Wrestler of the Day – May 13: Abyss

A monster, a monster, he’s turned into a monster. It’s Abyss.

After some years in NWA Wildside, Abyss found his way to TNA and became a monster in the early days of the company. He would get into a feud with AJ Styles and win the Tag Team Titles with him in 2004. After losing them a month later, the two would face off on Weekly PPV #85 in a ladder match for a shot at the World Title.

Abyss vs. AJ Styles

From March 17, 2004 and this is a ladder match for the #1 contendership. The brawl is on immediately and AJ hits the Pele (called a bicycle kick here) to stagger the monster. AJ tries to hit the ropes but Abyss hits a HARD clothesline to take his head off. A chop that would make Big Show cringe puts AJ down and Abyss goes to get the ladder. Abyss shoves AJ down with the ladder from the floor but AJ just rams into Abyss to knock him back to the floor. Styles goes up the ladder but hops down and moves the ladder closer to the ropes. It takes too long to set up though and Abyss shoves the ladder down.

Both guys are back inside now and Abyss whips Styles hard into the ladder. The monster climbs up VERY slowly so AJ makes an easy save before bulldogging him onto the ladder. A springboard dropkick sends Abyss to the floor and Styles follows out with a dive. Now it’s AJ going up but Abyss blasts him in the back with a chair before wedging it between the ropes in the corner. Shock Treatment puts AJ down again and Abyss pulls out another ladder. This one stays outside though as he bridges it between the ring and the barricade.

AJ blocks a chokeslam by biting Abyss’ fingers but the monster throws him head first into the chair in the corner to knock Styles loopy. Abyss throws in some more chairs but AJ counters a powerbomb into the Styles Clash (really a pancake due to the legs not being wrapped around Abyss’ arms but close enough) in a very surprising power display. AJ goes up the ladder for a 450 splash, drawing a well earned THIS IS AWESOME chant.

They both climb again but AJ slows Abyss down with some kicks to the head. AJ can’t reach the contract so he busts out a sunset powerbomb to put Abyss through two chairs set up in the corner. Cue Raven to distract AJ for no explained reason, allowing Abyss to shove the ladder over, sending Styles FACE FIRST into the bridged ladder. Abyss easily gets the contract. Apparently Raven was trying to get Russo’s attention or something.

Rating: B+. They had my favorite match ever in TNA so it’s no surprise that I liked this too. It’s the David vs. Goliath formula which is going to work almost every time, especially when you have two people that can work at a high level. The ending felt abrupt but the big spots almost all worked here. Really good stuff, as expected.

Abyss would appear on the first episode of Impact from June 4, 2004.

Shark Boy vs. Abyss

Sharky goes after Abyss and bites his way out of a chokeslam. A high cross body is caught in an easy slam before the Black Hole Slam ends this quick. Total squash for Abyss.

The most famous match type of Abyss’ career has always been Monster’s Ball. He would be in the first incarnation at Victory Road 2004.

Abyss vs. Monty Brown vs. Raven

This is the original Monster’s Ball match, which originally was far different. The idea here is that the guys have been locked up without light or food for 24 hours. This aspect has since completely disappeared due to reasons of sanity and now it’s just a regular hardcore match. The announcers say that Raven has the advantage here as he’s smaller and crazier which makes sense, at least in the lack of food and light idea.

We have a table set up inside of 30 seconds. Abyss is dominating here for the most part. It’s really more of an intense triple threat rather than a hardcore match and now we have chairs coming in. Raven really is underrated in the ring. I love what Brown does by just chucking a chair at Raven’s head. That’s awesome. Naturally we have a ref bump because they’re required I suppose.

Now we move to the big spots of the match as we have Brown sitting on the top rope and Abyss busts out the tacks. Since he’s the only one wearing a shirt you know that he’s the guy that’s going to wind up going through them. Yep, Raven comes in to powerbomb him while he’s trying to suplex Brown. That wasn’t predictable at all. Not a bit. Raven gets two off of it and then we set up another stupid spot as the table is set up in the corner and Raven gets Pounced (a spear/tackle) through it. It was a mess of course.

Rating: D+. These things are going to happen and while I can’t stand them, I get that there’s a point to them. There is a market for these I guess and at least they’re keeping it shorter. There’s really no way to make these good without going too far, but this was really lackluster even for one of these.

It’s back to the AJ feud with my favorite TNA match ever. From Lockdown 2005.

Abyss vs. AJ Styles

For the few of you that might be wondering, this is my favorite TNA match ever. AJ is YOUNG looking here which is saying a lot as he’s still young today but here he looks like he’s about 19. He’s a two time world champion here though which is never mentioned anymore for no apparent reason. Abyss is listed at 350lbs here again but he’s a LOT slimmer looking here.

He still has the chains here which were a nice touch for him. I have no idea why but they are. AJ dives through the door to take down Abyss before he gets in. Abyss tries to whip him into the railing but AJ baseball slides UNDERNEATH the railing and jumps up onto it and hits a rana to take down Abyss. That was freaking awesome and happened inside of five seconds.

All AJ to start as we’re still on the floor. Abyss had more or less been unstoppable recently since splitting from his stablemate Alex Shelley (let that sink in for a bit) so this is a major showdown and seeing Abyss reeling is odd to see. Abyss fights him back and whips him into the railing again so this time AJ channels his inner Morrison and double jumps up to a platform into the crowd, spins around and jumps over FIVE ROWS of fans to his the forearm on Abyss. This is one of the most awesome performances I’ve ever seen and we’re maybe three minutes into this.

AJ dives at Abyss on the railing ala Sting but instead of crashing into it clears the railing by a good foot and hits the ground in the crowd. Abyss pounds on him a bit but AJ just kicks the heck out of him to escape for a bit. West talks about Kenny Chesney for absolutely no apparent reason.

They open the door of the cage after about six minutes of brawling. The difference between this and the stupid stuff before: this was INCREDIBLY entertaining and the fans were way into it as opposed to Jarrett and Waltman walking around and occasionally hitting each other with something. AJ and Abyss never stopped moving and the fans were into it because of it. The difference here: hard work works better than walking around hitting each other with weapons.

