OWW Wrestler of the Week: Abyss

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

OWW’s Wrestler of the Week: Abyss

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, looks at The Monster. Abyss gained a measure of revenge against his former best friend, Matt Morgan, at TNA’s Against All Odds Pay Per View.

Abyss is a tortured soul. He can absorb tremendous amounts of pain during matches. Many critics have called him a Kane Klone. While there are many similarities between The Monster and the Big Red Machine, Abyss is definitely unique in his ability to absorb and dish out punishment. On Sunday, Abyss faced off against “The Blueprint” in a brutal contest at Against All Odds. When the dust cleared, Abyss sent Matt Morgan into oblivion with the Black Hole Slam. Abyss is this week’s OWW: Wrestler of the Week.

Chris Parks’ multiple identities

Chris Parks was born in October of 1973. While he was born on the 4th, many claimed he was born on Halloween. Parks’ early years are shrouded in mystery. The man who would become Abyss started his wrestling career in the Northern Wrestling Federation. There he went under the ring name of Prince Justice. Yes, that name was re-used by TNA, years later, to name the so-called Superhero Faction in TNA. I’ll talk more about the Prince Justice Brotherhood, later.

During his early days in wrestling, Chris was introduced to the legendary, Dutch Mantell. Mantell was booking matches in Puerto Rico's IWA territory. It was Mantell who is credited with creating both the name for and the character of Abyss. Abyss worked in Puerto Rico, off and on, for the next year or so. He also worked in TNA and numerous indy feds. In the indies, he used a variety of names, including: Abismo, Justice, Chris Justice, Terminator, Eric Justice and King Justice.

Ring of Dis-Honor

Abyss has had two runs in Ring of Honor. Abyss' first appearance was as a bodyguard for the stable known as Special K. Abyss was scheduled to work several shows, but was pulled after only one appearance. A working relationship between TNA and ROH fell apart and all contracted TNA stars were forced off the ROH shows.

Abyss would return in 2005 to ROH. Abyss worked with several other TNA stars, as part of The Embassy stable. It was led by a character called Prince Nana. They battled several future superstars like Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) and Jack Evans. Abyss was set to make a run at the ROH World title when he suddenly left ROH in early 2006.

Total Non-Stop Abyss

Chris Parks actually began his TNA career under the name Justice. He fought in the Gauntlet for the Gold battle to determine the first TNA champion. He failed in his attempt to win the gold. Not long after, Justice was replaced by the Mantell-created character of Abyss. Abyss attacked Jeff Hardy, who had recently arrived from the WWE. Their feud was delayed due to Hardy failing to show up for a scheduled match between the two. The two would eventually battle, with them splitting wins.

After the Hardy situation was resolved, Abyss moved on to team with, and later feud with, Kid Kash. They had numerous brutal battles, including a Steel Chair on a Pole Match. The feud was short-lived. Abyss took most of the wins in the feud. The fans were less than impressed with the battles, so the feud was brought to a quick end.

Abyss' next big feud came against Raven. Abyss, under the management of Don Callis, took the fight to Raven's Gathering. The feud presented some of the most bizarre, brutal matches in TNA History. Raven had his Gathering group, a throwback to the old WCW Flock. Eventually, Raven's men would turn against him and allow Abyss to destroy Raven. Their feud would continue for the next few months. Abyss would also enter the first of many feuds with A.J. Styles.

Styles and Abyss were forced to team together to battle for the NWA/TNA World Tag Titles. They actually won the belts, even though Abyss walked out on his partner. Abyss also won the right to be the number one contender to the World title. Abyss would lose his title shot to Raven. Abyss would trade Callis for Goldy Locks as a manager. Abyss would help her against Erik Watts. The relationship between Goldy Locks and Abyss ended almost as quickly as it started.

Monster's Ball I and Full Metal Mayhem

Once Abyss got finished with Goldy Locks' biddings, Abyss renewed his feud with Raven. Monty Brown also set his sights on Abyss. Abyss came out on the losing end in his feud with Monty Brown. Brown actually beat Raven in the original Monster's Ball match. Abyss then decided to renew his feud with Jeff Hardy. TNA had announced that Abyss had left TNA, partially due to his losing streak. It was a work to Pearl Harbor Hardy. The two squared off in a variation of the TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) match called Full Metal Mayhem. The time off was a good thing for Abyss as he dominated the FMM match. Hardy would gain a victory over Abyss at the next PPV, but Abyss ended up slamming Hardy onto a bed of thumbtacks.

