Joey Ryan
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

Joey Ryan Drops Several Defamation Lawsuits, Claims He’s Not Trying To ‘Come Back To Wrestling’

Joey Ryan has issued a detailed statement to SoCalUncensored and says he’s not trying to make a secret return to the wrestling business.

Last week, a wrestling event called Wrestling 4 Women’s Charity was announced with Joey Ryan’s image on the poster, which led to a considerable amount of backlash from wrestlers and fans that didn’t know he was involved in the show. Ryan’s Bar Wrestling was listed as the promoter of the event, which was swiftly cancelled after Tony Khan threatened to pull AEW talent and FITE said they weren’t broadcasting the event.

Now Ryan says despite the stories going around about his involvement and his secret attempt to return to wrestling, none of the stories are true and he was just looking for closure. Ryan tells SoCalUncensored in his statement that he only used Bar Wrestling as a convenience for handling ticket sales and he only agreed to the appearance if he was announced and not used as a surprise. Furthermore, Ryan says he also had a stipulation that 100% of the proceeds went to charity and it’s obvious now that “wrestling twitter wasn’t ready for that.” Ryan claims the reception to the event left him feeling “indifferent”, but it also gave him some closure and he was “actually a little jazzed that I’m still over enough to trend on Twitter, which shows exactly where my priorities were.”

Related: Wrestling Event Linked To Joey Ryan Cancelled After Tony Khan Pulls AEW Talent, FITE Issues Statement

In addition to addressing the charity show, Ryan also said he’s dropping most of his lawsuits in relation to being named in the Speaking Out movement. Ryan was accused of 18 different accounts sexual assault last summer, and was fired by IMPACT Wrestling as a result. He says he’s keeping the IMPACT lawsuit open because “breach of contract” is an entirely different issue. At the time of filing, Ryan’s lawsuit claimed IMPACT parent company Anthem “failed to perform as guaranteed in the express language of the Contract by failing to follow and abide by the terms prescribed in Article VIII. Term and Termination” and that they failed to adhere to the “express terms prescribed in Section 8.03 (a)-(i).”

Ryan claims the language in the contract with IMPACT allows him to receive written notice of breach of contract and a five day “cure period” to work out any issues. If nothing could be worked out to alleviate the breach, then he and IMPACT would have a period of 30 days to resolve the matter together, and after that, IMPACT would then be able to terminate the deal if they had been unable to resolve all matters. Ryan claims that since IMPACT did not follow proper procedure, he suffered substantial damage to his income and reputation. He was requesting a judgment of $10 million for damages caused by the defendant’s (IMPACT / Anthem’s) actions, as well as legal fees and any monies for “further and general relief” the Court declares he is entitled to.

Ryan says he’s unsure if he will drop a separate lawsuit against former Ring Of Honor talent Pelle Primeau, who he is suing for libel in relation to one of the accusations. Joey Ryan states (via SoCalUncensored):

I’ve also spent the past week or so reflecting on my defamation lawsuits and have decided to drop them, for the most part, including the ones that I’ve already won by default. There’s a misconception that I’m “suing everyone.” I’m not. I filed lawsuits against the four women who accused me of an actual crime, one person who misreported information and later admitted it and one person who made up stories about me. The only reason I filed any lawsuits was for some semblance of due process that I believe is due to persons accused of what I was accused of, instead of getting tried in the court of public opinion. I wanted to have all of the defendants in the lawsuits respond to the complaints so that they could explain why they made the false statements and explain the evidence that exists against their claims. A default judgment does not allow for the due process that I was seeking because the defendants did not want to participate so I am seeking to dismiss those cases. I was also hoping the lawsuits would permit an investigation through what is called the “discovery” phase in a lawsuit, which I wasn’t afforded because none of the accusers went to the police and IMPACT Wrestling decided to terminate our contract without so much as consulting me or conducting any investigation as mutually agreed upon in the terms before they terminated it.

For full transparency, I am leaving the IMPACT Wrestling lawsuit open. Breach of contract is an entirely different issue. I know wrestling doesn’t have a union or really anybody to look out for us in contract negotiations but they have forced wrestlers to sit at home after disputes and wait out contracts with threats of breach. It would set a bad precedent to not hold them accountable to their side of these same contracts.

As to the out of state defendants, I lost jurisdiction to have one of the cases litigated in California and it was moved to Pennsylvania. Based on the judge’s decision to have that case continue in the state where the defendant lives, it was a better decision to let the cases against the other out of state defendants be litigated in the areas where those defendants live. Those dismissals are all without prejudice so I have the option to refile them in their home areas. However, refiling them is no longer the plan.

The one I’m still on the fence about dismissing is the case in Pennsylvania as he has displayed the most egregious conduct and dishonesty with his attempts to hijack the speaking out movement to settle a personal vendetta. The other cases were misrepresentations of actual encounters with those women but his are based on fiction. Whether it was his Tinder story about me or the messages he claims to have, none of it can be authenticated. I’ve never been on Tinder in my life and I have never been a friend or even knew of his ex’s personal Facebook page and she completely hid him and their relationship from her professional page. Those are things that I can authenticate. I didn’t even know she had a fiancé until recently and it’s been eight years since any sexual encounter with her and she has never accused me of any wrongdoing. I’ll make a final decision about this case in the coming week.

Joey Ryan went on to state he’d be lying if he said that losing an Anti-SLAPP decision last week in California State Court “didn’t take the wind out of my sails and alter my thinking process.” Despite claiming he got what he wanted in the judgement and proved that one of the cases was a consensual act, he says he still can’t prove that this person also knowingly made a false statement and isn’t sure what exactly he stands to “win” by keeping these cases open.

“Would it be vindication or just validation? And if it’s validation then for who? Even if I “win,” I’ve still been a womanizer, been unfaithful, been selfish and self-seeking in my broken life. That doesn’t make me feel like a winner,” Joey Ryan wrote. He claimed that the “silver lining” in the whole ordeal is that he no longer has to live in secret, or hide the shame of cheating and his defects, and putting everything in the open has been a “liberating” experience.

For the past eight months, I’ve been attending weekly Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous meetings both in-person and on Zoom. My addictions are most prevalent in intrigue and validation. It’s an emotional high and the women have been my fix. SLAA is a 12-step program and I’ve been stalled out a bit in the middle of it. I can’t fully give my resentments to God and expect to move forward and past them if I’m bound to these cases. I just want to get better and give my power and energy to the solution. I want to become the best version of myself that I can be. Carrying around hate doesn’t punish the people we think it does.

I know my actions on social media as of late have not helped public perception of me. No matter how many times I’ve been criticized or the context of it, it can still hurt. And I do feel the weight of constant death wishes. If I don’t keep my ego in check when I perceive someone wants to attack me, my instincts can regress those of a child, taking it personally and lashing out and getting resentful. However, I ask that you put yourself in my shoes and think about how you may react to reframed allegations. Then people started throwing words around like “rape” and “pedophile” even when they weren’t in the accusations. It’s a natural reaction to defend yourself. This is something that I don’t wish on my worst enemies but it has pushed me towards seeking more forms of therapy to address deeper issues.

I know there will responses to this statement. Opinions about the statement. Opinions about me. Opinions about what people believe I have done and what I have failed to do. Opinions about my past, present and future. My statement can be changed to fit the narratives of the opinionators. What cannot be changed is that this is my statement.

The full statement Joey Ryan provided to SoCalUncensored can be seen at this link.

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