AJ punches Abyss HARD but gets the cage door slammed into his arm and then his face where he snaps down to the floor. It looked like he got hit by a bus or something as fast as he hit the ground. Great selling there. AJ is busted open and Abyss pounds away even more. AJ finally in the cage now as Abyss looks under the ring for the bag of tacks. About eight and a half minutes in they’re in the cage together.

Abyss chokes him with the chain and we play tug of war. AJ simply will not quit and keeps hammering away to no avail though. With the chain on the top turnbuckle, Abyss launches AJ over his head in kind of a forced leapfrog and his head slams into the chain. The fans think this is awesome and for once they’re right. They stop for a bit for the a neck crank and AJ sells the heck out of it too.

AJ charges again but Abyss grabs him in a gorilla press and LAUNCHES him up to just let him crash down. He tries it again but AJ counters into a DDT onto the chain. Two punches and an enziguri takes Abyss down as does a headscissors. AJ hits a moonsault press but Abyss just lets him bounce off which was cool looking. AJ sends him into a chair into the corner that Abyss set up and gets a German suplex for two that looked very good.

He goes for the Styles Clash but Abyss is way too big for that. Chokeslam is countered into a rollup for two. AJ gets another running start but walks into the Black Hole Slam for a VERY long two. Dang Abyss looks awesome (what am I saying?) when he really uncorks that thing. Yep there are the tacks. Black Hole Slam into them are countered as is a powerbomb.

AJ gets the Styles Clash (ok more like a falling face first slam but we’ll give it to him) into the tacks for two. Wow I would have bet on that being the ending. You know if I didn’t know the ending already. Abyss is ROCKED here which was unthinkable until this match. AJ goes to the top of the cage and Abyss can’t catch him. His solution: throw the referee at the cage to knock AJ off. That was awesome.

Abyss climbs up as AJ is barely hanging on. He goes up with the chain and might be thinking to hang him as he had on Impact. Yep that’s what he’s going for. AJ is on the outside and Abyss on the inside and yep he’s hanging him. AJ gets the chain off somehow and Abyss grabs the chokeslam. AJ bites his fingers and opens those things up! AJ jumps off the top of the cage and hits a freaking sunset flip powerbomb onto the tacks from the top of the cage to get the pin as Abyss is DEAD.

Rating: A+. OH YES! AJ was absolutely amazing here and it was definitely Abyss’ best match ever. This was just a total war for twenty minutes with AJ never stopping and taking it to Abyss much like Flair did back at Starrcade 93 to Vader. There was no gimmick here as it was just a big old fight in a cage with weapons brought in for fun. AJ would get the title the next month….and then lose it to Raven the next month because the world was clamoring for more Raven and less AJ. Uh…sure. He wouldn’t get it back for over four years.

Abyss would enter into a Gauntlet for the Gold at Hard Justice for a title shot at some point in the future.

Gauntlet For The Gold

Roode is #1 and the surprise entrant Zach Gowen is #2. Get the joke from earlier now? Roode steals the prosthetic leg. West: “Put it back!” but Gowen comes back with one footed dropkicks and a reverse DDT. Eric Young comes in at #3. The intervals are only a minute long which includes their time coming to the ring. Remember at this point it’s over the top to eliminate people.

Roode gets a pretty evil one legged giant swing on Gowen. Cassidy Riley is #4. Ok now the clock doesn’t start until he gets to the ring. He helps against the Canadians and Gowen hits a leg lariat on Roode. Here’s Skipper at #5 and the clock is under Young rules again. Skipper takes a lariat from Roode but hits a nice moonsault to take him down. The ring is getting a little full now so everyone has something to do.

Shark Boy comes in at #6 to a nice reaction. Thank goodness he’s not Stone Cold yet. He won a match on the preshow to get in. Sharky hits a neckbreaker on Young but Gowen takes him down. Shark Boy bites Gowen hard enough that Gowen goes out. So we have our first elimination. #7 is another Canadian in the form of A-1, the big power guy. He cleans house with clotheslines and stomps on Riley.

#8 is Chris Sabin. In a Matrix style move, he sets for a tornado DDT on Young but with his feet in the air, he kicks EVERYONE ELSE in the chest in a big circle before hitting the DDT. That was cool. Petey Williams is #9 to put the Canadians at full strength. He tries a Destroyer on Sharky but gets backdropped to the apron. Shark Boy goes after him and is eliminated by A-1. Eric puts out Riley to get some people out of the ring.

Sonny Siaki is #10 and he goes after the Canadians. Skipper gets REALLY stupid and tries to walk the ropes. Roode is like boy you’re stupid and clotheslines him out. Lance Hoyt is #11 and he has his own cheering section. Young is easily tossed out by Hoyt and Team Canada is down to three. Sabin can’t get Williams out and Bentley is #12. He superkicks Hoyt but is taken out by Sabin who goes out at the same time. They fight on the floor as the Canadians put out Siaki.

Here’s Jerelle Clark at #13. He’s just an X-Division guy. There are five people in at the moment: Roode, A-1, Williams, Clark and Hoyt. The Canadians help Williams on a Destroyer to put Clark out. Mikey Batts is #14 and he fires off some kicks to take down the Canadians. He’s another X-Division guy. He and Hoyt team up on Canada as The Outlaw Kip James is #15.

A HUGE cobra clutch slam kills Batts and the fans want to see it again. #16 is Trytan but Hoyt hits a big boot before Trytan even gets in. Batts is gone. Trytan is chokeslamming everyone in sight and hits a spinebuster on Hoyt. Ron Killings is #17 and gets powerslammed very quickly. As Trytan poses, all three Canadians team up to throw him out.

Apollo is #18 and he cleans house. He and Kip chop it out but Apollo charges and is low bridged out. BG James is #19 but the Canadians break up the staredown between the Outlaws. Hoyt kicks Roode out but Roode helps A-1 to get rid of Hoyt. The Outlaws team up on Petey and A-1, tossing them both out. Abyss comes in at #20 and knocks both Outlaws out to get us down to the final two.

So it’s Truth vs. Abyss for the shot and it’s a regular one on one match, meaning over the top doesn’t mean anything anymore. Abyss throws him to the floor anyway and tries to hit him with a chair but it’s taken away by the referee. Back inside now and Abyss pounds on Killings in the corner. Truth speeds things up and hits a leg lariat and a headbutt for two. Abyss gets a big boot and brings in the chain but that gets taken away.

