Steve Austin and Joey Ryan chopped it up as Ryan stopped by 317 Gimmick Street on the latest edition of The Steve Austin Show.
Over the course of the nearly 90 minute conversation, Ryan discussed online criticism of his work, the tough sledding that comes with being an independent wrestler, and how long he sees himself making a living in the business.
A Polarizing Figure
Ryan, of course, is something of a polarizing figure in the wrestling industry. Some see an entertaining wrestler who has made a niche for himself in a crowded wrestling landscape. Others, particularly traditionalists, and some vocal hardcore wrestling fans, accuse him of killing the business.
“Online, people call me a piece of s*** on a daily basis. I see that every day, and it’s tough sometimes,” Ryan said. “I go online and I read negative feedback and it kind of gets me a little bit.”
Ryan said that he tries not to focus on the negative, particularly the harsh words from diehards, as he sees himself as more of a wrestler for casual fans. “My audience is casual fans who aren’t as invested in wrestling,” Ryan said. “They just want to be entertained.”
Ryan also said that he reminds himself that the vocal minority is not the measuring stick for his success or failure in wrestling. “How often I get booked, my t-shirt sales, all that stuff, I have to look and see that the positive outweighs the negative.”
Life On The Indies
The life of an independent wrestler is a busy one, Ryan said.
“I work hard, and it’s not just bumping or doing moves. I travel, I don’t sleep, I have to agent my own bookings. I’m independent. I have to negotiate my own deals,” Ryan said.
Ryan also wants to work as much as possible. “Sometimes I overbook myself, whether it’s smart or not.”
As the discussion turned to potentially winding down his career, Ryan mentioned that he might see himself in more of a behind the scenes role in the business in the not too distant future.
Much of that, he says, will be determined by his hustle. “It depends on how healthy I can keep myself, and how relevant I can keep myself. I’m working a less is more style now. This character is a blessing too. It plays at conventions, it plays at autograph signings, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the ring,” Ryan said.
Ryan also told a funny story about meeting Kevin Sullivan, discussed All In, and covered a variety of other topics. An excerpt can be found below, while the full episode with Steve Austin and Joey Ryan can be found here.
When referencing this transcript, please credit SEScoops.com. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
What do you think of Ryan’s comments? Do you think he is killing the business?