Former WWE Wrestler Accused of Sexual Assault Working at Universal Studios

in Entertainment, Universal Studios

Joey Ryan creepily perched in a turnbuckle

Credit: Impact Wrestling

Recently, a professional wrestling fan spotted a former WWE wrestler who had been accused by several women of sexual assault and misconduct working Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance
Credit: Universal Studios

Whether you’re at Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan, or any Universal Parks in between, guests know that they will be in for a good time. Filled with numerous rides, attractions, and areas based on your favorite movies, there’s nothing quite like a Universal vacation. Where else can you visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and hang out with Mario in SUPER NINTENDO WORLD?

No matter which Universal Park you go to, one of the annual highlights is Halloween Horror Nights. With its access to beloved horror IPs like Stranger Things (2016-present) and the Universal Monsters and creative original houses, Universal Studios always creates one of the most fun theme park events during the Halloween season.

A skeletal monster named El Muerte next to a tombstone with Tú (You) written on it Universal Studios
Credit: Universal Studios

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While Halloween Horror Nights is meant to be scary, it is never supposed to be dangerous. Unfortunately, this could have potentially been the case when Universal Studios hired a former professional wrestler who was forced to leave the business due to over a dozen accusations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Joey Ryan Seen Working at Universal Studios Hollywood

A giant bee threatening guests with a bat at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 in Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios

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For a while, it seemed like professional wrestler Joey Ryan was on top of the world. While things didn’t quite work out with WWE, he got his character based on Magnum P.I. (1980-1988) over in promotions like Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground. In fact, Ryan was successful enough that he was able to start his own promotion: Bar Wrestling.

However, his momentum would come to a screeching halt during the Speaking Out movement in 2020. During this time, several professional wrestling personalities were accused of sexual assault and misconduct.

Credit: Brandon Oliver via Wikimedia Commons

One of these wrestlers was Joey Ryan, whose real name was Joseph Meehan. Along with other Impact wrestlers, Michael Elgin and Dave Crist, Meehan was accused of misconduct. However, things quickly got worse when at least 17 women came forward and spoke out against him. He was released from every promotion he wrestled for, and Bar Wrestling was terminated.

In response, Meehan sued a majority of his accusers for defamation as well as his former employers for breach of contract. However, most of these would eventually be dropped, and wrestling fans everywhere were happy to be rid of him. Naturally, fans were shocked to see his face pop up again three years later, this time at Halloween Horror Nights.

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The former wrestler was spotted at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 16 by Tim Ballard, a wrestler in training and former Universal Studios scare actor. He shared a photo of Meehan on Twitter, saying, “Horror nights be hiring anyone.” Based on his costume and the fencing around him, it appears that Meehan was working at Terror Tram: Exterminatorz.

Multiple fans replied to the Tweet, shocked that Joseph Meehan was able to find work again, especially since this wasn’t the first time the former wrestler had been spotted working at a theme park. In fact, he briefly worked at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Joey Ryan Worked at Disneyland

Jungle Cruise entrance sign at Disneyland California
Credit: Disney

That’s right. Joseph Meehan used to work at Disneyland. After he was forced to leave the world of professional wrestling, Meehan briefly worked in Adventureland as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise. He stayed in the position for three months until wrestling fans reported him to the higher-ups at the park.

While it may seem surprising that someone with Meehan’s background could get a job at Universal Studios or Disneyland, it’s worth noting that he has never actually been criminally charged. And since he wrestled under the name Joey Ryan, nothing came up when Disney performed a criminal background check.

Joey Styles looking directly into the camera in a white members only jacket
Credit: Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons

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While the mistake is somewhat understandable, it is still terrifying. Whether he has been found guilty or not, it means something when more than 17 women have stories about someone’s sexual misconduct. Hopefully, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain will be keeping an eye out for when Meehan inexplicably tries to get jobs there.

Do you think Universal Studios should fire Joey Ryan? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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