Wrestling Then and Now

by Dale Pierce

DALE PIERCE: Is Daryl your real name or just an extension of an alias? Likewise, how did you select the Deacon role?

DEACON: Pardon the pun, but Daryl is my God-given name. As for Deacon, that role came from my former career in music. In my last band, we each had a persona, and mine was Preacher D. I was spreading the word of funk. When I started wrestling, the name came up and evolved to Deacon. I am still spreading the word, but not of funk. And of course, now I usually get the crowd hating me, rather than behind me.

DP: Has it gotten you a lot of heat from church types?

D: Not really. Sometimes people just need me to explain it to them, but I have nothing against religion. I am just spoofing televangelists and other people who have taken advantage of people by being a person of the cloth.

DP: There were other "evil ministers," so to speak, like Ernest Angel, an Ernest Angely spoof down south, and of course, Brother Love. Did you take anything from them or others and incorporate it into the Deacon role?

D: Actually, I am a convert to wrestling. A few years back, I that wrestling was stupid and didn't watch it. Then some friends had me check it out, and I got hooked. So I didn't create the gimmick from much history. I do, however, learn more and more about the gimmick as I study. One thing I am finding, though, is that sometimes it pays to be something other than what people expect.

DP: Where were you trained, and where did you start in wrestling?

D: I was trained in Denver, Colorado at Slam City Wrestling School by Dan Magnus. He is a relatively unknown who worked with WCW for a bit and was only on TV once, but he taught me a lot. On top of that training, I have started to work a lot with former WCW wrestler The (Mae)Stro. He has taught me more about ring psychology in the few months I have been working with him than I learned before, and I think it shows in my performance.

As for where I started wrestling, my first show was in front of 500+ people at a small club in Golden, Colorado.

DP: What other promotions have you worked for?

D: I have worked for Central Wrestling Organization out of Denver, and in North Carolina I have worked for Carolina Wrestling Federation, Atlantic Coast Championship Wrestling, Underground Professional Wrestling (unfortunately), World Class Extreme Wrestling, Independent Championship Wrestling, and Coastal Real Extreme Wrestling.

DP: Do you have a Web page?

D: You bet, and I am quite proud of it. Check it out at www.deaconwrestling.com, and sign up to be a part of my congregation.

DP: What wrestlers did you admire when you were growing up? Any in particular?

D: Like I said before, I am a wrestling convert, but I will give this my best shot. I can remember as a kid really liking Sgt. Slaughter, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and of course, Hulk Hogan (when you're a kid, you have to.). Once I was "born again," so to speak, I got into Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Triple H, and Christian. I'll tell you, though, that I look up to a lot more people than that.

DP: Has the indy scene lived up to your expectations, or has it been a let-down?

D: I feel you have to take it promotion by promotion. I feel that a good promoter does just that--promotes. The best promotions are run like a business; they have a plan of where they are going, and the idea is more than just put on a wrestling show, but they are going to make some money along the way. I have been blessed with good luck in finding promoters here in North Carolina.

DP: Do you rely heavily on the microphone? If so, do you have a pretty good idea of what you are going to say, or do you just go out and let it flow?

D: Cutting promos is what Deacon is all about. As for knowing what to say, it depends on how prepared I am for the show. If I know the promotion, the area, and my opponent, I have a lot more time to prepare. I will run through all the different things I can possibly say. Sometimes it comes to me on the drive to the show. Whatever the case, I have to be connected to the crowd in order to cut a good promo. In that sense, even with all the preperation, I just go out and let it flow.

DP: Heel or baby, what do you prefer?

D: I love being a heel, mostly because I seem to do it quite well. Every once in a while I would like some people on my side, but that's why I am working on building my congregation.

DP: What promotions and people, thus far, do you prefer to work with?

D: With promotions I have had the best luck with CREW and WCEW. However, I do really miss working in Denver and hope I can get back there to do some shows before people completely forget about me. As for other wrestlers, I have been blessed to work with great people who are willing to make me look very good, and I appreciate it.

DP: Have you ever had any experiences so negative you would not work with them again?

D: I am glad you asked that. I did one show a little while ago for a promotion that a friend had set me up with. It was going to be easy, and it was, because all I was doing was playing the manager role. To make a long story short, they ran a show that makes all professional wrestling look bad. Basically, it was backyard wrestling with some promotion. The last match ended up having glass all over the ring and the floor around it, so you could not bump anywhere without getting cut. Now, I would bleed if the situation called for it, but they told no real story, and the fans really lost interest. They would have had to shoot each other for the fans to pop anymore. In the end, the damage to my gear was not worth what I was paid. Will I work for them again? Yes, but my rates just went up for them.

DP: The kayfabing era is pretty much dead. As a younger guy, how do you feel about this? Should wrestling get away from "coming clean" with fans and "admitting to being sports entertainment," or do you feel all the expose type material on the Net and in the sheets is acceptable?

D: Personally, I believe it is better for the business in most ways. In this day and age, people can be entertained and go home knowing that we will be able to wrestle again the next day. I think that is important, especially for all the kids in attendance, to understand. The only drawback is that we as wrestlers have to do things more "real" than ever before to get people to believe. That's why people cheer for heels now. It is nice, but people will think you don't know how to do your job.

DP: Has anyone been overwhelming in criticism of you or your way of doing things? If so, what would you like to say to such critics, or how did you respond?

D: My only critics thus far have only helped me (even if they don't know it.) I am, for the most part, a heel. If someone wants to trash me, then great. I usually just try to push that person harder to get them to say even more. I figure, hey, more free promotion for me.

DP: Do you plan to leave your home base and look for bookings elsewhere or just stick close to home, where you have some recognition?

D: I plan on trying to build a strong regional base before I go too far from home. It is much more difficult to pay for the trip when you aren't even worth gas and lodging to the promoters. However, if the opportunity is right, I will take it.

DP: What advise would you give others wanting to get into wrestling?

D: Find a reputable wrestling school to get trained in. Ask good questions when looking. See what success former students have had and what qualifications the trainer has. The cheapest school is not necessarily the best.

DP: Getting into the indys yourself, would you even recommend indy wrestling to others, knowing what you know now?

D: If you want to wrestle, independent wrestling is a great place to really learn and hone the craft. You can't go to school long enough to really be an artist. Indy wrestling is a must (unless you are lucky enough to go right to the top and have a great road agent, but I digress.)

DP: If you could work with one wrestler you have never worked with before, whom would it be?

D: I would have to say no comment. I have too much respect for too many people to really single out one person I would like to work with. I just want to work with people who love the business, enjoy working hard, and who are willing to have some fun (possibly at their own expense) in the ring.

DP: Closing comments?

D: Thank you very much for the interview. I hope I peaked enough people's interest in the wonderful world of Deacon Wrestling. I just invite people to visit my Web site at www.deaconwrestling.com and join the congregation. I am looking forward to my future and the future of professional wrestling.

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