and Brian Kendrick on high profiled cards featuring names like Sabu, New Jack, Vampiro, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson.
After training at the Inoki Dojo, Ryan received his first television exposure from NJPW-USA Toukon Fighting Spirit. Although mostly used as an enhancement talent, he was able to get exposure by competing in matches against Bryan Danielson with CM Punk on commentary. On May 19, 2006, he competed in The Best of American Super Juniors Tournament, however losing to Roderick Strong in the first round.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Joey Ryan is one of the six founders of SoCal promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), collectively known as the "PWG Six". PWG was formed when the founders grew tired of arguing with promoters, feeling they knew more about the inner workings of professional wrestling and could therefore promote and book shows more effectively. Meehan said that they went in with low expectations, never exceeding more than one show but if enough money was attained, the production of a second show would be the goal. He began in PWG as part of the X-Foundation with Funky Billy Kim and "The Professional" Scott Lost. They teamed together at PWG's first show, losing to the team of Adam Pearce, Hardcore Kidd, and Al Katrazz. Ryan then took part in the Bad Ass Mother 3000 tournament to determine the first PWG Champion. Ryan made it to the finals, but lost to Frankie Kazarian. Ryan then teamed with Scott Lost in the Tango & Cash Invitational tournament for the PWG Tag Team Championship. They made it to the semi-finals, but lost to Super Dragon and American Dragon. Ryan and Lost won the titles at the next show by defeating inaugural champions Homicide and B-Boy, but lost them in their first defense against Quicksilver and Chris Bosh. Ryan continued teaming with the X-Foundation, and regained the tag team titles with Scott Lost on June 19, 2004 at Rocktoberfest. Problems began within the X-Foundation, leading to a ladder match between Joey Ryan and Scott Lost for the titles. Scott Lost won the match and chose Chris Bosh as his new partner. At Use Your Illusion 4, Ryan lost a 60 Minute Iron Man match to Super Dragon.
Ryan then had a brief absence from PWG. When he returned, he began teaming with Scott Lost and Chris Bosh, which lead many to question his actions. He would then set out to prove that he is the best technical wrestler. He challenged and defeated many wrestlers who are known to have great technical skills, such as Alex Shelley,Claudio Castagnoli, Rocky Romero, and Chris Hero. Though he won the matches, Ryan had to cheat and use help from Lost or Bosh to win, since he would usually be outwrestled each match. On December 3, 2005, at Chanukah Chaos (The C's Are Silent), Joey Ryan beat Kevin Steen for the PWG World Championship after Super Dragon, who was feuding with the Champion, gave Steen two Psycho Drivers. He made his first defense at CZW's Cage of Death 7 against El Generico. Ryan began defeating a number of wrestlers using some under handed tactic or a sheer stroke of luck on his behalf. It was around this time that Ryan changed his appearance to resemble Tom Selleck from Magnum, P.I., which included a big moustache. He even changed his finisher name from the Duff Drop to the Moustache Ride. Some of the wrestlers he has defeated include Chris Kanyon, Human Tornado, Chris Bosh, A.J. Styles, Emil Sitoci, Jonny Storm, Kevin Steen, Chris Sabin, Super Dragon, Necro Butcher, Frankie Kazarian, Davey Richards, and B-Boy. Ryan became at the time the longest reigning champion, and made the title a World title in the process by defending it in Europe.
He went on to form a stable known as The Dynasty, consisting of himself, Scorpio Sky, Scott Lost, and Chris Bosh. The four screwed the then PWG World Tag Team Champs Super Dragon and Davey Richards, ending their dominant reign as tag champs. Ryan would proceed to give Super Dragon a Mustache Ride through two tables, putting him on the shelf. After holding the PWG title for a little over a year, winning usually due to cheating and interference, Ryan lost the title to Human Tornado in a Guerrilla Warfare match on January 13, 2007 at Based on a True Story. On January 27, 2008 Ryan and Scott Lost were awarded the PWG World Tag Team Championship after the titles were stripped off Super Dragon and Davey Richards. They eventually lost the belts to El Generico and Kevin Steen on March 21 at 1.21 Gigawatts. During the summer of 2009, Ryan attempted to stop Chris Hero's reign as the PWG World Champion in order to retain his record as the longest reigning PWG World Champion in history, but after he failed to regain the title in two separate title matches, Hero broke Ryan's record on August 17, 2009. Shortly afterwards Ryan turned face and on September 5, entered the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles, defeating Chuck Taylor in his first round match. The following night Ryan defeated Austin Aries and Claudio Castagnoli to advance to the finals, where he defeated Chris Hero to win the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles. After his win, Ryan dubbed himself "The Hollywood Submission Machine" and adopted a new submission finishing maneuver, the End Scene. When Davey Richards was after the tournament stripped of the PWG World Championship, Ryan and the three other Battle of Los Angeles semifinalists, Brandon Gatson, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, were placed in a four-way match to determine a new champion. On October 9, 2010, at The Curse of Guerrilla Island, Ryan failed in his attempt to regain the PWG World Championship, when he was defeated by Claudio Castagnoli. Ryan received a one–on–one shot at the PWG World Championship on April 9, 2011, but was again defeated by Castagnoli. Afterwards, Ryan began regularly teaming with the returning Scorpio Sky and on August 20, the two defeated the RockNES Monsters (Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma) to become the number one contenders to the PWG World Tag Team Championship. On September 10, Ryan and Sky failed to capture the PWG World Tag Team Championship from The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). After signing a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), Ryan wrestled his PWG farewell match on December 1, 2012, where he was defeated by Scorpio Sky.