In search of the NWA/TNA World title

Once he was done with Hardy, Abyss set his sights on the World title. He had to get past A.J. Styles before he could get a shot the belt. Abyss lost to Styles to become number one contender, but ended up back in the title hunt, thanks to the Gauntlet for the Gold. Abyss was one of 20 men involved. Abyss came in second, behind Ron Killings. Abyss ended up going into the King of the Mountain match. Abyss seemed to have the match (and title) won, until Raven snuck in and took the title.

Father's Day

Abyss was very upset at how he got ripped off by Raven. Abyss knew he needed an ally to help him. While Abyss hadn't had much luck with managers, he tried, one last time. He brought in the former Sinister Minister of ECW, a man who had feuded with Raven in the old ECW. The new manager took the name of "Father" James Mitchell. It allowed him to continue his pseudo-preacher character. The "Father" part of the name would come into play, a few years down the road.

Mitchell worked to get Abyss a title match. Abyss failed to capture the gold. Out of anger, Abyss attacked Lance Hoyt. Their feud went nowhere. It was basically a filler feud until the next big feud came along. Abyss wanted revenge on Raven, so he went after one of Raven's old ECW friends...Sabu. The Doomsday DVD features a couple of matches between the two. They are rather difficult to watch, due to the extreme brutality. Nothing was settled between the two before Sabu left TNA.

Planet Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett, now a major heel, began to build himself a stable of supporters. In addition to Team Canada and America's Most Wanted, Jarrett turned to Mitchell for Abyss' aid. Abyss was sent to take out Rhino, who had become a major threat to the World title. Abyss did win most of their matches, but failed to completely erase Rhino from the title picture. Abyss did focus on the TNA title, next. The belt was being held by Christian Cage, at the time. Abyss came up short, several times, in his battles for the TNA title. Abyss' alliance with Planet Jarrett fell apart when Jarrett took the World title at Slammiversary, defeating Abyss and several others. Abyss then took a break from wrestling.

The Monster and the Munchkin

Abyss was approached by B.G. and Kip James for help in their war with Team 3D. Abyss and the then-called James Gang, took out Ray, Devon and Runt. That set up one of the most bizarre feuds in TNA's history. Brother Runt, who was much smaller than Abyss, actually challenged the Extreme Giant to a series of matches. The former Spike Dudley called upon his ECW Hardcore training to battle Abyss in various thumbtack, glass and tables matches. Abyss completely dominated their matches. Abyss also ended up feuding with Raven. The whole thing came to a head at Bound For Glory in another Monster's Ball match. It was the end of his feud with Runt and the beginning of a feud with Samoa Joe. Abyss was injured in the match, when he swallowed some of the thumbtacks, which damaged his throat.

The Big Secret

Samoa Joe had stolen the World title. Abyss was sent to retrieve the belt. Joe trashed Abyss in their matches. The two started working towards the World title. The title had been won by Sting at Bound For Glory.

Sting began to take interest in the negative way that Abyss had been treated over the years. Sting did some research on Abyss' past and said that he had information about Abyss' past and he wanted to help the tortured soul. Abyss tripped out at the thought of Sting talking about the past. The two had numerous brutal matches as TNA continued to tease about the "secret".

Abyss lost in his bid to take the World title from Sting. Sting began to call Abyss by his given name, Chris. James Mitchell got extremely upset at Sting's interference. Christian Cage also got involved in looking at Abyss' past. The three men were involved in several nasty matches against each other. In one extremely odd match, Abyss beat Sting by DQ in a title match. Out of nowhere, TNA changed the rules and allowed the title to change hands on a DQ. Abyss was now the World champ. Sting tried to get Abyss away from Mitchell, which he appeared to do. The division was short-lived. Abyss returned to his manager and attacked Sting.

