For the past 20 years, one of Canada’s favorite wrestling superstars has been entertaining fans inside the ring. Those of you who are familiar with his personality and in-ring style welcome him with excitement and anticipation at every show. The independent wrestler is currently signed with Impact, but due to the Covid-19, he hasn’t been as active as he would like to be. We had a chance to talk to Cody about his career, those who have helped him over the years, and how he is dealing with the challenges of the world-wide pandemic.
Q: What made you want to pursue a career in pro wrestling?
A: Ever since the age of 5, when I saw my first wrestling match on TV, I was transfixed. I immediately took all the cushions off my couch and started emulating what I saw on the screen. From that moment on… being a wrestler was the ultimate dream.
Q: What is it about the sport that you enjoy so much?
A: Human interaction & immediate gratification. I’m a performer. I always have been since a young age. It’s in me to perform. I’ve done various types of performances, acting on stage, in film. But wrestling is the ultimate form of showmanship. You have one take. It’s live. And you get a response from your audience immediately.
Q: At any time in your career, who do you think has been the most influential, and why?
A: Oh man… too many to name. I’ll give you my top three guys who have really helped me out. My trainer Derek Wylde. Without him and his willingness and openness to training some skinny wide-eyed kid 20 years ago, I’d never get to live my dream. Another man who helped me very early on rode the roads with me and would give me or anyone the shirt off his back is Eric Young. And lastly, the first guy that helped me really “get it” and made light bulbs start to go off was Tyson Dux. All three of these guys have helped me immensely, I owe them so much. And they’re all my very close friends to this day.
Q: Is there a specific match in your career that is special for you?
A: Not particularly. Many moments from many matches stand out to me for various reasons. But really, it’s not about the grandness of the size of the stage/crowd. For me, to be able to go into some small town in the middle of nowhere where the majority of the audience isn’t really big wrestling fans and don’t even know the wrestlers. To have them on their feet screaming and cheering and FEELING something by the end of the night, and to make lifelong wrestling fans out of them. To accomplish that, man, there’s no other feeling like it.
Q: How has your in-ring style evolved over the length of your career?
A: I was smart enough fairly early on to take a serious look and my style and ability and recognize my weaknesses. If I didn’t do something well, rather than spend countless hours trying to do something decently, I focused on taking what I did well… and doing those things GREAT. Part of the art of wrestling is hiding your weaknesses and highlight your positives. I was lucky enough to realize that early on. So you won’t be seeing any shooting stars or 450s out of me. Haha.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you since the beginning of the pandemic?
A: I miss the ring. I miss the fans. I miss interacting with them while I’m wrestling or at the merch table. It sucks. Very very much. It sucks even more not knowing what the future holds or when/if it will go back to normal.
Q: How do you see wrestling promotions going forward in a time of social distancing and economic uncertainty?
A: It’s tough. So much is unknown. I commend all independent promotions who are moving forward in any way they can and doing it safely. It’s great to see. For me, in Impact Wrestling, it’s great because they’ve continued to move forward, adapt, and not just survive, but in my opinion, thrive in this environment. Impact has done some really cool things. Things I’ve got to be a part of (like my “Cody in Kwaranteen” stuff or the Deaner Compound cinematic match). Neither of those things would have happened if not for this situation. And both things were some of the most well-received things I’ve ever done in wrestling.
Q: How has the pandemic affected you personally and how are you overcoming the challenges?
A: Personally… it’s affecting me in a lot of ways. I have 4 kids. And it’s totally altering how they exist in the world and interact socially. My wife and I are trying our best to keep as much normalcy in their life as possible. And the second HUGE hit was financial. I was running a THRIVING public speaking business and traveling all across the country speaking at schools and conferences. I had so much momentum with that and was loving it. And then, all of a sudden one day… POOF. It was all gone. I hope and pray that it will come back because it’s been quite tough for my family financially.
Q: What was the driving force behind the campaign “Giv’er for Charity?”
A: I was just looking for a way to give back to the community. Give back to my fans. Particularly my young fans who I appreciate so much. So much of the work I do has a special connection to a special fan of mine. It means a lot to me. I encourage folks to check out www.CodyDeaner.com/charity to learn more about all the great charities I’m connected to.
Q: How can fans get involved?
A: Fans can get involved by following me on social media to find out more about which charity I’m currently raising money for and consider donating to the cause.
Twitter – @CodyDeaner
Instagram – @CodyDeaner
Facebook Page – facebook.com/codydeaner
Q: What is most gratifying for you when you know you have to connect or impact someone through your speaking engagements?
A: What is most gratifying to me is hearing a kid who really understood my message and they took it to heart. One time, I was speaking to a gymnasium full of young elementary school children. I was encouraging them to dream BIG and to not let other people’s small expectations of you determine the size of their dreams. In the end, a mother came to pick up her young daughter after school and I saw the young girl run-up to her mother and say, “Mommy! I know what I’m gonna do tonight! I’m gonna dream BIG! Because Cody says I can be whatever I want to be if I just work really hard and always try my best.” Man… that’s what it’s all about man. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Q: What can fans expect from you in the second half of 2020?
A: I’m gonna keep givin’ er with Impact Wrestling, that’s for sure. And hopefully, start doing more independent shows as they pick up. And fingers crossed, I’ll be doing more live in-person presentations as well. If any promoters, or schools for that matter, want to get a hold of me for booking possibilities, I can be reached at email@example.com