Following his release from TNA, Ryan returned to PWG at the promotion's tenth anniversary event on August 9, 2013, teaming with Peter Avalon and Ryan Taylor in a six-person opener, where they were defeated by B-Boy, Candice LeRae and Willie Mack. On August 30, Ryan entered the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles, but was eliminated from the tournament in his first round match by Drake Younger. The following day, Ryan formed the Best Friends stable with Chuck Taylor and Trent? as the three defeated B-Boy, Tommaso Ciampa and Willie Mack in a six-man tag team match. Ryan also formed a partnership with Candice LeRae, which led to the two unsuccessfully challenging The Young Bucks for the PWG World Tag Team Championship on October 19. On July 27, 2014, Ryan and LeRae defeated The Young Bucks in a Guerrilla Warfare match to become the new PWG World Tag Team Champions. They lost the title to Monster Mafia (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) on May 22, 2015, in the opening round of the 2015 DDT4.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2005, 2011, 2013)
Ryan has appeared in several matches as enhancement talent for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), competing against Rosey, Sylvan, The Gymini, Mark Henry, John Morrison, Super Crazy and two times against Big Show. On August 14, 2011, Ryan made an appearance at SummerSlam, portraying a fan during a match between Mark Henry and Sheamus. Two days later, Ryan wrestled a dark match at the SmackDown tapings in Bakersfield, California, losing to Bo Rotundo.
National Wrestling Alliance (2006–2012)
In 2006, Ryan began regularly working for David Marquez's NWA Pro Wrestling, teaming with Karl Anderson to form The Real American Heroes. Ryan and Anderson entered into the Copa de Lucha tournament for the NWA in Las Vegas, Nevada representing America and reaching the finals before losing to the Mexico team of Los Luchas which began a feud between the two teams that lasted nearly two years. The return match in Las Vegas at the Fiesta Lucha event was a Flag Match that saw Ryan and Anderson align themselves with Adam Pearce and his manager C. Edward Vander Pyle. The Real American Heroes and Los Luchas faced off in Cage Matches, First Blood Matches and more at events in Phoenix, Arizona, Hammond, Indiana, Kissimmee, Florida and throughout Texas and California. At times, The Real American Heroes incited near riots from the crowds, most notably in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Houston, TX. On July 7, 2007, Ryan and Anderson defeated the teams of Billy Kidman and Sean Waltman and Sicodelico, Jr. and Incognito to become the first post-TNA-era NWA World Tag Team Champions. After several attempts, Los Luchas captured the titles away from Ryan and Anderson on February 10, 2008 in Las Vegas. Soon after losing the titles, Anderson began working full-time for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Ryan went on as a singles competitor in the NWA. He has had multiple shots at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship facing off against the likes of Blue Demon, Jr., Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana only to fall short each time. In 2010, he was a part of the launch of Championship Wrestling From Hollywood and heavily featured with standout matches against TJ Perkins and Scorpio Sky. In early 2011, he took over booking for the TV show which lasted until August when he had a falling out and left the company. He returned to the company in late 2011. In 2012, Ryan seemingly rejoined the tag team ranks in the NWA by forming an alliance with Johnny Goodtime.
