Joey Ryan, Bar Wrestling deactivate Twitter accounts following allegations, Highspots issues statement

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/22/joey-ryan-bar-wrestling-deactivate-twitter-accounts-following-allegations/

Following numerous allegations made public against Joey Ryan (Joseph Meehan), the performer has deactivated his Twitter account along with the account associated with his promotion, Bar Wrestling.

Ryan has been accused of numerous allegations including sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Among the alleged acts included Rok-C, who stated Ryan began flirting with her when she was 17 years old and again when she was 18. There was an anonymous post stating that Ryan forced her to perform a sexual act on him.

After posting a statement regarding the allegations, Ryan has deactivated his Twitter account as well as Bar Wrestling’s account, which is the company Ryan ran.

Highspots has also pulled Bar Wrestling’s content from their streaming service. Michael Bochicchio of Highspots provided POST Wrestling with the following statement regarding Bar Wrestling and other content involving Ryan:

We ended the agreement as it relates to any future money being paid to Joey, therefore we removed Bar Wrestling from HSWN since Bar Wrestling would have received money based on the number of viewers it attracted.

We did not pull the Joey Ryan Penis Party since Joey was paid a one time fee (last payment was March 2019) to use his name to promote the show, he never saw a penny for sales after the fact (same deal as Janela has with Gamechanger as it relates to Spring Break). However, we will be rebranding that single show as the Wrestlecon Penis Party and we will not be doing any future shows under that name.

WE did not pull the Bar Wrestling DVDS and video downloads off Highspots.com (yet) because we have already paid for that content and nothing related to its sales would go back to Joey. We may choose to remove those things in the future, but since ZERO money is being paid to Joey for those sales, its something I’m comfortable keeping up at this time as I continue to ponder how to handle these issues.

Steve Bryant at SoCalUncensored reports that Bar Wrestling has ceased operations and added that the promotion’s venue, the Bootleg Theatre, ceased ties with the group over the allegations.

Below is Ryan’s statement that has since been deleted:

I have been watching along with all of you as the #speakout movement has spread across the internet. I am also aware that my name has been mentioned as part of this discussion.

I have been contemplating how to respond to everything that has unfolded in the last three days. This is an important topic, and it truly deserves the time it is getting, even if it is uncomfortable.

After speaking with my attorney, I have been advised not to respond to any specific allegations at this time. And the truth of the matter is, I do not want to spend time dissecting which parts of stories are true, which parts are different from what I remember and which things being said are outright false. It is important for me to use this platform to take responsibility and not attempt to minimize the feelings of anyone that was hurt by me in order to save face.

So instead, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly share some parts of my private life with everyone. It is not a part of my life that I am proud of, but taking responsibility is important. Today, I must take responsibility for the way I behaved in the past, and I will do that right now.

As I am sure you are all aware, several years ago, and all in a very short period of time, a lot of things changed in my life. The ‘dick flip’ went viral. I started traveling the world and living a ‘rock ‘n roll lifestyle.’ I came into contact with a lot of people, including women. And, the truth is, I did not always treat people with respect. And I will acknowledge that it was possible that I pursued people that I thought were interested in me and invaded their personal space and made them feel uncomfortable in the process.

Nearly two years ago, my ex-wife and I were separated. The separation impacted me greatly and I began to reflect on the person I had been previous to it, and the person that I wanted to be. During that self-reflection, I was not proud of what I saw. As a result, I entered counseling in October 2018 and still attend every week to this very day. I have been on prescription medication. I have worked every day for nearly two years to be a person that respects not only people’s boundaries, but respects people. If you felt that you were a person that I did not treat with respect, I apologize. Aside from this post, I have been reaching out to some of the people involved and we have had positive interactions and started the healing process.

I have worked hard to make wrestling a safe and welcoming place for everyone. I will make up for my shortcomings of the past by working harder in the future to continue to do that. With all of the different social movements happening right now, we need to take this opportunity to listen and learn and continue to strive every day to do better.

Impact Wrestling released a statement last Friday to PWinsider.com addressing any allegations against talent:

It is a core value of the Anthem organization that we conduct our business with respect and integrity, providing a safe and secure work environment for our employees and performers. We are following carefully the various allegations being made through social media, and are reviewing all incidents involving Impact Wrestling talent and personnel to determine an appropriate course of action.

POST Wrestling has reached out to Impact Wrestling regarding an update on the status of Ryan with the promotion.

Being the Elite has deleted Episode 109 from YouTube, which was the funeral episode for Ryan.

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I would be interested to hear what people who thought his dick gimmick was entertaining think about that position now? Would that still be an acceptable gimmick if it a performer invented it now?

The spot, in itself, is entertaining. Even though the person doing it has been tarnished (to put it lightly)
As with anything in wrestling, both parties have to agree on it. It is consensual between adults. If someone else did it, it would have still been funny

I mean, as somebody who booked him - I never heard any complaints from other workers - and his gimmick was a silly comedy one, that most people seemed fine with.

However, these revelations are truly awful, and really have made all of us who have encountered him question using him

We shall have to agree to disagree on that.

That aside, you are missing my point. Do you really think that spot was ever appropriate or conducive to fostering an inclusive environment never mind after all the allegations. I would say the same thing about many other wrestling storylines. I mean ffs, WWE still has several storylines relating to women effectively being possessions.

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Forgive me if I missed it, but did you make a statement regarding the allegations themselves?

Joey Ryan is a shitty person who did a dick gimmick. He isnt one because he did a dick gimmick.

You can be a decent person and have a dick gimmick or any gimmick in wrestling. Joey Ryan isn’t, but there is nothing that says if Sami Zayn starts doing a dick gimmick in wrestling, he would turn into a shitty person or that it wouldn’t be acceptable.

Like all forms of art, pro-wrestling should be given the opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries. Granted doing it at the liberty of someone else or their safety is a no no, but pigeonholing it to be just XYZ is just stifling it.

I’m not a P.R. expert, but maybe now would be a good time to ditch the whole “Penis Party” concept altogether? :100:

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If the move was performed by another guy, it would have had the same impact. Or, at least comparable. If say, Mick Foley did it, it would have been way more over (probably). But the penis flip is a defensive move, the other wrestler has to grab the groin, and then sell their ass off. Without the selling, it wouldn’t work. That’s my take on it. The wrestler selling the move is the one doing all the work. It’s not like when X-pac would shove his balls in someone’s face

I may be wrong, but I read it as them ditching the concept and that they would be renaming last years show, taking out Joey Ryans name and making it Wrestlecon instead.

Who do you dislike more Joey Ryan or Orange Cassidy?

I never really cared for the dick gimmick. I wasn’t offended by it, I just thought it was stupid. I just can’t see how he can do it now after facing these allegations unless he can somehow prove he is innocent.

FFS. You are missing the point so let me spell it out for you.

I am not saying “Joey Ryan is a shitty person” “because he did a dick gimmick”. My question was nothing to do with Joey Ryan.

My question was a commentary on the rampant hypocrisy of all those who find a way to justify something that any right minded person would deem in poor taste, pretty disgusting and sexual in nature (nevermind fn stupid) as okay whilst going on about how wrestling has to be less sexist and a more inclusive environment for women.

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That’s probably a broadway. You’ll need Jason Hervey, Gary Juster, Patty Mullen, Ken Osmond and Sandy Scott to call that one.

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At least someone gets it.

I guess I misunderstood your question. But I still believe that as long as all parties involved were consensual and explicitly knew everything involved, I don’t think that it borders on distasteful or creepy. I don’t think the spot is particularly funny, but I don’t think it’s particularly disgusting either. It isn’t any different than a sex scene in a movie or a TV show as long as everyone was consensual.

It’s not hypocrisy to be entertained by a sexual construct or theme in any form of entertainment but hope that everyone involved is comfortable doing it.

That being said, you may be right about the fact that there is almost always subtext involved in something sexual though. Maybe tabling the penis thing for a while makes sense as the wrestler most known for it turned out to be an asshole.

Okay, but we’ll need to agree to disagree on that comment.

Maybe use my whole comment next time? The part before the comma as well.

As far as his act goes, at the end of the day this stuff is subjective. Nobody is “right” nobody is “wrong”. I think wrestling fans need to get it out of their heads that their opinion of whether something is good or not is concrete fact.

Like I said, I found Joey Ryan’s shtick stupid, I wasnt offended by it, I didnt think it as creepy, it was something that I felt was juvenile. I looked at it in the same light that I looked at Dr. Heiney (though this was worse since it took a shot at JR) or Judy Bagwell on a pole.

After this though, I think he has to drop it.

The part before the comma didn’t influence my opinion on me thinking it is creepy. The fact whoever he is doing the spot with agrees to it doesn’t make it any less creepy. It just means they are as juvenile and have as poor taste as he does.

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