Former TNA talent Cody Deaner spoke to the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast recently. You can check out highlights below, and the full podcast at this link.
Origins of the Cody Deaner persona:
It was from people that I grew up with. I grew up in a very small town. It's so tiny that there aren't any street lights only two stop signs in this small village that I lived in. With a population of about 50-100 people year round but in the summer time the population was about 1000 people and in the summer time the three trailer parks in town were full. So I grew up around trailer park red-necks and a lot of the inspiration for my character simply came from the guys that I grew up around.
Making first contact at TNA and what member of management had the most interest in him:
The first time I wrestled for TNA was before the Cody Deaner character I wrestled Abyss on Xplosion or whatever it was before they actually had IMPACT. This was back in the Nashville days and I would go every summer to Nashville and later to Orlando just to hang out with Showtime (Eric Young) and would be backstage and would just talk to guys and let my face be shown. The first person to take an interest in me and my look was Jeff Jarrett and we talked and he started pitching some ideas about what they could do with a Cody Deaner character two or three years before I actually got signed. It was about two summers of talking with them informally before it actually happened.
The Cody Deaner character being completely changed by TNA and Vince Russo's direct involvement:
When I finally came in and was hired it was actually right when Jeff Jarrett was leaving and losing power. So to my understanding I was going to be brought in more as the Cody Deaner character that I was doing on the Independent circuit. I was still a character like an obvious red-neck hillbilly but I was a wrestler not a bumbling buffoon idiot. I was a red-neck but I was a tough red-neck. I was going to come in as a "rassler". At some point that changed and I was going to be brought in as ODB's love interest and a crazy wild hillbilly fan who was in love with ODB and had never wrestled a day in his life. So that drastically altered what I was able to do work wise in the ring and yes Vince Russo was the guy the whole time I was there who was writing for me and who I was involved with in terms of pitching ideas and getting things done. It was all Russo.
Being paired with ODB:
I like the pairing. But in hindsight I didn't like how the pairing was done. I get this a lot from fans that I talk to now. They say well they totally misused you while you were there and this is coming from fans that had been seeing me wrestle for fifth-teen years and know I can have an awesome match and know I can have a kick ass main event match and I wasn't able to show that while I was there. I think that the fit with me and ODB worked but if I could have been more of a tougher bad-ass red-neck boyfriend essentially the male version of her, I think we could have drawn money for sure.
How he approached his first match as Cody Deaner on TV:
I had fun with it but I think it could have been more and I think she feels the same way about it. In terms of my legs getting cut out from under me there were a number of times. For example when I had my first match I was reminded by the Producers that you can't wrestle, you are not a wrestler. So I am going out there in a wrestling match fighting guys but I've got to do it in a way without kind of exposing the business and the fact that I would even be able to survive a match with these guys that are trained wrestlers I would have to do in a way that shows that I am not a total pro. So trying to wrestle but not wrestling at the same time is pretty damn difficult.
Working with the Knockouts:
I was going to wrestle girls leading to my big blowoff match with ODB but there was a story in the news that actually involved MTV or Viacom where a guy physically assaulted a woman. Vince Russo was the one who was telling me this happened and he had been told by Spike TV that guys are not to touch the girls physically in anyway. They had just written five weeks of TV leading up to me vs. ODB where I would be wrestling girls so they said they were just going to go on as planned and I said how the hell am I going to wrestle these girls if I can't touch them and he told me that's what I was going to have to figure out.