Cody Deaner shares his thoughts about a plethora of topics during our chat.
Starting off his career as "Cody Steele" and now known as Cody Deaner, the Port Bruce, Ontario, Canada native has been in the professional wrestling business for nearly two decades. A few years into his career and Cody captured a number of titles in Canada and the United States. The hunger for success led Cody to 'Great Canadian Wrestling', Pier 6 Wrestling, Border City Wrestling, Fighting Spirit Pro Wrestling and eventually to IMPACT Wrestling where he's had two runs in the company and is currently in IMPACT as a part of a duo with Jake Something and the two are known as The Deaners.
Cody Deaner credits a great portion of his success to his trainer, former two-time CCW Heavyweight Champion Derek Wylde. Wylde did not only teach Cody the works inside the ring but provided him with knowledge and tools that would stay with him throughout his career. I asked Cody Deaner about what he has learned from Wylde and Cody explained that he was provided with things that are lost upon some of the younger wrestlers of today and further elaborated on that:
"I was so lucky to have Derek Wylde as my trainer and the man who introduced me to the wrestling business. He taught me so much and I owe so much of my success to him." Cody Deaner expressed. "He taught me the basics of ring psychology and hammered home the fundamentals… all the things a new young wrestler really needs. He also stressed the importance of looking the part and carrying myself as a professional… something that is unfortunately lost on some young talent these days. Furthermore, he helped get me exposure in a variety of independent scenes that I wouldn’t have had access to if he didn’t put me in his car and bring me along. I traveled all over, wrestling him and if it wasn’t for him and his generosity and belief in me, I definitely wouldn’t be on TV living my dream today."
Several years into his wrestling career and Cody was able to secure enhancement talent gigs with WWE. Deaner shared the ring with the likes of Muhammad Hassan and WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle. Cody added that he felt confident going into those respective matches and once they were all said and done, it gave him a major confidence boost going forward.
"I remember being very emotional after these matches because ever since I was five years old, my dream was to maybe wrestle in the same ring as my childhood hero – Hulk Hogan. When I finally did that, it hit me real hard and I got very emotional." Deaner revealed. "I also remember being extremely confident before and after these matches as well. I was confident that I could hang in the 'big time' going into these matches, and I proved that I could in these matches. So, it did wonders for my confidence moving forward. Oh… I also remember Kurt Angle kicking me full force in the face on SmackDown and not being able to eat solid food for 2 weeks. That was awesome." Deaner said.
Cody Deaner is currently in the midst of his second run in IMPACT Wrestling. Deaner admitted that during his first run, he was seen as more of a comedy act as he was paired with former 4-time TNA Knockouts Champion O.D.B. to further establish her character. Cody is now sharing the stage in IMPACT with Jake Something and is enjoying having the freedom to show the IMPACT fan-base and the entire world what he can do in between the ropes.
"I see this run as being a lot different from my last one." He continued, "Not just because I’m in a tag team now with my Cousin Jake, but because I’m being brought in under a whole different light. With my first run with IMPACT, I was essentially a comedy act. I was a sidekick for O.D.B. to help add to her character and I was not allowed to show my wrestling skill. I was actually in matches where I had to pretend I couldn’t wrestle because I was supposed to act like a 'fan'. I’m not complaining. That was just my role, and I did it to the best of my ability. But, I definitely wasn’t given the freedom to show what I can do between the ropes. I’m an almost 20 year veteran now, and with this run, IMPACT management is giving me the freedom to show the world what I really have to offer. Both on the microphone and in the ring. I’m super excited to show the world what me and Jake can do and show the world that we can really GIV’ER."
The Deaners are a part of a tag team division with The Lucha Bros, The Rascalz, oVe, L.A.X., Ethan Page and Josh Alexander, and at times, pairings consisting of Willie Mack and the current IMPACT X Division Champion Rich Swann. I asked Cody is he excited to mix it up with those crop of tag teams and he responded by noting that the company's tag division might be as stacked as its ever been and he is hoping that the match possibilities excite the fans just as much as they excite him.
"Absolutely." Deaner said when asked is he excited about IMPACT's tag team division. "The IMPACT tag division is more stacked with quality teams than it has been in a long time. Possibly ever. To be in the current crop of tag teams in IMPACT is extremely exciting. All the teams have something different to offer and bring to the table. So the possibilities of cool match-ups and clashes of different styles is exciting for me. I hope it’s exciting for fans too."
When Cody is not handling business in the ring, he is motivating others outside of it. On his official website, CodyDeaner.com, information and recaps of his guest speaking sessions can be seen and/or read. Cody wants to inspire the next generation to chase their dreams and look at him as an example of an individual who came out of a small town that went on to live his dream by simply believing in a vision that he put together.
"I started speaking professionally about five years ago. I got asked to speak at a school event from a friend and it snowballed from there. Now I travel all across North America telling stories about my wrestling career and life lessons I’ve learned along the way. Much like my TV character and wrestling persona, I legitimately grew up in a small rural town in the middle of nowhere." Cody said. "No one from my town went on to do anything big or inspiring, because the expectation was that we wouldn’t be given opportunities to do cool things because we were so secluded in our small area. I was able to break away from that and find opportunities to follow my dreams. I now speak at schools and community events and encourage kids that just because they might live in a small town, that doesn’t mean they have to have small dreams. They can be whatever they want to be… if they put in the work, and I know that’s true, because I’m living proof." He concluded.
The Deaners were in action at the recent IMPACT TV tapings in Philadelphia earlier this month and they competed in a Four Way tag match on this past Friday's episode of IMPACT Wrestling. To stay up to date with the two-time BCW Can-Am Heavyweight Champion Cody Deaner, his Twitter handle is @CodyDeaner and he is on Instagram @codydeaner.