Instead he’ll use a chair because the referee takes forever to put the chain in the corner. Truth gets the chair and hits Abyss twice in the head for two. We actually get a ref bump in this match. Is this really needed? Truth checks on him and walks into a chokeslam onto the chair for a very delayed two. Abyss tries to Earthquake down onto the chair onto Killings but Truth crotches him on the chair instead. Not that it matters though as Killings jumps into the Black Hole Slam and it’s over.

Rating: C+. This wasn’t a horrible battle royal and the one minute intervals keep things moving fast enough. I’m not sure how much I like the one on one match at the end but it’s not a terrible idea I guess. Still though, like most non-Rumbles, this wasn’t a very interesting battle royal. Not awful though.

Abyss is a hardcore guy, so here’s a hardcore dream match from Genesis 2005.

Abyss vs. Sabu

No DQ. Abyss has a chair and his chain. Sabu of course has….nothing. He had his arm covered but when he pulled the towel off there was no barbed wire (there had been at an earlier show). Abyss bails to the floor and Sabu dives on him to take over early. Sabu sets up a table but Abyss takes over and sends him back in. Abyss beats on him VERY slowly as I’m assuming they have a lot of time here.

Sabu is bleeding from the nose. For some reason Abyss goes up, only to be ranaed down. Sabu sets up a chair but it goes upside his head for his efforts. Abyss wedges the chair between the ropes but due to the law of wrestling, he goes head first into it. Triple Jump Moonsault almost totally misses and it’s out to the floor (complete with an F Bomb from Sabu) where Abyss is driven through the table with a slingshot flipping legdrop.

Abyss gets up first and picks up his bag of tacks. As he’s laying them out though, Sabu pulls out a barbed wire chair. Mitchell pulls it away, but Sabu hits some clotheslines in an attempt to put Abyss into the tacks. Abyss is like screw that and chokeslams Sabu into the tacks but it only gets two. He loads up a Frog Splash but lands on tacks, which gets two for Sabu. Camel clutch goes on but Abyss makes a rope. Sabu gets the chair but Abyss knocks him down. Powerbomb onto the chair is countered by a Black Hole Slam onto the chair (FREAKING OW MAN!) gets the pin. Abyss wasn’t scared of it at all.

Rating: C-. It was very violent and the ending was sick, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen a million times before. Abyss being scared of the barbed wire went nowhere at all which didn’t help anything here. The match wasn’t that bad but it’s just another hardcore brawl with some sharp stuff involved.

Next up was a feud with NWA World Champion Christian Cage, culminating in a Full Metal Mayhem match at Sacrifice 2006. Abyss stole the title itself before challenging to become champion.

NWA World Title: Abyss vs. Christian

This is basically a TLC match and Christian is defending. Christian immediately takes him down but can’t overcome the power soon afterwords. Abyss goes for a ladder but Christian dropkicks it back into his face. Back into the ring and Abyss throws him to the apron, only to have the ladder see-sawed into his face. They head to the floor with Christian pounding away on Abyss’ head.

Out into the crowd and they go to that wall that the people in every big TNA brawl fight to. They head back into the ring and the ladder is set up in the corner. Abyss misses a splash onto said ladder so Christian puts it up in front of the challenger. He tries a charge at the ladder but Abyss throws it back at him, knocking Christian down. Abyss wedges a chair between the ropes, and due to the law of wrestling #1, goes crashing into it for his trouble.

Christian goes up and gets his hand on the belt but Abyss makes a pretty easy save. They fight over a German onto the ladder but after neither can get it to go, it’s Christian that is sent crashing into the ladder. Abyss goes outside and sets up a pair of tables next to the ring. Now there’s a table set up in the ring as well but Christian gets in a boot to the ribs to break things up.

Abyss puts him on the ladder but misses a cross body kind of move onto the climbing instrument. A frog splash onto the ladder misses but so does a chain shot against the post. Christian chokes him with the chain but gets flipped through one of the tables at ringside. Abyss goes up but Christian makes the save with a chair. They both fall off the ladder with Christian hitting the top rope. Abyss lays out the tacks but walks into an Unprettier onto the ladder. Mitchell takes a Rock Bottom into the tacks and Abyss is put on the table. He has a chance to go for the belt but drops a frog splash through Abyss, then grabs the title.

Rating: B-. This was ok but it never hit the level that a lot of these matches hit. This felt like something you would see on a TV show, meaning that while it was good there was nothing above the usual level of violence or carnage. For a B level main event it was fine, but it’s absolutely nothing you’d ever want to see a second time unless you were completely obsessed with Christian or something.

Next up was a WAY too long feud with Sting, where Sting tried to help bring out the person behind the mask. This involved James Mitchell being revealed as Abyss’ father and a bunch of strange matches, including this one at Destination X 2007.

Sting vs. Abyss

This is a Last Rites match which means a casket match but the casket is above the ring and you have to have it lowered and then pull them to the ceiling where somehow it signifies their death and ascension or something like that. And people wonder why Russo is made fun of. Keep in mind that Abyss was world champion about two months earlier after just having been an unstoppable monster. This is what we’re getting instead.

Still on the floor as this is just a big brawl so far. As always the splash on the railing misses and Abyss takes over with a chair shot to the back. Into the ring for the first time and there are candles on the corner. Plastic ones mind you but still dude, candles? Scorpion Death Drop puts Abyss down for no cover but he was down for all of a second. One of the candelabras goes into Sting’s face and he’s busted open.

Abyss calls down the casket and the lights go all blue. LOUD fire Russo chant starts up as Sting is pouring blood. Half of the casket is shut and it becomes a regular casket match now. There’s a tombstone. The one made of rock, not the Piledriver. Scorpion goes on and Abyss taps which means nothing. Chair shot puts him down as Sting is bleeding a ton.

The fans chant boring as Sting puts the stone over Abyss’ head and breaks it with the bat. Sting gets out and Abyss shoves him into the corner with his hand around the throat. Abyss chokeslams Sting onto the casket, crushing it. The fans chant TNA, showing that it doesn’t take much to sway their emotions.

