Joey Ryan was a guest on the brand new Total Engagement w/ Matt Koon podcast and opened up about his pro wrestling career, what it’s like being known as ‘the penis guy,’ whether he would consider All Elite Wrestling as a potential full time landing spot and much more. Highlights appear below.
Joey Ryan On Being Deliberate With His Character, Taking His Character Seriously:
I would say I put a lot of thought into it. From a context, people might see what I do in the ring and think that I don’t take it serious or that I’m just some goof who goes out and does his penis stuff or whatever, and that’s OK. That’s the perception I want people to have because I want people to feel connected to the person I am in the ring. I want them to feel the sympathy, or the anger, or the hatred, or the love that the character’s feeling at the time. That’s where the connection is made, and that’s where you maintain a personality that gets over, and that’s where you build a career.
It is something I take very seriously. I do put a lot of thought and effort into it and the fact that some people think I’m so care-free is just a testament to how much work I have put into stepping outside myself and becoming this character.
On Receiving Backlash From People Uncomfortable With His Character’s Sexuality:
It could be. It is a fine line and that’s something that I consciously know when I go into the ring. I know, obviously, the penis is a sexual organ, so there’s sexuality already connected to it, but I try not to sexualize what I do in wrestling. My character will never get off by having an opponent grab him by the penis. It’s specifically so he can hit his move. As soon as I make it sexualized, then there’s a whole different context to it, but as long as I keep it as a weapon, or as motivation to win a match rather than motivation to take pleasure in – it’s a fine line and sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes people that I wrestle want me to cross that line and I have to explain to them that as soon as I do that then it changes the context of it.
Ryan On Having A Large Underage Fan Base:
A lot of people say, ‘I can never show my kids this.’ Maybe they’re speculating, if they had kids because I feel like my biggest fanbase are the 12-17 year olds because those are the ones that laugh the hardest at a penis joke, but as soon as you sexualize it then it becomes taboo, so I try not to sexualize it because the penis can be funny, or the penis can be used to create that kind of juvenile humor and people are OK with it, but if you cross that line and make it sexual then it becomes something different. I think that what I do in wrestling is actually tame compared to stuff like South Park. I don’t think I do anything that crosses a PG-13 boundary and I do that consciously because I don’t want to make it awkward.
Ryan On Being Known As ‘The Penis Guy’ & A Recent Encounter With Jazz:
When the penis stuff first started going viral, I honestly thought, ‘Cool, I can get two or three months out of this,’ but it’s still going. No pun intended, but it’s still growing and it’s funny because I just did a show this weekend and Jazz was on it. Maybe I’ve met her before as passing acquaintances, but when I saw her she was like, ‘Oh, you’re the penis guy,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ She just kind of laughed and smiled. Some people thing that’s a negative thing because somebody knows me, or because I’m the dick guy, or I’m the penis guy, but I look at it as a positive because the longer I can keep this going, or the longer I can establish myself as that – at some point I won’t be able to go in the ring, or at least as much – but there’s conventions and signings I can do and if people know who I am, it’s a lot easier to get those bookings. If my calling in wrestling is to be the penis guy, so be it because that’s gonna get me notoriety and that’s gonna get me through those times when my wrestling slows down.
(Transcription credit to Michael McClead for Wrestlezone.com)
Readers may listen to Matt Koon’s interview with Joey Ryan in its entirety below: