Impact Star Talks About The Importance Of Reinvention And Persistence In Wrestling

Two years ago this week, indie and Impact Wrestling veteran Cody Deaner underwent a makeover, abandoning his longtime "redneck" gimmick for his current look with a shaved head and neatly trimmed beard when he turned heel and joined Eric Young's Violent by Design stable. Coincidentally, on Sunday, Fightful released a pair of interviews with Deaner on YouTube, and one of the main topics of discussion was how to reinvent yourself as a pro wrestler.


"If you're learning from osmosis, and really being a student of the game, if you look at any successful professional wrestler that's been able to really have a long, successful career—not just have a good few years in wrestling, or have a really great four-five years—if you look at somebody like an Undertaker, or a Chris Jericho, who has done this successfully for decades. If you look at those guys, they have constantly reinvented themselves, evolved, and changed when necessary," he explained. "And my goal has always been to work in this amazing business that I love as long as possible. So I'm really just trying to incorporate what I've seen other people who are successful in this business do, and what do those people do? They reinvent themselves. They never get complacent, they never just find 'the one thing that works' and just feel comfortable in that. I had started to feel that way. I was starting to feel complacent and comfortable in my role, and I had done it for a long time, and that was partly the reason where I knew 'Nope, I've got to change something now.'"


Change something he did, as his comedy gimmick has become an increasingly distant memory.

Deaner: You've got to be persistent, and you gotta be patient

Later in the interview, Deaner also addressed another trait that he feels is necessary to succeed in professional wrestling: Persistence. With over two decades in the wrestling business before he got the kind of spot as a serious, pushed character on television like he has with Impact right now, Deaner has a lot of perspective as to how much of a waiting game pro wrestling can be.


"I also didn't realize how persistence and patience were gonna be needed and necessary to make it as a professional wrestler," he said. "I've been doing this for 23 years, and just now, we're talking about a promo that I just cut on television, that's going to bring me to the next level, to a level that I have felt I've been at, and been able to do for well over a decade now. And I'm just now starting to get some of these opportunities, so I tell people 'Hey man, you've got to be persistent, and you gotta be patient, and those aren't just words I'm throwing out to sound nice. I've lived it. I have put in the work. I've been persistent, and patient, and put in the work, and proven every step of the way that every time you're given a little bit of responsibility, you knock it out of the park. Then you're given a little bit more, and you knock that out of the park, and then you get a little bit more, and before you know it, you're gonna be getting a lot of responsibilities, and more and more and more, and I'm living proof that's the case. And like I said earlier: Give me all the responsibilities. I will knock it out of the park and prove every single time I'm really good at what I do, and it's time for the world to see that, too."


Deaner was the subject of renewed attention a month ago when, on the December 1 edition of "Impact," he stabbed Eric Young during a cinematic match, effectively killing him off (and reportedly sending him back to WWE). This allowed Deaner to replace Young as the leader of Violent by Design, which he renamed The Design. He's joined in the stable by Alan Angels and Kon, formerly Konnor of The Ascension in WWE.