Abyss sets up a pair of chairs back to back and puts a tombstone over the top of them. He puts Sting on top for a suplex through it but Sting grabs the candelabra and blasts Abyss in the head with it, knocking them through the tombstone. Sting puts Abyss in the casket to win it before collapsing onto it and having both of them raised into the air. This is what we’re talking about by matches and angles that no one but the booker gets and he doesn’t care what the fans think.

Rating: F+. The FIRE RUSSO chants were right. There were candles, tombstones and a broken casket. On top of that they had only a weak match at best. Sting’s blood was impressive but at the same time it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Weak match overall and rather stupid to say the least. This feud went on forever and seemingly never stopped.

Sting and Abyss would soon join forces (because wrestling says they have to) and feud with Christian’s Coalition, including this match at Hard Justice 2007.

Andrew Martin/Sting/Abyss vs. Christian Cage/AJ Styles/Tomko

There’s barbed wire around the top of the cage and you win by pinfall, but the person being pinned has to be bleeding first. Abyss gets beaten down until bald Test makes the save. The lights go out and Sting appears in the ring, clocking Tomko with a chair. No one is in the ring at the moment. Ok so it’s Abyss vs. Styles now. Well they had my favorite match ever in TNA in a cage so no complaints there.

Tomko is busted so he could be pinned now. AJ gets a jumping enziguri to put Abyss to the floor again. Styles dives out of the cage to take Abyss out again. So….you know what, screw it. I’m not playing dumb on this one. GET IN THE FREAKING CAGE LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO YOU IDIOTS! Three minutes in we’re told that whoever gets the fall is the #1 contender. Well sure why not.

Test beats up Christian but Christian isn’t bleeding yet so no cover. And now we cut to the back to watch Pacman freaking Jones get loaded into an ambulance. In the middle of the second main event of all times. OH COME ON ALREADY. NO ONE FREAKING CARES TNA. This is shown for 23 seconds, which could be worse but it was 23 seconds too long. Guess what the announcers are going to talk about for awhile now.

Everyone is in the ring now I believe. Oh wait Sting isn’t. Tomko breaks up a double chokeslam and Sting is trying to get in. That fails and they manage to lock him out of the cage. Abyss is busted open from his head and arm. Total heel beatdown here but Sting has wire cutters. Sting gets in and here comes the comeback. Tomko cracks Sting with a chari and AJ hits a top rope splash on Abyss as does Christian, getting two. Test kicks a chair into Tomko’s head and there’s glass on the mat. Christian escapes which doesn’t mean anything here. Black Hole Slam onto the glass gives Abyss the pin on Styles.

Rating: C. For this big bloody war, this wasn’t much. Then again we didn’t see the complete version because we couldn’t wait five minutes to see Jones get loaded up into the ambulance of course. Not bad but Lethal Lockdown is a lot better than this was. Having only six people in there was a good thing though as it wasn’t too crowded in there.

Father Mitchell would come back with his other son, Judas Mesias, who challenged Abyss in a very bloody feud. From Against All Odds 2008.

Judas Mesias vs. Abyss

This was taped three weeks ago and is in the Impact Zone down in Orlando. There aren’t any ropes but rather barbed wire. Abyss pushes over a cameraman on the way to the ring. For some reason that made me chuckle. The fans are behind Abyss here. Well that’s good since he’s the face. The lack of ropes makes things look really weird here.

Abyss does the arm pose and Mesias looks at him. It’s weird seeing the face tower over the heel like he does here. They fight to try to push the other into the wire but neither has any luck. Mesias hits a dropkick and Abyss hits wire, cutting his arm a bit. Mesias goes in also, but in his case it’s side first. Drop toehold sends Abyss into the wire. This is going to be one of those matches where all we’re doing is sending people into the wire isn’t it?

Abyss slides under the wire as the fans chant who’s your daddy. He finds a chair wrapped in barbed wire and the fans want blood apparently. Abyss puts the chair on the chest of Mesias but it goes into Abyss’ crotch. That has to hurt a bit no? Barbed wire chair to Abyss’ head. BIG cut over the eye of Abyss.

Mesias brings in a barbed wire board with a slight bit of help from Mitchell. They’re on the floor now with Mesias in control. Abyss finds another board and Mesias is bleeding from the side. The new board is set up between the railing and the table like a platform. Abyss tries to chokeslam Mitchell through it but gets blocked by Mesias and it’s back into the ring. Chokeslam onto the barbed wire is blocked but a gorilla press drop isn’t and Mesias is all cut up.

Abyss’ arms are a mess. There’s ANOTHER barbed wire board being brought in by Abyss. Mesias gets up on the apron so Abyss chokeslams him down onto the board that was set up like a platform. Time for Abyss to go after Mitchell now and it’s a Black Hole Slam for the manager. Mesias pops up somehow and it’s a Black Hole Slam for him too.

Abyss gets hit low to shift the momentum again. Mesias more or less tackles Abyss into the boards for Abyss’ first major bump of the match. They slug it out and Mesias thinks it’s smart to charge at a guy whose finisher is a swinging slam. It connects onto one of the boards and this is over.

Rating: C+. Well they got the violence stuff pretty well I guess. All things considered this was pretty good. Thankfully this feud was OVER after this as I couldn’t take much more from it. Tenay saying that Abyss could be added to the list of hardcore legends like Funk, Brody, Cactus Jack and the Sheik is a big nauseating but you get the idea. Better than you would expect but just what you would expect if that makes sense.

In 2008, Kurt Angle started feuding with Jeff Jarrett. Jeff won the first match and Angle wanted to go again, but Jeff said Angle had to beat Abyss first. From Turning Point 2008.

Kurt Angle vs. Abyss

This is Falls Count Anywhere. I kind of dig Angle’s music. Angle needs to stay away from the red and white stripe singlet. It just doesn’t work for him. Abyss is in the prison suit thing and looks even stupider. It’s all monster to start as you would expect.

We’re in the crowd now and all Abyss can do is throw punches it seems. Angle gets a chair out of the front row. Great to see that someone got up and left in one of the biggest matches on the card. Angle does the running front flip off the stage onto Abyss that you see on a ton of TNA highlight reels.

It doesn’t really matter as Abyss is dominating maybe 8 seconds later. West says Angle kicked Abyss in the nuts. That sounded odd. They go through a wall and are under the stage. Always good to see Angle do new stuff. The cameras lose them so we completely stop for a bit as they come through the other side of the wall.

