Cody Deaner opens up about 'People's Choice' character in TNA, audiences legitimately making decisions for him

Originally published at Cody Deaner opens up about 'People's Choice' character in TNA, audiences legitimately making decisions for him

The ‘People’s Choice’ character is legitimate. 

As of this writing, Cody Deaner is portraying a character in TNA Wrestling that allows the audience to make his decisions for him. 

He’s enjoying it and expressed that on his Wrestling is Life is Wrestling podcast. Deaner stated that the current character is the closest thing to the real him that he’s ever portrayed on television. He stated that the audiences are legitimately making decisions for him.

He went on to open up about the discussions during TNA production meetings as it pertains to the character and formatting the segments. Deaner brought up the 3/28 TNA iMPACT and he had it in mind that the crowd would choose for him to either wrestle James Drake or Zack Gibson of Grizzled Young Veterans. The crowd decided on a Handicap match, so that was the route that had to be taken on the fly. 

I love what I’m doing right now (in TNA). What I’m doing right now, I love it… I think it’s obvious (how much fun I’m having). If you’re watching it, you know I’m having fun with it. If you’re watching it going, ‘It looks like this guy’s having fun,’ that is not an act. That is 100 percent the truth, I’m having fun and there’s a number of reasons why. One, it’s funny that I’ve maybe probably taken this long in my career but, in 25 years, what you’re seeing right now on TV with me doing this People’s Choice character, putting the power in the people’s hands, that is the closest version of myself as the real me, so to speak, in wrestling. It’s the closest version to the real me that I’ve ever done on television. That’s just what it is. It’s the real me, it’s right there. It’s the closest thing to the real me that I’ve ever done on TV, which that in itself is also intimidating because I’ve kind of enjoyed playing characters and then now, it’s still kind of like I’m doing a character thing but it’s also just me now and that’s kind of intimidating in its own way. But, it’s the closest to me so that’s one of the reasons why I’m loving it is because it’s like, oh, this is easy. I just get to be me and have fun because this is what wrestling is to me. It’s fun, but it’s also unpredictable. That’s the fun part of this. So let me give you a little bit of inside baseball on this. So you guys will understand this because I’ve had some people say and ask me, both wrestling fans and then wrestlers as well. They’re kind of asking me about this new thing, this idea. ‘Oh, you’re giving people choices. That’s an interesting idea but it’s not a shoot, you’re not really giving people the choices’ and I have to quickly say to them, ‘No, it is a shoot’ because I’m in the production meetings, for TNA Wrestling because I’m also a producer and when you’re in a production meeting, you’re kind of talking about, okay, how’s this show gonna go down? We want to make sure that it’s produced the right way and that the cameras are catching everything the proper way. There’s a whole thing. I’m not gonna go too inside baseball, how the sausage gets made but I’m telling you, there’s a lot of things that go into making the product as awesome as it is that you see each and every week on TV. But when you get into a production meeting… and it’s said, ‘Okay, now Cody’s gonna come to the ring and he’s gonna ask the audience what they wanna see and he’s gonna give them this choice, he’s gonna give them this choice. This might happen or this might happen.’ That’s what’s said in the meetings because there’s literally two things that could happen and we don’t know until it happens live on the show. That is a shoot. So, I’ll give you an example. It was on the run sheet that, ‘Cody Deaner’s gonna wrestle Grizzled Young Vet wrestler number one or he’s gonna wrestle Grizzled Young Vet wrestler number two.’ Legit, we don’t know who his opponent’s gonna be because we’re giving the audience the choice of who his opponent is gonna be. That was a shoot. So, a little bit of inside baseball. As a wrestler, I gotta plan out how I’m gonna tackle this moment and tackle this performance and tackle this wrestler and I don’t even know who my opponent’s gonna be until the audience picks who that opponent’s gonna be. The cool, fun, unpredictable wrench that got thrown into the plans that day was we’re in Philadelphia and I give the fans the option: Do I wrestle Grizzled Young Vet number one or do I wrestle Grizzled Young Vet number two? And the Philly faithful, the people of Philadelphia of course don’t decide on either option. They decide, you’re gonna wrestle them both and they start to chant, ‘Both!’ So now a third option, a third choice gets thrown into the mix. Is Cody gonna actually wrestle both guys in a two-on-one match? Well, this is a shoot. So it wasn’t planned. Okay, doesn’t matter what the audience says, Cody. You’re gonna wrestle that guy because that’s what the booker says. No, the booker didn’t say that. It’s literally gonna be the people’s choice. So, the people have spoken, they all wanted me to wrestle them both. So I say, ‘Okay, I guess I’m wrestling you both.’ Boom, they ring the bell. Now I’m in a two-on-one match. Not planned, not discussed, not choreographed, not anything. Literally spur of the moment, I guess we’re having a two-on-one match now because that’s what the people wanted and then I had a match on TV against two guys. That was a shoot. 

Deaner would go on to say that he’ll know when it is time for him to transition out of the character into something new.

On the 5/16 TNA iMPACT, Deaner attempted to make amends with Jake Something, but was taken out by Something for his efforts. 

If the quote in this article is used, please credit Wrestling is Life is Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.