As an encore to suing multiple women who accused of him of sexual misconduct in the #SpeakingOut movement, Joey Ryan is now suing his former employer, Impact Wrestling, for breach of contract. Ryan is seeking $10,000,000 in damages plus legal fees in the lawsuit, which was first reported on by PWInsider. The crux of Ryan's lawsuit alleges Impact failed to follow terms outlined in their contract that would have allowed him time to respond and correct the damage caused by his being named by over a dozen women as part of the #SpeakingOut movement that saw dozens of men in the wrestling business accused of misconduct.
After Ryan was named on social media, he shut down Bar Wrestling and left Twitter on June 21st in the wake of the allegations. Ryan was officially released from Impact Wrestling several days later. Last month, it was revealed that Ryan is suing three women for $10,000,000 in damages due to loss of income from wrestling, from running Bar Wrestling, and from being a social media influencer. Ryan said in that lawsuit he's losing $20,000 dollars in lost revenue a month. Though the lawsuit against Impact has only been revealed this week, it appears to have been filed during the last week of September, giving Impact Wrestling another ten days to respond.
PWInsider published a section of Ryan's contract, which was included in the lawsuit, explaining the mediation clause that it claims Impact violated.
(g) Wrestler commits any act with Promoter believes, in its reasonable business judgment, would damage Wrestler's or Promoter's reputation and/or that of its affiliate, licensees, or assigns or otherwise damages the value or integrity of the Programs, the Works or the Merchandise of which could subject Wrestler to criminal prosecution;
(h) Wrestler commits any act (other than in character in accordance with direction provided to Wrestler by Promoter's Creative team) which places or could place Wrestler or Promoter (or any of its affiliates) in a patently negative light; or
(i) Any instance of a violation for which Wrestler has already received a warning, reprimand or notification therof, provided, however, that in the case of a breach under paragraphs (a), (b), (f), (g),or (h), Promoter shall provide Wrestler with written notice of breach and a 5 day cure period. If the Wrestler is unable to cure such breach after the expiration of the foregoing cure period despite the exercise of diligent efforts to cure same, then the Parties shall make good faith efforts for a period of not less than thirty (30) days to work together in good faith to resolve the matter, failing which Promoter shall be entitled to terminate this Agreement upon the expiry of such additional thirty (30) day period. In the event of the suspension and/or termination of the Term of this Agreement (or promoter's obligations hereunder) Promoter shall have no further obligation to Wrestler hereunder (during such suspension and/or following such termination, as applicable) subject only to Promoter's obligation to pay royalties and to compensate Wrestler for services fully performers prior to the date of termination. Promoter shall not be deemed to be in breach of any of its obligations under this Agreement unless and until Promoter shall have received written notice from Wrestler (specifying in detail the alleged breach and making specific reference to this paragraph and shall have failed to cure such alleged breach within thirty (30) days thereof."
Impact terminated its contract with JoeyRyan on June 22nd, one day after Ryan closed down Bar Wrestling and left Twitter, and three days after the #SpeakingOut movement began trending on Twitter. "IMPACT Wrestling confirms that it has terminated its contracts with Dave Crist and Joey Ryan, effective immediately," the company's statement read. "In addition, it has suspended Michael Elgin pending further review of allegations of misconduct." Right before Joey Ryan deleted his Twitter, he posted the following statement:
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.
But Joey Ryan resurfaced in July with an hour-long video denying the accusations and claiming Impact didn't contact him during its investigation, accusing the company of "chasing clout" by releasing him. That video has since been deleted, but Pro Wrestling Sheet has a lengthy summary of it here.