We’re back in the ring now as this has been your standard hardcore match so far. Angle Slam gets two of course. Why does everyone put the chair between the ropes like that? Angle gets chokeslammed for two. Angle actually hits the moonsault. It’s just finisher to finisher now.

Speaking of which there’s the ankle lock for just a second and it goes into the Black Hole Slam. I hate this part of matches most of the time. We head to the Spanish announce table and Angle goes up the scaffolding behind it. And there goes Abyss down through the table for the pin

Rating: B-. Not bad and it was intense, but this was really just your run of the mill hardcore match. Angle looked solid here but there was very limited drama. That forward flip though was great looking. The in ring stuff kind of sucked though and Abyss is just so limited it’s not even funny. Fun match though.

After all the violence, Abyss finally found a friend in Matt Morgan. They would team up and dominate a few weak teams, eventually getting a Tag Team Title shot at Final Resolution in December 2008.

Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. Matt Morgan/Abyss

Beer Money has Jackie with them and no one cares about her at all, period. Storm has the Boozer Cruiser thing too and I still hate it. Big brawl to start of course with everyone in there at once. Everyone runs around and Abyss goes to the back for a bit. Morgan dives off the top to the floor to take out Beer Money in a cool spot as Abyss is back, accomplishing nothing with his leaving.

I really hope the bell rang already and I just missed it so that the time so far has been taken off the time of this match. And there’s my answer as this is all pre-match stuff. Great. Beer Money try to run and that gets them nowhere. Standard you have until ten or the titles are forfeited jazz. Abyss and Storm finally officially start us off which is apparently the meat of this feud.

Storm cracked Abyss with some bottles and the monster is ticked off about it if you’re curious about the details for some odd reason. We get word that the X Title is held up AGAIN. Sweet goodness man just have the freaking title match and have it stick. This is what we mean by overbooking if you’re curious.

Morgan beats up Storm for a bit and asks the crowd if they want to see Storm vs. Abyss. Didn’t we see that like two minutes ago or is my memory going already? Beer Money has the titles here if I forgot to mention that. Storm runs from Abyss so we get Roode instead. I prefer Rick but this is fine I suppose. Roode is in trouble so Storm goes off to get some beer.

The fans are all over Beer Money here. Morgan sets for the Carbon Footprint and that twat waffle Jackie gets involved which thankfully isn’t a DQ. Storm finally comes in for a bit and works over Morgan’s knee for awhile. Half crab goes on for awhile as Beer Money does the referee isn’t looking so we’ll pretend we tagged and swear we did and get away with it because the referee is biased against faces technique.

Abyss finally comes in and we get Storm vs. Abyss which apparently has been built up for three or four days! Shock Treatment to Storm gets a long two. Storm tries to get a shot with the bottle but Abyss intercepts it. Jackie interferes and Storm gets a shot with brass knuckles to end it. Not huge on this one at all.

Rating: D+. It’s watchable I suppose but it wasn’t interesting at all and no one really cared in the slightest. Abyss vs. Storm was allegedly the selling point of the match and that never happened at all really. The ending was overdone to no end which should shock no one at all. It’s ok I guess but it felt thrown together which is never really good at all.

As is almost always the case in wrestling, the team split, leading to another violent feud. Here’s a big match between them at Lockdown 2009.

Doomsday Chamber of Blood: Matt Morgan vs. Abyss

I’d assume it’s a first blood match. Oh ok you win by pin or submission but they have to be bleeding first. Mike makes sure to inform us that this is NOT a first blood match though, even it’s about bleeding first. Morgan had turned heel again and turned on Abyss. Is anyone really surprised by that? Morgan has a chair to start but it gets knocked back into his face.

Lots of punches to start. This is during the Dr. Stevie period for Abyss and him being all insane and whatnot like that. Basic big man match to start as the fans say they want blood. I’ve always wanted someone to come out with a needle or something and get a tiny poke with it to make the guy bleed and take credit for a win like that. Abyss can’t bring himself to use a chair and he’s in trouble because of it.

Morgan throws weapons out of the ring to protect himself, drawing great heat. I see no barbed wire at all mind you. The chair to Abyss’ head busted him open so Morgan threw them out as he had the stuff he needed already. That makes sense actually. Morgan gets a decent dropkick. Fans are rather bored here but not entirely. This gimmick match overload is starting to wear on them though.

He busts out the bag of glass, making the whole idea of him throwing the chair out TOTALLY POINTLESS. The fans want Stevie. Morgan can’t manage to shove glass into the head of the monster. Abyss comes back and rams him into the cage a bunch and gets a chokeslam but he can’t pin him due to the lack of laceration. Morgan misses a cross body and down goes the referee.

Abyss gets some glass and jams it into Morgan’s head which would likely kill him but who cares about that? He covers Morgan and here’s a second referee for the two count. Abyss goes to the floor and gets the chair. There has been NO barbed wire which was advertised. Dr. Stevie is revealed to be Stevie Richards to the shock of NO ONE and his distractions lets a Carbon Footprint gets two.

The fans chant ECW as you can feel Vince’s lawyers smile from here. Yes they actually made not only a PPV but a major angle out of this. After Stevie steals the chair, Abyss goes under the ring and gets a bag full of tacks. THEN WHY DID HE GO FOR THE CHAIR IF HE KNEW THOSE WERE THERE???

Stevie STORMS, yes STORMS I say, the ring and beats up Abyss which gets him nowhere. Sweet goodness could they not overbook a single match? And then Morgan jumps him and gives him a chokebomb into the tacks for the easy pin. Well I’m glad to see they got the important plot point of STEVIE RICHARDS in this.

Rating: D+. I saw no barbed wire in there which was promised. The rest of this was nothing special in the slightest. Again they overdid it for the sake of the live crowd and having no one care about the actual match due to them just wanting Steven. This wasn’t anything great at all and was just another Abyss weapons match which we’ve seen a thousand times.

Time for another hardcore dream match, but Abyss is fired if he uses thumbtacks.  From Bound For Glory 2009.