Wrestling Society X (2006–2007)
Wrestling Society X (WSX) was a short-lived professional wrestling-based television series produced in 2006 by Big Vision Entertainment. The weekly television series formerly aired on MTV, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, and over a dozen other MTV outlets throughout the world. WSXtra, an extra program featuring WSX matches and interviews not broadcast on television, was available on the promotion's MTV website and Video on Demand. Ryan was featured in a team with Disco Machine and together they formed That 70's Team. The duo instantly became cult favorites of the fans of the show. Ryan is most noted for his applying of babyoil, use of his inhaler and getting his wrestling trunks pulled down revealing his thong underwear all while in the ring during the show. The team is featured on episode 2 against Team Dragon Gate (Masato Yoshino and Genki Horiguchi), on episode 3 against D.I.F.H. (Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black), on episode 4 against Ruckus and Babi Slymm, on episode 6 against D.I.F.H. (Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black), on episode 8 against Trailer Park Boys (Nate Webb and Josh Raymond) and Quicksilver & Matt Classic and on episode 9 against D.I.F.H. (Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black).
Ring of Honor (2009–2010)
Ryan appeared on the April 8, 2009 Ring of Honor (ROH) Video Wire with the video implying he was coming soon. He then appeared in the April 21, 2009 ROH Video Wire, claiming he was bringing "sleazy" to Ring of Honor. On April 29, 2009 he appeared on ROH Video Wire saying that Boston and Edison should get ready for their "date with a rock superstar" and that he would "rape" ROH of its honor. Ryan made his official debut as a part of The Embassy on May 9, teaming with Jimmy Rave and Claudio Castagnoli to defeat Brent Albright, Colt Cabana and Erick Stevens. He made his first appearance on Ring of Honor Wrestling television on September 18, losing to Cabana. Ryan would then go on to defeat Roderick Strong in his second match on ROH on HDNet, with help from Prince Nana. He would go on to feud with Colt Cabana and on several occasions join fellow Embassy member Claudio Castagnoli battling against his rival Brent Albright. Ryan would eventually begin a rivalry with Necro Butcher including a No Disqualification match on November 6, 2009. During his feud with Necro Butcher, Erick Stevens would turn heel and join The Embassy and Ryan and Stevens would be frequently featured as a team in tag team matches. The Ryan and Stevens duo faced teams such as Briscoe Brothers and Player Uno and Player Dos but their most prolific matches came against the team of Necro Butcher and Eddie Kingston including a Street Fight at the 8th anniversary show on February 13, 2010.
Other promotions (2008–2015)
Joey Ryan is a well traveled veteran of the independent scene and along with those mentioned above, he has also made multiple appearances for such promotions as Revolution Pro Wrestling (Rev Pro), All Pro Wrestling (APW), Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South (IWA-MS), Chikara, Anarchy Championship Wrestling (ACW), Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW), Full Impact Pro (FIP), Mach One Wrestling (M1W), International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW), Pro Wrestling Bushido and more. In 2008, Joey Ryan became an instructor at Rick Bassman's Ultimate University, the wrestling school for Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). Ryan was brought in as an assistant trainer on the CMT television series Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. In 2009, he became a trainer at Mach One Wrestling's Wrestling 101. Ryan has also become a staple at Lucha VaVoom, a hybrid variety show of wrestling, burlesque dancing and comedy based out of Los Angeles. In addition to their regular Los Angeles shows, he has toured the country with the company including including Chicago, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Seattle among other stops. Ryan plays a variation of his "Magnum" character but uses Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" as his entrance music and smokes cigarettes during matches and applies baby oil to his body before he competes. In 2011, Ryan was featured as a trainer on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4, Episode 2. In October 2011, Meehan took part in the first season tapings of Wrestling Retribution Project (WRP), where he performed as Chase Walker, with actress Trish LaFache as his valet. Meehan traveled to India in late 2011 and early 2012 to take part in Ring Ka King, which was created by Jeff Jarrett and backed by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where Dave Lagana (both worked in CWFH and ROH) worked. In the promotion he performed as Joey Hollywood, often teaming with Tony Broadway. On July 28, 2012, Ryan participated in a Vendetta Pro Wrestling event in Lompoc, California, participating in the main event for the vacant Vendetta Pro Heavyweight title, losing to Chavo Guerrero, Jr.. On December 7, 2012, he lost the EWF Heavyweight Championship to Brandon Gaston.
On July 21, 2013, Ryan returned to Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and won the CWFH International Television Championship (also MAV Television Championship). On November 3, 2013, Ryan defeated Drake Younger to retain the title. Ryan lost the title against Ryan Taylor on May 11, 2014. However, he regained the title at Red Carpet Rumble on June 15, 2014. on June 14, 2014 at House of Hardcore 6, Ryan defeated Tommasco Ciampa.
