Joseph Meehan, who most wrestling fans knew as Joey Ryan, hasn’t had a wrestling booking since he was accused of numerous incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct during last summer’s #SpeakingOut movement.
Wrestling promotions and people in the business he was associated with, from Impact Wrestling to The Young Bucks & Candice LeRae, have distanced themselves from Meehan while he portrayed himself as a falsely accused born again Christian - and sued Impact and several of his accusers. The breach of contract suit filed against Impact and a defamation suit against fellow independent wrestler Pelle Tsichlis (aka Pelle Primeau) are ongoing. Meehan won a default judgement against one woman when she did not respond to the summons; he’s since requested that the case be dismissed. Another case against three other women was dismissed by the court without prejudice when the plaintiff failed to respond to an Order to Show Cause.
As thoroughly disgraced as Meehan seemed to be, this is wrestling, and a comeback attempt felt inevitable. But few expected it would be like this.
Yesterday (Mar. 2), tickets for a “Wrestling For Women’s Charity” show went on sale. Among the famous faces on the poster for the event in Knoxville, Tennessee was Meehan’s.
Fans quickly noticed, and remarked on the audacity of booking someone accused of what Meehan was accused of for a women’s charity event. Folks then figured out that Bar Wrestling, the promotion Meehan ran in Southern California until he closed it after the #SpeakingOut stories hit, was behind “Wrestling For Women’s Charity”.
And that’s when other people on the poster began distancing themselves from the show.
I will not be involved in this show in anyway I was mislead of the purpose of this show. https://t.co/Alh3CMlIow— KING MV (@THEonlyMVYoung) March 2, 2021
Apparently because Meehan and Bar Wrestling’s involvement wasn’t specified up front.
Purposefully not informing involved talent is also disgusting— EFFY (@EFFYlives) March 2, 2021
In the case of AEW President Tony Khan, that meant pulling the talent under contract to his company out of “Wrestling For Women’s Charity”.
If Joey Ryan is there, my people won’t be there. I’ll gladly donate to the charity though.— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) March 2, 2021
Khan then wondered about the charity, Project GRL, the event was said to be supporting:
Wait if he’s behind this (is he?), then is this charity even legit?— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) March 2, 2021
We’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but Project GRL is an evangelical organization led by Joan Meyer, whose finances have been called into question multiple times over the course of her ministry. The revelation of that information resulted in even more pushback against the event.
In the end, it turned out to be a case of all’s well that ends well, or much adieu about nothing. After Fite.TV’s Chief Marketing Officer tweeted to ensure fans that reports of “Wrestling for Women’s Charity” streaming on the service were false…
Hello, this is Kim Hurwitz, CMO of FITE. I wanted to confirm that this event is not being carried by FITE. Thank you for your comments. We love our pro wrestling community!— FITE (@FiteTV) March 2, 2021
The show’s Twitter account posted this message:
“We apologize for riling everyone up. It is clear that we’re in over our heads. We’ll say that everybody booked was fully aware of all details including going through AEW’s 3rd party booking system for talent. Rather than put talent in a tough situation, we’ve canceled the show.”
Then was deleted.
You can’t make this stuff up, scripted fight fans.