Earlier this month, when a pro wrestler named Joey Ryan used his penis to overpower an opponent, he had no idea it would turn him into an instant celebrity.
Though he probably shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, the 27-second clip of Ryan, uh, flexing his manhood during a match against the flamboyant Danshoku Dino is exactly the kind of thing that cuts through the clutter that clogs social media – ridiculous, slightly inexplicable, overtly sexual. That it featured a wrestler with an epic moustache (and took place in Japan) was merely icing on the cake. Naturally, the video went viral, and within days, Ryan was doing interviews with Vice and reading about his dong in the New York Daily News.
“It’s been kind of unbelievable,” he says. “Those 27 seconds have definitely changed my career.”
And Ryan – who has spent the past decade wrestling around the world, helped found the L.A.-based Pro Wrestling Guerrilla promotion and briefly worked in WWE – was quick to capitalize on his newfound fame. He released a limited-edition “King of Dong Style” T-shirt (a play on the “Strong Style” of fighting that originated in Japan), signed on for the second season of Lucha Underground and began fielding offers from all corners of the globe. But, really, only one of them made sense: A sponsorship deal with YouPorn.
Or, more specifically, YouPorn Sports, a new division of the popular adult site created to endorse emerging athletes in a variety of sports. The site already has its own eSports team, and now, Ryan is joining the fold – inking a deal that will see him rebrand his finishing maneuver as “The YouPorn Plex” and wear YouPorn-themed apparel at future wrestling appearances. But despite his character’s leanings (one of Ryan’s themes is “Legalize Sleaze“), he won’t be appearing in any videos on the site itself.
“I’m more like a brand ambassador,” Ryan says. “They’ve already given me a bunch of hats and T-shirts – I’m wearing one of the hats right now.”
(And he’s already taken to the role. When asked if YouPorn was his favorite adult site, Ryan was quick to respond: “Isn’t it everybody’s?”)
And while his new deal may seem silly to some, Ryan says it’s about much more than just shock value. It will provide him with both financial stability and career flexibility, two things that are invaluable to any independent wrestler. And he’s not too concerned about what his family might think about the move to YouPorn, either – after all, they’re kind of used to this stuff by now.
“I’m not too worried about it,” he laughs. “When I was in TNA [wrestling], I was doing a ‘Size Matters’ gimmick, and we had pretaped a Thanksgiving episode of Impact, so when it aired, I was sitting around the table with my family, and there I was on TV, just talking about how big my cock is.”