Mick Foley vs. Abyss

Stevie Richards is referee and is the doctor again. LOUD pyro for Abyss. Foley jumps him on the ramp and is all casual about hitting him with the barbed wire bat. I like that. I’m reading his book at the moment and haven’t gotten to this part if it’s in there. Almost immediately Foley goes up the set, climbing a tower. Abyss follows and gets knocked through part of the ramp.

Foley climbs down as Stevie says Abyss is done. Foley gets a running start and drives the bat into Abyss as he’s still in that hole in the ramp/stage. Foley, the face, of course gets cheered. Stevie is the cheerleader dude here as the match just kind of stops until Abyss climbs through the stage. We have a barded wire board from somewhere and he makes a platform with it between the guard rail and the ring.

And there’s another board that’s just like the first. Double armed DDT to Abyss to the board. Richards beats up Abyss too because EVERYONE loved that angle. Foley gets a bat shot into Abyss’ arm to open it up. His head is busted too. Foley goes into the wire board now then Abyss does the same. Make that a sandwich as the other is under him. Naturally it only gets two.

Foley busts out the tacks and Abyss sets to chokeslam him onto them but he’s not allowed. Down goes Stevie and here’s Daffney to give Foley a Taser. And just to make it more stupid it explodes as Foley jabs him with it. They TOTALLY botch it as Abyss misses his kickout and Foley gets three and Abyss raises his shoulder at what would have been four so the referee says he kicked out anyway.

Crowd totally boos that out of the building as Stevie pulls the referee out when Abyss goes for the pin. Daffney goes through the platform they made earlier to get a HOLY SMOKES chant. Stevie tries to beat up Abyss and goes into the tacks for his trouble sans shirt. Chokeslam for Foley and we get the Over the Edge 98 finish as Abyss slams Richards’ hand down for the pin.

Rating: C-. Totally violent but overbooked. Also the botch messed things completely up as it was clearly three and everyone knew it. These matches are fine once in awhile but does it really prove anything? This was a far cry from the Edge or Orton matches and it just didn’t work that well for me. Granted I’m not a fan of hardcore so it’s not my style anyway.

Time for a trip to Mexico as Abyss was brought in as a mercenary at Triplemania XVIII.

Cibernetico/Abyss vs. El Zorro/Vampiro

Cibernetico is one of the top faces in the company (or was at this point). Abyss and Vampiro I think you know. El Zorro is a heel and part of the Foreign Legion and after this show would win the world title. This is a hardcore match. Despite being a foreigner Abyss isn’t part of the Foreign Legion for some reason.

Cibernetico’s entrance is in a word, epic. I think he’s supposed to be a cyborg or something. He’s clearly one of the most popular people in the company. This is that odd kind of hardcore where you have to tag in and out. Yeah I know just go with it. Cibernetico and Zorro start us off.

The tights of Cibernetico says Main Man. At least there isn’t a target saying “goes here” underneath it. The partners just come in for no apparent reason with Abyss going off on Vampiro. This is during Abyss-A-Mania but it doesn’t seem to be that bad at this point. Zorro has a kendo stick as the announcers argue some more. Zorro beats on Cibernetico with a chair in the ring while the other guys are out on the floor.

Vampiro sets up a table but can’t get a moonsault through it. Abyss can’t get his powerbomb through it either so it all evens out. Cibernetico hits the floor and now it’s turning into a regular hardcore match. Vampiro and Konnan point at each other for some reason but the wasted time lets Abyss get his hands on Vampiro. Abyss is thrown at the table which collapses but doesn’t break.

Konnan gets in Vampiro’s face again for no apparent reason. Everyone but Abyss is in the ring now and it’s a 2-1 beatdown. I’m not sure what the deal is with two referees. Maybe Gorilla Monsoon is secretly commissioner here or something. Cibernetico dumps Vampiro (to be with Abyss I guess) but has a kendo stick tossed into his leg.

Abyss is back in now but can’t get a double chokeslam. He settles for a double clothesline instead and down goes the Foreign Legion. Abyss……moves……very……very……slowly. The Foreign Legion hits the ring, in the form of Christopher Daniels, Kozlov, Chessman, Nosawa (Japanese guy) and Hernandez. Cibernetico is like screw that and beats them up on his own.

Zorro takes him down and hammers away with the kendo stick. Cue Abyss who hits Shock Treatment and Zorro is more or less dead. Hernandez misses a chair shot and hits Vampiro by mistake. Konnan grabs Vampiro and throws powder in his face. A chokeslam from Cibernetico ends this.

Rating: C+. Not bad here. They got rid of the tagging after about a second and things got a lot better. Decent little match here and the Foreign Legion losing is a good thing for a change tonight. Cibernetico is a guy that it’s easy to get behind so I can see why he’s one of the most popular there. Decent match all around but a bit rushed.

Soon after this, Abyss would start saying that THEY were coming. He would also get a World Title shot at Victory Road 2010.

TNA World Title: Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Abyss

Everybody goes for Abyss to start and it doesn’t work. The crowd is odd here for some reason. This goes nowhere as Abyss just gets up. Hardy and Anderson get him down for like a second and we’re into the usual formula here to an extent. Yep we’re in the formula. That’s fine though as it’s really the only way to do this.

We’re mostly just killing time thus far. The crowd seems a bit dead for some reason but maybe it’s just been a long show. Van Dam hits a split legged moonsault on Anderson for two as Hardy saves. Abyss is gone for the moment so I’m waiting on his return to break up a pin. Instead we get a Tower of Doom with RVD taking the big bump from it. The fans chant TNA for a heel doing a big move. That sums things up pretty well.

Everyone is in the ring now and RVD is in control. I have no idea why everyone is trying to beat Abyss. He’s supposed to be unhurtable but they keep going for him. The fans chant for Anderson. This is really just a bunch of near falls with moves on the side. It’s not bad, but it’s the hazard of multiple man matches. Mic Check on Abyss gets two. Black Hole to Hardy gets two. Abyss looks stupid counting the pin.

Anderson and Hardy finally go at it and it gets NOTHING. This crowd is just out of it. Remember who these fans are too. Abyss is on Hardy who is on Anderson so RVD hits the Five Star for the pin. Wow that was anticlimactic.

Post match Abyss beats up RVD and gets the nail board which misses everything. The show ends with Abyss holding the board and RVD looking at him. Yeah that was stupid.