Abyss would drop the belt to Christian Cage at Final Resolution in a Triple Threat match. After the loss of the World title, Abyss seemed ready to dump his manager. Sting brought out more details about Abyss' past. Despite Abyss' pleas not to do so, Sting revealed that Chris "Abyss" Parks had shot his father and served prison time. The father that Chris shot was his step-father, who was beating up Chris' mom. Chris' real father was revealed as...James Mitchell!

Family Feud

Mitchell sent everyone he could find after his wayward son, Chris. Abyss had to fight off Tomko, A.J. Styles, Christian Cage and others. Abyss, with the help of Sting, fought off all comers. Mitchell decided to bring in Abyss' brother to finish off his son. Judas Mesias, who worked almost exclusively in Mexico, rose from the ring to use a steel rope "necklace" to choke out Abyss. In a weird twist on the Undertaker/Kane storyline, Mesias attacked Abyss on a regular basis. Unlike Undertaker, Abyss had no issue in thrashing his sibling. Abyss was nearly burned in the ring when Mitchell poured gas on his "son" and threatened to torch the tortured one. It was further revealed that the surname of Parks was actually Abyss' mother's maiden name. Abyss' true given name was Chris Mitchell (a complete work). The two brothers continued to battle until cost-cutting measures sent El Mesias back to Mexico.

Mitchell traded in Mesias for Black Reign (Dustin Rhodes) and RelliK (Johnny Stamboli). Abyss feuded briefly with the Monster of the Midway before asking for some time off. To explain the vacation, Abyss ripped off his match as he left the Impact Zone. Abyss had been scheduled to face Scott Steiner, but the match never really got started. Abyss took several months off to recover from all the brutality that he'd undergone, over the years. During his off time, James Mitchell was released by TNA. The Family Feud ended with Mitchell's release. Abyss would not use the Chris Mitchell name again. Only recently did he even mention his abusive father (although not by name).

A Tamed? Monster

TNA removed Abyss from their web page. After a few weeks, videos from an insane asylum showed Abyss rocking back and forth while wrapped in a straight jacket. The "Doctors" stated that Chris was almost cured of his violent insanity. Abyss began to talk quietly about how he was cured of his problems. Abyss said that he was coming home at Slammiversary.

Abyss took a quick warm-up match against PCW champ, Mike Foxx. The match was a chance for Abyss to shake off a little ring rust. Abyss destroyed Foxx and lost by DQ. It was a thank you to some old friends.

When Abyss returned to the Impact Zone, the black and red outfit from the past was gone. Abyss came out in a ripped up white asylum jumpsuit with his inmate number on the back. Also was the name "Park", an incorrectly spelled version of Parks' last name. Parks. The "new" Abyss was much less violent. He seemed to be afraid of the weapons that he had always used. The fans were not happy about the more sedate version of Abyss. Abyss worked a program against Team 3D and Johnny Devine, where Abyss refused to use the weapons available to him. Abyss needed a friend. Be careful what you ask for.

The Monster and the Beast

Abyss was befriended by Matt Morgan, who was getting a huge push. After Morgan helped Abyss fight off Team 3D, he tried to bring back the more brutal version of Abyss. Morgan taunted and pushed Abyss to quit being a doormat to others. The duo looked to be a lock to take the tag gold from Beer Money (Robert Roode and James Storm). Unfortunately, a series of mistimed moves cost them the match. Morgan became frustrated at Abyss' inability to get the job done. Abyss was later convinced into getting drunk with Beer Money. This just added to the frustration on Morgan's side. TNA teased a break-up of the team. Morgan and Abyss seemed to get their issues worked out and were ready to go after the tag belts again. That wouldn't happen. Morgan turned on Abyss and struck him with a steel chair. The chair shot seemed to awaken the long-dormant vicious side of Abyss' nature. The two squared off at Sunday's Against All Odds. Abyss took out Morgan with the Black Hole Slam, after a huge match.

In Conclusion:

Abyss had been a mainstay in TNA for many years. He's held the World title and the tag belts. He's also feuded with just about every top star to pass through the company. The return of the "old" Abyss at Against All Odds was a significant turning point for Abyss. Abyss' domination of Morgan brought Abyss a huge win and this week's OWW: Wrestler of the Week award.

--Jay Shannon
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(2/10/09)