We already had the chance to talk to “The Monster” Abyss a few weeks ago but, at that time, everything he was able to tell us was he would be at Bound for Glory. Did he already know, by the end of July, he would be inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame? Maybe. As the very last TNA/Impact Wrestling Original, because of his unwavering loyalty to the company, no one deserved a place into the Hall of Fame more than Abyss. The week after the announcement of his induction, Abyss was taking part in an Impact Wrestling media call. And the fact of being inducted brought him back to a whole world of memories, scars and opponents.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhyc6x1DEk8]

About the significance of being into the Hall of Fame 

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about it personally, not to understate, it is without a doubt probably the crowning moment of my career. I think it’s the biggest night of my career. To be recognized for my work over the last 16, going on 17 years, and I’m in a lot of emotion about it and very, very excited about it and looking forward to celebrating it with my peers and with the fans of Impact Wrestling.”

About what he wants to be reminded of as a wrestler

“Something I’ve thought about a lot about I want to be remembered as somebody who was a good person, with a good heart, that has always treated everybody with respect. I want to be remembered as somebody that went out and gave a 150% every night, gave of my body, of my mind and of my spirit in the wrestling industry. I want to be remembered as somebody that gave it everything he had, everything that was in my body and did it with respect and dignity and honour.”

About retirement

“I’m by no means retiring. I obviously have slowed down over the past couple of years, a lot of my focus is backstage, producing and agenting and working closely with Sonjay (Dutt) and Scott (D’Amore) and Don (Callis) and Jimmy (Jacobs). You’ll still see the Monster Abyss.  I’m sure he will pop up and rear his ugly head on Impact when the time is right during the year. I’m booked solid in the next year, so you’ll see me out on the road a lot. My focus is obviously the young, upcoming great Impact talents that we have right now and that’s kind of my focus but I’m sure and I’m quite positive you’ll see the Monster Abyss on Impact Wrestling again.”

About his favourites matches

“I was fortunate enough to be in the ring with some all-time greats and some guys that I grew up idolizing literally. I never thought I’d be in the ring with them, from Hulk Hogan to Mick Foley to Sting to Ric Flair. I’ve been able to cross a lot off my bucket list as far as matches. Though the 2005 LockDown main-event of me and AJ Styles in the cage is probably my favourite because it was the first time either one of us ever did the main-event of a Sunday night live pay-per-view. We always had incredible chemistry together, he’s a dear friend and we tore it down. The 2006 Barbed Wire Massacre with Sabu would probably also stand out as another one of my favourites, just because of the gravity of the match. It was the first time there were no ropes but barbed wire. It had never been televised live on PPV in North America so we were able to do something for the first time. The Sting match in 2007, where I won my one and only TNA Impact World title run, would probably be on that list as well.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niWXvJteH-w]

About The Decay

“The angle that ended way too soon, that had a lot of legs under, was Decay. No doubt about it. I thought Decay was incredible. Crazzy Steve and Rosemary, it was a great mix of two young great unbelievably awesome talents and the old grizzled veteran, that is me, kind of coming into the mix with them. It gave me a little bit more longevity and, at the same time, I think it really launched Rosemary and Steve. We still get a ton of requests together and we were only together for about a year and a half. The angle with the Hardy was amazing, the stuff we did in the Hardy compound with them was groundbreaking. I thought that the Decay had a lot of legs under and I think we could have got a lot more out of it than we did.” 

About having regrets 

“I’m very, very happy with what my career produced. I have no regrets. I’ll never be one of those bitter veterans. Unfortunately, some guys in the business became very bitter towards the end and I’m not going to be one of those guys because I have no reason to be. I experienced a career I never thought I would have. I experienced success on levels that I never thought. The only thing I may regret is one or two of the stupid bumps that I took, some of the crazy stuff that I did, but other than that I have zero regrets.”

About never being able to wrestle The Undertaker

“No, I’m not going to say I wish it would have happened. If it would have happened, obviously it would have been a career highlight, no doubt. But it wasn’t in the cards. I chose to stay with TNA and I’ve said it before and will say it again. TNA was and is my home. Impact Wrestling is my home. This company has done great things for me, personally and professionally, over the last 16 years. This company gave me a home. This company took a chance on me when I was a relative nobody. They gave me an opportunity to build my name. They gave me the platform to show the wrestling world and the fans what I can do. This coming April I’ll be in this business for half of my life and the majority of my adult life has been with TNA and Impact. There’s nothing I’m more proud of. Sure, there are other opportunities but they just weren’t for me. This is home. I was part of the ground floor of this place. I was one of the original members of this place. I was one of the guys who laid the initial foundation of this company and that’s always been more important to me than anything else.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwoHAYtv0FM]

About his current favourite Impact Wrestling Superstars 

“There’s so many. Some of the names that come to pop into my head right away are Killer Kross, I love this guy, he’s a chip off the old block so to speak, I love watching him, I love the way he does everything and he’s a tough individual and that’s a shoot. Sami Callihan, Moose, Brian Cage, Rich Swann… I really don’t have one, in particular, I think that we have the best collection of young talent in the world right now and I think some big things are going to be coming up with these guys.”

About transitioning into backstage work

“It started for me a few years ago. I had an opportunity to help agents a few times when we were a little short-handed back in 2011. From 2014 I started doing it more on a regular basis. I never thought I would get the intrinsic good rewarding feeling from agenting in the wrestling business, it is very self-serving as we know it, it’s very individual and you worry about your own career. I have never thought I would get that feeling of a great accomplishment by helping two guys or two young ladies put together a match and watch them go out there and executing it. When I did it, it was the exact opposite, I had the best feeling in the world, I had the same kind of feeling that I had when I went out there had a good match on my own. So I realized right away that it was a good calling for me. I love working with young talents  I’ve been in the business for 23 years now and 16 and a half with Impact. It’s time for me to give back and share some of that knowledge, some of those ups and downs, some of those mistakes I made to help them not make the same mistakes and help them achieve their goals and achieve the company’s goals. I always want to stay in the wrestling business, I love this business, it’s in my blood and it always will be. Producing and agenting is the way I can really contribute to this business  after my in-ring career is done.”

About being loyal to Impact Wrestling all those years

“I don’t even know where to begin. They took a gamble with me. There were a lot of people out there knocking on their door. When I came back from Puerto Rico in June of 2003, right before the first Anniversary…this company gave me a dark match. They gave me a tryout match. And I was hired immediately afterwards. And they invested in me personally and professionally. Sure, the ups and downs are well documented that this company has gone through. Some of the lows and some of the trials and tribulations that occurred under past regimes. And I must emphasize past when I say that. We fought through a lot. A lot of people were betting against us. We pulled through it together. The talent did. We did. The company did. The office did. This company has always treated me well. This company has always treated me with respect. I was one of the founding members of this company. I was one of the cinder blocks that it’s sitting on top of. And that’s always carried a lot of weight in me being one of the original members of this company. That means more to me than going anywhere else, taking a chance and being a number. Here I always felt like I was a contributor and was always valued. Like I’ve said in past interviews, this place has been home to me for over 16 years now. And that means the world to me.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97aOzAkIga8]

Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame Ceremony will air live on Impact Twitch Channel this Sunday at 12.30AM BST. All videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling.

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...