Deaner spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard ahead of his match against Tommy Dreamer on IMPACT, a prelude to the six-man tag team match scheduled to take place at Hard To Kill this weekend. Deaner has been primarily known as a comedy character in IMPACT, but recently linked up with Eric Young and Joe Doering to show a more serious side. Drawing parallels to Young’s own career as a ‘funny’ wrestler, Deaner says the best things in wrestling are real and he’s opened his mind to Young’s advice because he’s unwilling to sit idly by and wait for opportunity anymore.
“Things that are based in reality, and like I said, this is all real, and it’s just something that naturally just came out of my mouth because that’s the way I felt at the moment, the fact that I felt like a nobody and I’ve been treated [like one]. It was something that just came out,” he said, “and I was able to run with it because it’s real and it’s the truth.”
“And for you to say ‘ceiling’, you’re actually right,” Deaner continued. “That was part of my thinking, when I was able to be honest—and this was part of my conversation with Eric behind closed doors, this didn’t make it on to camera—is that he saw that there was a ceiling in his career. He was staring at this ceiling, and rather than just staring at this ceiling, both in terms of the success he could have and in terms of what kinds of matches he could be put in, how much money he could make, there was a ceiling with being seen as this funny guy. I realized I’m staring at that same ceiling, and I’m not just going to stare at it anymore. I’m going to punch through it and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve decided that I’m not going to allow my wrestling career, this thing that I love, this thing that I’ve given my life to for the last twenty years, I’m not just going to sit and stare at a ceiling anymore, I’m punching through it and I’m going to take the advice of my good friend Eric Young to help show me the truth and punch through. It’s all real.”
My purest form.
Do I have your attention now?!
– ✖️DEANER✖️ pic.twitter.com/nmVwHG1apH
— ✖️ DEANER ✖️ (@CodyDeaner) January 7, 2021
Deaner faces off with Tommy Dreamer on Tuesday’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling and on the surface, it’s very easy to try and call this another feud against ‘ECW’ and hardcore wrestling. This time, it seems more psychological and personal than that, but Deaner says he can’t ignore the fact that guys like Dreamer represent what he’s fighting against alongside Eric Young and Joe Doering.
“Eric’s been preaching this for months. He’s been preaching about a plan and a design, and this is all by design, everything that we’re doing. You’re going to see more of this plan play out at Hard To Kill, but the plan and the design is all coming together. I will say this—Eric Young opened my eyes to the sickness, and it was a sickness I had. I was so sick within this wrestling business, and it’s because I gave everything,” Deaner explained, “I sacrificed everything I had and I was willing to give everything I had for this business and wait for it to give back to me. And then I had to realize, ‘Wait a minute, this business does not give back to you. You have to take what you want.’”
“And if anything, if there’s ever been a wrestling company in history that represents that sickness, it’s ECW. It couldn’t be any more fitting that it’s Tommy Dreamer and it’s Rhino that stepped in because they have the sickness more than anybody else that I know of. Tommy Dreamer probably represents the sickness more than anyone else in the business. Just giving and giving and giving back to the business and waiting for the business to give back to you—look, it doesn’t give back to you. You’ve got to take it,” Deaner said, “and that’s what Eric and Joe [Doering] and myself are doing. We’re not just going to wait for someone to give us anything anymore, we’re going to take.”
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 WrestleZone.com and link back to the interview.