Rating: D. This just didn’t do it for me. It could have been worse, but at the same time there just wasn’t anything at all special here. The ending to both the match and the show just completely sucked, but what did you really expect? I see no reason at all for RVD to retain there, so of course he did. Whatever.

After feuding with Van Dam for a little while longer, Abyss would be revealed as one of the major stars who combined to form Immortal. This earned him a TV Title shot at Genesis 2011.

TV Title: Abyss vs. Douglas Williams

Yeah because this is EXACTLY what the people wanted to see. Williams has a hurt hand here. Sunset flip can’t hit early on as this is power vs. technical here. Abyss rams the hand into the post to take over. Williams slaps away but can’t do anything of note. Chokeslam can’t hit but Abyss puts him down anyway off a big boot. The fans want AJ.

Here’s the majority of this match: Williams tries to fight, Abyss hits him in the hand, Williams gets another shot in. A jumping back elbow from the second rope sets up a top rope knee drop for Williams for two. Running knee in the corner is countered into a big chokeslam for two. Abyss goes to the floor and finds Janice. It’s merely a ruse though as AJ comes down to clock Williams with the belt. Janice hits the floor again and a Black Hole Slam gives Abyss the TV Title. Get on to something else now.

Rating: C-. Match was ok I guess but dang dude this Immortal thing is getting to be such complete and utter nonsense it’s unreal. Abyss is a champion now and that’s all fine and good apparently. I’m not interested in this storyline at all and I know very few people that are, but TNA insists it’s good so that’s what we’re going to get. Oh joy indeed.

After vacating the title due to an injury, Abyss was sent after the X-Division Title on Impact, May 19, 2011.

X-Division Title: Abyss vs. Kazarian

Bischoff gives Abyss a pep talk before the match, basically saying kill him and also quoting Sun Tzu. Power vs. speed since the beginning as the announcers talk about how this could be the last X Division Title match ever if Abyss wins the belt. Abyss takes him down with power and cranks on the neck but Kaz fights back, only to walk into a chokeslam attempt. That doesn’t work and Kaz gets a springboard dropkick to take Abyss down.

Kaz cranks things up with a rana, an elbow and a legdrop, all off the ropes and resulting in a two count. Chokeslam is countered again into a victory roll for two but Kaz gets caught in Shock Treatment to shift the momentum right back to Abyss. Vader Bomb totally misses and may have hurt his knee. Kaz charges into a big boot as Abyss was apparently faking and the Black Hole Slam gives Abyss the only title he’s never won at 5:05. Tazz says the internet is burning up because of that. Abyss quotes Sun Tzu post match.

Rating: C+. Just a David vs. Goliath match but with a nice little twist of Abyss outsmarting Kaz when he couldn’t beat him with just straight power. I’m thinking this might actually be the beginning of the end for the division as there really isn’t much of a point to the thing at the moment. The TV Title is fine for a midcard title and despite the whole no limits thing, it’s almost always been seen as a Cruiserweight Title. Anyway, not a bad match but nothing of note at all.

Despite being handed titles, Abyss would leave Immortal in late 2011. They wanted him back though and sent Bully Ray to accomplish the goal. This led to a match at Genesis 2012 and if Ray wins, Abyss has to rejoin the team.

Bully Ray vs. Abyss

This is Monster’s Ball, which basically means hardcore. Ray immediately hits the floor and walks around for a bit. He grabs a chair and feels all mighty, but Abyss gets one of his own. Here’s a chair duel and Abyss shrugs off a chair shot. Ray walks into a chokeslam which he pops up from and a big boot takes Abyss down for a good 1 second. Abyss cracks him with a chair to take over and goes to get a staple gun and cheese grater.

Ray gets in a chain shot but a trashcan is no sold. With more weapon shots, Ray grabs a kendo stick. Abyss hits the floor and finds Janice, making Ray run to the back. Abyss follows and then they’re back already. They weren’t off camera for two seconds. Back at ringside and Abyss goes into a barbed wire board. Abyss’ arm is bleeding. He throws Ray in and grabs a pair of bags.

He doesn’t open them yet and instead it’s a cheese grater to the balls. Bag #1 has thumbtacks. Ray kicks him low, shouts about how his balls hurt, and gets a table. According to wrestling law #1 though, Ray goes through it via a chokeslam for two. There are two barbed wire boards in the ring now but Ray Rock Bottoms Abyss onto one for two.

Ray slams the other board on top of Abyss and hits the backsplash off the middle rope. Ok that was kind of awesome. Since it’s TNA though, it only gets two. Ray gets Janice but walks into a chokeslam onto the tacks….for two. Bully gets a boot up in the corner and grabs a kendo stick. He beats Abyss down with it via about 12 shots but for some reason hits the ropes. That’s enough for a Black Hole Slam onto the barbed wire for the pin at 15:28.

Rating: B-. Pretty fun and very violent hardcore match. The key to this one: we hadn’t seen it in awhile which made it have more, pardon the pun, impact. The no selling at the beginning was pretty fun and the big spots worked, but at some point it got kind of ridiculous. To be fair though, that’s the point. At least Immortal didn’t get a new member though so that’s a plus.

Later in the year, Abyss disappeared. Soon after this, Abyss’ brother Joseph Park would debut and say he was looking for the missing monster. Park of course became a wrestler and had a match against Aces and 8’s member Doc at Turning Point 2012.

Doc vs. Joseph Park

Doc is Luke Gallows remember. Park is always amazing in this role given how inept he can make himself look. He tries single leg takedown but Doc just laughs at him. Some wild right hands miss Doc until one accidentally catches him, ticking the biker off. They head to the floor where Park does a lot of running but manages to send Doc into the steps. Back in and Doc loads up a studded belt around his fist but the referee takes it away. Then we stop, because it’s hammer time. That of course gets taken away and Park pounds away.

The next three minutes or so are just Doc beating on Park with basic stuff and there’s only so much you can say about punches. Park starts a comeback but gets hit in the head with the belt to bust him open. He goes into a rage and hits the Black Hole Slam before turning back into Park. Park grabs a chair to whack Doc in the back with for two, but that’s all he’s got as Doc chokeslams him down for the pin at 11:01.

