As the Twitch feed goes live we get a look around McHale’s Bar and Grill in midtown Manhattan, which has a packed crowd of fans, wrestlers and Impact officials all there to celebrate the life and career of “The Monster” Abyss.
A video package aired with superstars from all around the industry, throughout the history of Impact Wrestling, telling stories about Abyss and congratulating him on entering the Hall of Fame. The thing that got said over and over again was that he nobody deserved the accolade more, and that it couldn’t have happened to a better man with more love and passion for the wrestling business.
Some of the names featured in the video included Velvet Sky and Bully Ray, Taz, Gail Kim, Don West and Tommy Dreamer, who praised him as one of the best big-men in the industry. Mick Foley told a story about how he wanted one of his “Faces of Foley” to be “Son of Abyss”, which got a good pop.
Abyss’ former Decay partner Rosemary was also in the video, as was Jeff Jarrett who had quite a bit to say, and got a good reaction. Dixie Carter even appeared, which seemed to shock everyone, and the video package ended with all the current members of the roster – Allie, Grado, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Johnny Impact, Austin Aries, etc. – congratulating the “Monster” on entering the Hall of Fame.
Impact executives Don Callis and Scott D’Amore came up to the podium to say a few words, which I didn’t catch because the Impact Twitch channel plays adds constantly unless you spend money subscribing.
Father James Mitchell Presents
Father James Mitchell gave the official introduction speech, as the “father” of the Abyss character. He said that no man had ever given more to the business, and be seen so little in return. He told a story about how Dusty Rhodes told him to find a “monster heel” as somehow he could manage, and turn into a main event, world champion level star. Two years later Mitchell got a call from Dutch Mantell who got the ball rolling.
Mitchell got very raw and emotional, telling stories about how he had left the wrestling business and spent five years laying in bed, waiting for the phone to ring. He couldn’t bear to watch wrestling in those days, and ultimately it was the years he spent with Abyss, which he called the best professional and personal years of his life, that inspired him to get back up and go back to the person he was back then.
“The Monster” Takes the Stage
Finally Abyss, or Joseph Park as we will refer to him henceforth, took the podium and thanked the fans, and immediately gave a shout-out to Kevin Sullivan, who wasn’t in attendance.
Park told stories about his time with James Mitchell, saying that his award was just as much his because the years they spent together were instrumental to the Abyss character becoming what it was.
Park quoted Mark Twain – “The two most important days of your life are the day you’re born, and the day you find out why.” He then told the story about how he would sit in front of the TV as a kid, rocking back and forth, watching Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan, until it consumed his entire life.
He thanked the other Impact Hall of Famers that came before him, saying he was proud to be in the same ranks as Team 3D, Gail Kim, Earl Hebner and more. The thing he is most proud of is being the first “Impact Original” inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Park sited AJ Styles, Sonjay Dutt, Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki and said that his induction was dedicated to each and every one of the Originals.
Some of the great opponents he loved to work with included Sting, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and said he loved all the times he got to bring the Monster’s Ball to events like Bound for Glory.
Park thanked Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter for taking a chance on him. He said back then ECW and WCW had just closed their doors, there was name brand talent everywhere, and TNA took a chance on him when he was a “nobody”.
He got very emotional and thanked JB for being one of his best friends. “Forget about wrestling, we were just friends.” He called JB the “constant that always kept him together personally and professionally”.
“I want to thank every man and woman I ever had the opportunity to share the ring with.”
Park thanked all the fans who ever supported him for making his journey so incredibly fun over the years. He thanked his mother, ironically named Rosemary.
“The the young men and women in the business right now. You guys have set the bar at a new level. Your passion, your drive has taken this industry to new levels. One day Father Time is going to tap you on the shoulder. You can ignore him, blow him off, but he’s not going anywhere. How do you want to be remembered? Because in the end, all the titles, tours, and Twitter followers aren’t how you’re going to be remembered. When you’ve attained your goals and you’re siting on top of that hill, right before you pump that fist, turn around, reach your hand out and help that next guy right behind you on top of the hill with you.”
Austin Aries Closes the Night
Impact World Champion Austin Aries took the stage to close things out. Some of the fans heckled him and told him to apologize for his recent comments, but he’s just there to say a few things about his friend.
Aries said that he’s been around a long time, and that there’s only been one true constant in Impact Wrestling it’s Abyss. He praised him for his loyalty, sticking with the company over the years no matter what, and said there is not a man or woman alive who deserves to be in the Impact Hall of Fame more than Abyss.
He then tried to extend an apology for the things he said on social media this week that “were obviously misconstrued”. Johnny Impact and Taya were sitting front now, and he started yelling at Aries that “tonight isn’t about you!” and telling him to sit down. Aries claimed that in wrestling they blur the lines between fiction and reality, and sometimes people’s feelings get hurt. So he was going to come up and apologize for what he said, and the tweets he deleted, but then he saw Johnny and Taya talking trash on TMZ this week…”
All the sudden Impact management started yelling to cut the cameras, and the feed went dead as Johnny and Austin were screaming at each other and everyone was going crazy.