Joey Ryan Files $10 Million Lawsuit Against IMPACT Wrestling

Following his release in June...

Joey Ryan (Joseph R. Meehan) filed a lawsuit on September 24 in the Circuit Court of Davidson County, Tennessee against IMPACT Wrestling's parent company Anthem Wrestling LLC. In the lawsuit, Ryan alleges Anthem breached his contract when he was fired amidst allegations of sexual abuse and is seeking damages of $10 million. This is the sixth lawsuit Meehan has filed in the last month. News of Ryan suing Anthem was first reported by PWInsider's Mike Johnson

Within the five-page lawsuit, Ryan notes he signed a two-year deal with IMPACT on September 1, 2019, but the contract was breached when Scott D'Amore informed Meehan on June 22, 2020, that the promotion wouldn't be booking him going forward because of "recent allegations" and they would be "making a public statement to this effect shortly." Meehan then received notice of his release which notified him that his contract end date had been altered to June 22, 2020. 

At least 17 sexual abuse allegations have been levied against Meehan, but he does not address these in the lawsuit. Instead, the suit alleges Anthem terminated his employment without following the procedures listed in his contract. 

Specifically, the lawsuit states 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 Anthem "failed to perform as guaranteed by failing to adhere to the express terms prescribed in Section 8.03 (a)-(i)." 

PWInsider published the subsection Meehan is referring to. It states: 

"(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 [sic], 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."

PWInsider noted Anthem Wrestling LLC is yet to file their defence in response to the lawsuit. They were served on September 24 and have 30 days to respond. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons