Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

Deaner On His New, Serious Side: ‘I Have More To Offer Than To Just Make People Smile’

Deaner is going through a transformation in IMPACT Wrestling, and part of why he’s changed is to show people that he can do more than just comedy.

Deaner spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his six-man tag team match scheduled to take place at Hard To Kill this weekend. Deaner recently turned on Cousin Jake to align with Eric Young and Joe Doering, and he says that Eric has been there for him for years and it all comes from a very real place.

“I’d call it a lot of different things. I’d call it the same thing I’ve been saying on television, it’s a transformation, and it’s a transformation into my purest form. And why does Eric Young have my attention now? Actually, Eric Young has had my attention for the last twenty years. A lot of people don’t know this or realize it, but Eric Young and I have been friends for twenty years. He was at my wedding, I was at his wedding. He was there my very first day of wrestling school, he trained me in professional wrestling,” Deaner explained, “so the stuff you’re seeing on TV is not just some ‘fictional’ thing and a wrestling company just thought of this crazy thing, ‘let’s put Cody Deaner and Eric Young together.’ No, this is real.”

“This is our idea, this is our plan and design and so, he’s been a friend of mine for twenty years and he’s helped guide me in a lot of ways in my career. He guided me and sat down with me, we had a heart-to-heart about where my career was headed. He was being honest in [the fact] that he saw a lot of his past self in me. Eric Young used to be a guy that was only viewed by the wrestling community and the wrestling world as some guy that could be funny and make people laugh. He knew he had more to offer so he took his career into his own hands and he proved to the world that he has more to offer,” Deaner said, “and he was seeing the same thing happening to me. I was willing to be honest and look at myself and my career, and I realized that he was right, so he’s helped open my eyes to that and because of that, things are on a forward, upward trajectory ever since I was able to look into his eyes and realize he’s telling me the truth.”

One more way that EY and Deaner can relate is their respective work with former TNA Knockout ODB. Deaner initially came into the company as a comedic-based character, and last year told WrestleZone that he’s still very proud and appreciative of their work together. While he’s not ashamed of it by any means, Deaner explained that he knows that he must put his past behind him in order to move forward and reach new heights.

“It’s very simple—I have something to prove. I have proven that I can make people laugh and I can make people smile. I’m proud of that because not everyone can do that. That is a skill that is not appreciated enough in professional wrestling. Being able to entertain people in a certain way, in a funny way and make them smile and enjoy what they’re watching, it’s a very specific skill set. Unfortunately, if we’re talking the truth, that skill set does not make you a whole lot of money. You don’t make a lot of money and you’re not a top guy. There’s never been a top guy in the business where all they ever do is just [comedy]. There’s a lot of top guys that can make people laugh,” Deaner said, “but they have a lot of other things they can do as well. They can make you feel all types of emotions, and I am that guy. I’m a top guy that can make the audience feel more than just the fuzzies on the inside. I can make them feel a whole range of emotions and it’s time for me to prove that because I have that ability and I wasn’t able to show that before. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the fact that I can do that, but now it’s time to prove something and show that I have more to offer than to just make people smile.”

IMPACT Wrestling airs Tuesday nights at 8 pm EST on AXS and Twitch; check out our full interview with Deaner at the top of this post.

If you use any portion of this transcript, please credit and link back to the interview. 

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