Joey Ryan, real name Joseph R. Meehan, filed a Breach of Contract lawsuit against Impact Wrestling in Nashville, TN last month.
In the 5-page document, Ryan says that he signed a contract with Impact Wrestling back in September 2019 that was supposed to go through August 2021. Ryan details that he was sent an email in June 2020 informing him of his release from the company and that they’d be making an official statement shortly. Later that same day, Ryan received his release from the company and was notified that his contract was amended for 6/22/2020, thereby releasing him from the company.
In the lawsuit, Ryan does not go into detail about the allegations against him that caused his release. Instead, Ryan focused on the early termination of his contract, stating that they “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.”
He adds that Impact Wrestling “failed to perform as guaranteed by failing to adhere to the express terms prescribed in Section 8.03 (a)-(i)”. In the documents sent to Impact Wrestling pertaining to the lawsuit was Ryan’s 25-page contract. The section 8.03 a-i mentioned is titled “Termination by Promoter in the Event of Breach” and noted, “Promoter shall have the right, in its sole discretion to terminate this Agreement, or suspend this Agreement for up to 3 months, both as to services and compensation.” This section lists off potential causes for action that Impact Wrestling could take against their talent. The language include:
(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.”
Since Ryan is specifically pointing out this section, his claim is likely that Impact Wrestling released him without giving him a 5-day notice to rectify the situation. If Ryan was unable to fix it in those 5-days, he’s allotted a grace period of 30-days to find a solution before Impact Wrestling is allowed to release him from the contract. Since Ryan was both informed and terminated on the same day, he feels Impact violated their agreement.
Ryan is seeking a judgment of ten million dollars against Anthem, claiming damage done by their actions. He’s also requesting that Anthem pay the costs for the lawsuit and that he be rewarded any additional relief the court may find he is due.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Impact was served their papers on September 24th and have 30 days to respond, but have yet to do so.
It’s also noted that Impact released Joey Ryan due to the allegations of sexual assault over the summer, but he has not been criminally charged with anything which may tip the scales in his favor during the lawsuit.
Impact is the sixth lawsuit that Ryan has followed in recent weeks. He also filed against the women who made these accusations against him, citing that they used social media to defame him which halted all his income from wrestling.