When he’s not using his nether region to flip his opponents and sign lucrative sponsorship contracts with porn companies, independent wrestling mainstay Joey Ryan is a romantic at heart.
During an intergender match against his real-life girlfriend, Laura James, at Finest City Wrestling in San Diego, California, last night, Ryan popped the crowd by popping the question. As James stood in confused excitement, Ryan grabbed a microphone, an engagement ring, and got down to one knee as the crowd cheered.
Before Ryan could formally ask James if she would marry him, a resounding “Yes!” came from both her and the crowd. True to his dedication to the sport, Ryan didn’t allow the moment to get the best of him, and he still had his concentration on a victory.
Surprising James with an inside cradle, Ryan pinned his soon-to-be wife as she couldn’t help but smile. “First and foremost, I am a professional,” Ryan said to James with a beaming smile on his bearded face. “I need that share of the winner’s match purse.”
Ryan is quickly developing a penchant for going viral. Most recently, he received a lot of mainstream publicity after using his penis as a weapon of a mass destruction during a match in Japan.
True to his word, Ryan remained professional and was able to parlay his stiff antics into dollars. T-shirts and sponsorship deals with porn companies, such as YouPorn Sports, all followed as Ryan’s popularity skyrocketed.
“I’m more like a brand ambassador,” Ryan told Rolling Stone about the sponsorship deal. “They’ve already given me a bunch of hats and T-shirts – I’m wearing one of the hats right now.”
A well-traveled veteran of the pro wrestling industry, Ryan — whose real name is Joseph Ryan Meehan — has been wrestling for 15 years and performed for every major company. Originally, the Los Angeles, California, native gained fame for being one of the original six founding fathers of Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG), one of the most well-known independent promotions in the country.
In addition to his work for PWG, Ryan has also enjoyed stints with World Wrestling Entertainment, Total Nonstop Action, Ring of Honor, and more. Ryan’s work with WWE was relegated to work as an extra and several dark matches — also undergoing a tryout with WWE at one point.
Ryan was given an extended look with TNA, where he was given significant television time and put in programs with some TNA mainstays. However, Ryan’s time in TNA was a brief one, and he left the company less than a year after debuting.
A former guest of the Inquisitr, Ryan spoke about being a touring independent wrestler and how much he enjoys the freedom of not having a major company breathing down his neck.
“Independent fans, indy wrestling fans and the independent scene as a whole sometimes looks at itself as the alternative to mainstream wrestling. That’s what they buy into and that’s what they like. Of course, you’re gonna have independent shows headlined by guys that draw in more of the masses, like WWE guys or TNA guys. But for the most part, independent wrestling fans come to the show to see an alternative and so if you’re labeled as a TV guy, TNA guy or WWE guy, you’re kind of seen as that rather than being part of the alternative.”
Currently, Ryan is a part of the second season of Lucha Underground. Despite the fact of his successful tag team with Candice LaRae — in a matter of months — Ryan will form a new World’s Cutest Tag Team, and it will be with his soon-to-be wife.
[Photo by Mark Suleymanov]