by Daniel Johnson
Interviewer’s Note: Cody Deaner is the current holder of the Pro Wrestling Battle Arts Open Weight Championship. Prior to working for Battle Arts, Deaner worked for TNA in 2009 and also wrestled in tryouts for WWE. In TNA, Deaner served as ODB’s manager and had the chance to wrestle in matches with the likes of Abyss, Stevie Richards and Velvet Sky. In addition to Battle Arts, Deaner has worked for a number of independent promotions including the Neo Wrestling Federation (NWF), Maximum Pro Wrestling (MPW) and Border City Wrestling (BCW). Deaner can be followed on Twitter @codydeaner and has merchandise for sale at prowrestlingtees.com, which can be found here. This interview was completed on December 11, 2013. In this interview Deaner and I focus on his work for Battle Arts.
Daniel Johnson: How would you describe yourself as a performer in a few words?
Cody Deaner: Badass mamma jamma.
Daniel Johnson: Who were some wrestlers early on that inspired you?
Cody Deaner: When I was young I loved Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Snuka. When I grew up I started to appreciate all the guys I despised during that era like Roddy Piper and Jake Roberts.
Daniel Johnson: How did you find a place to get trained and what did a regular day of training look like?
Cody Deaner: I started going to indie shows and let Derek Wylde know I was interested in training. Six months later, he opened a school, got in touch with me and I started the next day. Well, my school was three hours away from me. So after driving three hours, I’d bump my butt off and learn the basics for three hours and then drive three hours home. This would happen about three days a week. Ah the power of threes. We also learned some basic psychology and some promo work as well.
Daniel Johnson: Do you remember your first match at all and if so what stands out from it for you?
Cody Deaner: Of course. Doesn’t everyone? I debuted in a battle royal. I kept sneaking back in after every elimination, so I was eliminated about seven different times. Then I challenged the ring announcer to a match and lost. Talk about the ultimate jobber!
Daniel Johnson: How did you first get involved in Pro Wrestling Battle Arts?
Cody Deaner: Dr. Mask (the owner) contacted me about coming in because he was getting a lot of requests from fans in the Oshawa region about me coming back to wrestle in Oshawa. So, he brought me in. I have a special connection with the Oshawa fans as I’ve wrestled there for so many years and had some really crazy matches there (for example a parking lot brawl with Hayden Avery that saw us totally destroy a car).
Daniel Johnson: How if at all do you think Battle Arts is different from some other promotions you have worked for?
Cody Deaner: The main thing is the crowd. I love the Oshawa crowd. They are rowdy. They just love a good old fashioned brawl. Which is exactly what I like to do.
Daniel Johnson: You have been on a roll in Battle Arts lately having really started to pick up momentum at the Battle Arts September to Remember show. At that event you teamed with “Cyborg” Tyson Dux and Abe “Action” Jackson to defeat “All Ego” Ethan Page, “The Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander and Scotty Turner. What are your memories from this match?
Cody Deaner: I remember Abe getting beat up a lot and me smiling to myself and saying to Tyson, “I’m glad that’s not me.” I just remember getting the crowd all fired up and remembering, this is why I love this place. And, this is why I love wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: More generally speaking what do you think of working big multi-man matches like this and what are the challenges in making yourself stand out with so many other wrestlers out there?
Cody Deaner: Standing out is easy. When you look like I do with a giant mane of hair and a glorious beard, standing out isn’t an issue. I typically don’t like multi-man matches as there is way too much to try to control. But, on those odd occasions, you end up having a multi-man tag match that just clicks and the crowd digs it 100 percent.
Daniel Johnson: After the the aforementioned six man tag you challenged Ethan Page for the Pro Wrestling Battle Arts Open Weight Championship. What did you think about getting involved in the title scene so quickly for this promotion?
Cody Deaner: In any other situation I’d think it’d be hot shotting me into the title picture. But, because of my history in the town, the fans were totally behind it and basically demanded it.
Daniel Johnson: Before you faced Page, you first had to wrestle Josh Alexander to get the number one contender spot. What are your memories of that match with Alexander and of working with Alexander in general?
Cody Deaner: I remember him taking the worst DDT in wrestling history.
Daniel Johnson: Just last month you then defeated Ethan Page in a no disqualification Birthday Bash Brawl match to become the Pro Wrestling Battle Arts Open Weight Champion. What are your thoughts on that match?
Cody Deaner: It was a freaking blast. The ring was surrounded by various weapons and we had wrapped birthday presents on each ring post. It was a very different concept. The fans really dug it. I had a lot of fun doing the match too. I’m all about matches with new dynamics. I thrive on that.
Daniel Johnson: What would you most like to accomplish during your reign as the Pro Wrestling Battle Arts Open Weight Champion?
Cody Deaner: I want to increase the houses at shows by putting on the best matches the fans of Oshawa have ever seen.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any wrestlers in Battle Arts you have yet to work with, but would like to have a title match with?
Cody Deaner: No. Not because there aren’t amazing talents in Battle Arts, but because I’ve worked with almost everyone on the roster in some shape or form in the past.
Daniel Johnson: Are there any Battle Arts wrestlers you think readers should look out for?
Cody Deaner: John Greed is a heck of a talent. And Ethan Page, even though I beat his ass at the last show, is also a great wrestler.
Daniel Johnson: For wrestling fans that have never seen a Battle Arts show what is one thing you would like them to know that may convince them to give it a chance?
Cody Deaner: It is the most intimate live wrestling experience you will ever encounter. Just come to a show, you’ll see what I mean.
Daniel Johnson: How would you like to see Battle Arts expand in the future and how do you think you can help in this expansion as champion?
Cody Deaner: I’d like to see not just Battle Arts, but any Canadian indie federation get some TV time. There are so many great talents that deserve to be on TV in this region, but no TV shows to showcase us.
Daniel Johnson: I also wanted to touch on some different topics in your wrestling career. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the first time you got to work in WWE was in 2004 when you got to wrestle as Cody Steele against Muhammad Hassan and Kurt Angle. What are your thoughts on this experience?
Cody Deaner: It was awesome. I was very lucky to get those opportunities in my very first WWE tryout. It was very surreal.
Daniel Johnson: More recently you had the chance to work in TNA. How did this opportunity come about?
Cody Deaner: I was knocking on TNA’s door for about four years with the Cody Deaner gimmick. They finally answered the door and invited me in.
Daniel Johnson: How were you paired with ODB and what did you think of the pairing?
Cody Deaner: I don’t know whose idea it was originally. I think Jeff Jarrett’s or Dutch Mantel’s. Working with ODB was awesome. She’s one crazy broad.
Daniel Johnson: While in TNA you had the chance to wrestle male and female opponents. Out of the various opponents you worked with who do you think you meshed best with?
Cody Deaner: I’d say Stevie Richards and ODB. Both those talents have the same outlook on a match that I do. They both want the match to get over, not just themselves.
Daniel Johnson: With intergender matches becoming more popular on the independent scene do you think intergender matches in some of the bigger promotions will become more common and do you see this as a positive?
Cody Deaner: No, I don’t see them as becoming more common because who really wants to see a dude beat up a girl? No one does. So, you have to work around that a lot and it makes putting those matches together quite hard.
Daniel Johnson: I also have five non-wrestling related questions I like to ask people to make interviews a little more fun for readers. First, outside of wrestling what television shows do you like to watch these days?
Cody Deaner: Sons of Anarchy, Hell on Wheels and Impact Wrestling.
Daniel Johnson: What was your favorite movie that came out this year?
Cody Deaner: Jeez. I’m behind on movies. I have a wife and two kids. I haven’t been to the movies in awhile. I think the last movie I saw in theaters was The Hobbit (the first one) [The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey]. When did that come out?
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite food that you tried for the first time this year?
Cody Deaner: I don’t try new foods. I stick with what I know.
Daniel Johnson: What is your favorite song to come out this year?
Cody Deaner: Again, I don’t listen to new music. Much like I don’t watch new movies. I did recently purchase Eddie Vedder’s Ukulele Songs. Awesome album. It didn’t come out this year though.
Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Cody Deaner: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal [by Christopher Moore]. Yes, I would absolutely recommend it.
Daniel Johnson: I wanted to end with a few more wrestling questions. First, what is the weirdest part of being a wrestler?
Cody Deaner: Knowing that you are wired differently than 99 percent of the world’s population. For better or for worse.
Daniel Johnson: Can you name one wrestler who is 25 or under that you think readers should know about?
Cody Deaner: Nope. It’s older wrestlers that readers need to know about. Study your wrestling history and watch wrestling from back in the day from various parts of the world. YouTube old World of Sport wrestling. It will blow your mind.
Check out Cody Deaner in action! In this match from October 2013 Deaner takes on Tyson Dux for the NWF Championship:
Categories: Wrestling Interviews