Joseph Meehan, also known as Joey Ryan, is suing Anthem Wrestling LLC, the parent company of IMPACT Wrestling, alleging the company breached his contract by releasing him in June due to numerous allegations made against him during the Speaking Out movement.
Meehan is seeking $10 million due to damages he allegedly suffered by Anthem’s actions. The lawsuit also asks for Meehan’s attorney fees to be covered by Anthem. It also asks the Court to give any other relief he is ruled to be entitled to.
According to the lawsuit, the contract was signed on September 1, 2019 and was set to expire on August 31, 2021. The contract is alleged to have been breached when IMPACT Wrestling’s Scott D’Amore emailed Meehan on June 22 to inform him he was being terminated due to the allegations made against him.
Meehan would soon receive a letter signed by Anthem’s President Ed Nordholm that his contract was amended to be ended on June 22, 2020.
Meehan’s lawsuit alleges that IMPACT breached his contract, stating that Anthem Wrestling LLC “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.” It also alleges that Anthem Wrestling “failed to perform as guaranteed by failing to adhere to the express terms prescribed in Section 8.03 (a)-(i).”
Below is language from Meehan’s contract stating how the promoter can terminate a talent in the event of a breach:
(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.
The lawsuit does not address what specifically Meehan was accused of. This is at least the sixth lawsuit Meehan has filed. Five have been filed against his accusers seeking damages upwards of $10 million from each. Meehan is not known to have been charged formally with any criminal charges in relation to the allegations.
Anthem Wrestling LLC has 30 days to file their defense. The lawsuit was filed on September 15 and Anthem was served on September 22. The company has not responded to the lawsuit as of this writing.
We will continue to follow this story as more becomes available.