On September 19, 2015, Ryan made his Japanese debut for the Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) promotion, defeating Tomomitsu Matsunaga. During his tour of DDT, Ryan took part in a comedy spot, where he used his penis to overpower Danshoku Dino. Video of the spot went viral and led to Ryan being featured on the New York Daily News, Rolling Stone and Vice, while also getting him a sponsorship deal with YouPorn Sports. Ryan returned to DDT in May 2016, winning the comedic DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, which he then took on an extended tour of the United States, losing and winning it multiple times over the following months. When Ryan returned to Japan in August 2016, he was a 22-time Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion. He has since won the title multiple times, including once on March 20, 2017, during DDT's 20th anniversary event. In March 2017, Ryan brought the title back to the United States for a tour during WrestleMania 33 weekend.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2012–2013)
Joey's friend Dave Lagana presented him to Al Snow and Bruce Prichard, who decided to use him in Gut Check. On May 24, 2012, Ryan made an appearance on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's (TNA) Impact Wrestling television program, losing to Austin Aries in a Gut Check Challenge. The following week, the Gut Check judges decided not to sign Ryan to a TNA contract based on his performance. Before the match, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff told him that they like him and he want to use him in the future. He was a heel in the promo and insulted Taz, who was upset due to his attitude. Ryan returned to TNA on the June 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, interrupting Taeler Hendrix's Gut Check evaluation, before being escorted out of the arena. On the July 3 edition of Vendetta Pro Wrestling's "Vendetta Pro Radio", Ryan was a guest host, when he was confronted live on air by TNA Gut Check judge Taz. Ryan made his next appearance on July 26, punching Gut Check judge Al Snow during another Gut Check Challenge match. Ryan again appeared on the August 30 episode of Impact Wrestling, confronting Snow with a megaphone and throwing a drink in his face, before being chased out of the building. Ryan and Snow had another confrontation the following week, which ended with Snow slapping Ryan. On the October 4 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ryan met Snow in the ring and received an apology for the slap, before signing what he thought was a TNA contract. Snow then revealed that Ryan had actually signed a contract for a match between the two at Bound for Glory.
On October 14 at Bound for Glory, Ryan defeated Snow, following interference from Matt Morgan, to earn a TNA contract. On the October 25 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ryan and Morgan entered the ring, after Rob Van Dam had successfully defended the X Division Championship against Zema Ion, with Morgan hitting him with the Carbon Footprint, after which Ryan posed with his title belt. The following week, Ryan defeated Van Dam in a non-title match with help from Morgan. On November 11 at Turning Point, Ryan unsuccessfully challenged Van Dam for the X Division Championship. On December 9 at Final Resolution, Ryan and Morgan unsuccessfully challenged Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Hernandez for the TNA World Tag Team Championship, after losing to them via disqualification. Ryan and Morgan challenged Gurrero and Hernandez again on January 13, 2013, at Genesis, but were again unsuccessful in winning their titles. After not being seen for several weeks, Ryan returned on March 10 at Lockdown, losing to Joseph Park in a singles match.On July 3, 2013, Ryan was released from his contract, along with several other TNA talents including Crimson, Madison Rayne and Christian York.
Lucha Underground (2015–2018)
On December 14, 2015 it was announced that Ryan signed with Lucha Underground and would appear on the show's second season. His character was introduced as an undercover Los Angeles police officer, and the new partner of fellow undercover officer Cortez Castro (although their cover will be that they are enemies). He lost his debut match on the February 17, 2016 episode of Lucha Underground against Cage. On the May 25 episode of Lucha Underground, Ryan defeated Mascarita Sagrada. During the third season, Ryan allied himself with Dario Cuerto, revealing Castro is a cop. They started a feud, ending in a Police match with an Aztec Medallion on the line.
- Finishing and signature moves
- "The Technical Wizard”
- "Famous Dick Wrestler"
- "King of Dong Style"
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
- Markus Riot
- Theme music
- "Magnum P.I." By Mike Post (PWG)
- "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes (Independent circuit)
Championships and accomplishments
- California Wrestling Alliance
- CWA (California Wrestling Alliance) Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Scott Lost
- Championship Wrestling From Hollywood
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #138 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- Southern California Tag Team of the Year (2002) with Scott Lost
- Southern California Match of the Year (2004) vs. Super Dragon, October 23, 2004
- Southern California Wrestler of the Year (2006)
- World Class Wrestling Alliance
- WCWA California Championship (1 time)
- WCWA (World Class Wrestling Alliance) Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Scott Lost
- World Power Wrestling