Rating: D. This was WAY too long and that’s where it died. At the end of the day, the joke with Park has been going on for months now and the fans clearly get it. Once the fans get what’s going on, the joke stops being as funny, which means it’s probably time to pull the plug on it, or at least move things forward. The match was bad though as it should have been about five minutes shorter.

Over time, Park would start freaking out if he saw blood. These moments got him a TV Title shot at Slammiversary 2013.

TV Title: D-Von vs. Joseph Park

Park doesn’t show up due to the beatdown from earlier tonight so D-Von talks some trash about the Boston Celtics. D-Von demands a ten count for Park to get out here….and there’s still no Park so D-Von retains.

D-Von of course makes the eternal mistake of running his mouth, saying that if Abyss was here, he’d take a beating like Park would have. You all know what’s coming next.

TV Title: D-Von vs. Abyss

Abyss cleans house of Knux and kicks D-Von in the face as the bell rings. Knux interferes from the floor to let D-Von get in a forearm to the face and take over with some very basic offense. Knee drops and right hands abound but a middle rope splash misses the monster. Abyss hits a splash in the corner followed by a chokeslam and the Black Hole Slam for the pin and the title at 3:49.

Rating: D. The match was barely there but it was the right result. D-Von has done nothing at all with the title in the six months he’s held it so maybe Abyss will actually defend the thing. If nothing else the split personalities deal is interesting when you add in a title. Nothing to see here, but that wasn’t the point of the match.

Park would start teaming with Eric Young and the pair had some success. They were in a gauntlet match at Bound For Glory 2013 with the winning team getting a Tag Team Title shot later in the show.

Tag Team Gauntlet

It’s a four team gauntlet match with the winning team getting the tag title shot on the PPV. We start with Bad Influence vs. Hernandez/Chavo Guerrero. The Bro Mans will be fourth due to Robbie E. winning a four way on Impact. Eric Young and Joseph Park will be third due to winning a drawing earlier tonight. Hernandez cleans house to start and Bad Influence bails to the floor. We finally get down to Daniels running into a big boot from Hernandez in the corner and take a quick break.

Back with Hernandez hitting an over the shoulder face plant to stop Kazarian’s momentum, allowing for a double tag to Chavo vs. Daniels. Chavo gets two off a headscissors and everything breaks down. Hernandez runs over Bad Influence and hits the big shoulder to run over Kazarian. Daniels low bridges SuperMex to the floor but walks into Three Amigos from Chavo. Not that it matters though as Kaz comes back in to distract Chavo, giving Daniels a rollup with a handful of trunks for the pin at 7:30.

Young and Park are in next but get jumped on the way in. Park runs over Kazarian and slams him down, only to have Daniels chop block him down to give Kazarian control. Bad Influence double teams the big man as the fans chant for Young. Kazarian can’t quite get a sunset flip but avoids a seated senton from the big guy.

We take another break and come back with Eric getting the hot tag and pounding away on Daniels in the corner. Young flips over the corner and does Daniels’ strut down the apron before coming back for a belly to belly and a near fall. Kazarian makes the save and gets sent to the floor, allowing Daniels to hit a release Rock Bottom but miss the BME. Park hits a Samoan Drop on Daniels to give Young the pin at 16:50.

Bad Influence jumps Park and Young post match and sends Park into the Ultimate X structure. The referee calls for help as Park is injured and Young is out cold in the ring. Here come the Bro Mans with special guest Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. It’s basically a handicap match here with Young getting double teamed for a big, only to make a comeback with right hands and forearms. A slam puts Robbie down and Eric drops a top rope elbow for two. The numbers finally catch up with Eric though and a double flapjack sets up a Hart Attack for the pin and the title shot at 22:00.

Rating: C-. Nothing special here but I liked the length of the match. Far too often in these things the falls last about 2 minutes each and are completely unrealistic when you compare them to normal wrestling matches. Having the shortest be seven and a half minutes made this far better. Also anything that keeps Chavo and Hernandez off my screen is a good thing.

We’ll wrap it up with their battle after the inevitable split. Young has since figured out that Park is Abyss, because that somehow took over a year to discover. From Impact, February 6, 2014.

Eric Young vs. Abyss

This is Monster’s Ball, meaning anything goes. They’re fighting in the back with Young actually in control and bringing Abyss through the entrance. Abyss comes back with a big right hand and some forearms to the back and the opening bell rings. Young crawls over to a trashcan full of weapons and blasts Abyss in the back with a pipe to get the advantage, only to have Abyss backdrop him on the floor. It’s table time but Young hits a quick dropkick to get a breather.

Young goes for the mast but Abyss slams him into the apron to get a breather. They head inside for the first time with Eric coming off the top, only to jump right into Abyss’ hands. A hard clothesline drops Young again and Abyss goes outside to get a chair. The chair is placed on Eric’s ribs but he manages to turn it on its side to crotch a charging Abyss. Eric is sent into the corner and out to the apron where he comes back with a missile dropkick for two.

Just as Eric gets some momentum he gets sent face first into the chair in the corner and a chokeslam gets two. Abyss goes outside and gets his bag of tacks before loading up a superplex, only to have Young counter with a sunset powerbomb into the tacks for two. Eric goes up top but Abyss punches him off the top rope and out through the table in a huge crash. Back in and Young somehow gets his foot on the ropes to break the pin so Abyss pulls out the big weapon: Janice, the baseball bat full of nails. Young rips the mask off to save himself and reveal Joseph Park, earning himself the Black Hole Slam for the pin at 9:41.

Rating: B-. That might be a bit high but I was digging this match. It wasn’t the best hardcore match I’ve ever seen or anywhere close to it but Young was working well out there. I can tolerate him much more easily when he’s not being over the top and stupid which is what we got here. Abyss is a fun character too as there’s something awesome about a guy who just breaks stuff.

Abyss is a guy that has found his niche as TNA’s hardcore guy, but there’s a much more interesting character hidden beneath all the scars. He’s gone from being a monster to a complex character to a lawyer to the same old character he was before. There’s still a benefit to having him there but he relies on doing the same stuff over and over again.

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1 comment

  1. Killjoy says:

    No early stuff from when Abyss debuted in IWA? I wanted to see Abyss vs Shane The Glamour Boy. 🙁