Thanks to James Walsh for the following:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Abyss recently spoke to the Wrestling Epicenter for an exclusive interview. Below are highlights.
To listen, please visit www.WrestlingEpicenter.com:
On deciding to re-sign with Impact Wrestling:
"It was a pretty easy decision for me. I love the company. I've been a part of it for, gosh, going on 17 years, since the beginning. It was a pretty easy decision for me. I was able to put together a pretty nice package to continue my duties as a wrestler, as an agent, and producer. I'm really excited about being able to stay on board and being able to contribute to the team, getting in the ring, and working with the young talent and getting them to where we want and need them to be."
On how regularly he might be competing in the ring going forward:
"I think you'll see Abyss at the right time and so forth. Obviously, a large part of my duties will be backstage producing and agenting which I've been doing the past couple of years. But, I'll be in the ring as well both as "The Monster" Abyss and probably, I would assume, as his esteemed brother Joseph Park as well. You'll see a little bit of both - In the ring and a lot backstage as well. I'm really excited about it!"
On the success of Slammiversary:
"You know, you nailed it on the head. I've been here since the beginning. I've been here for some really good times and for some really not good times. That pay per view last Sunday, Slammiversary, was the most positive thing we've had in a long time. It was so great to see it and to hear it. Even critics that were really hard on us over the years were really excited about Slammiversary. As a company, we don't want to rest on our lorals. We feel like we're on to something. We're really turning the corner and getting the company back on the right track. We want to take that momentum we created from Slammiversary and take that moving forward to October and Bound for Glory as well in New York. There's a lot of positivity going on! You've got to really credit the guys and girls of Impact. They really went out there and tore it down and left it in the ring! It was a great, great night and a platform for us to continue to improve as a company."
On Slammiversary playing by "Extreme Rules":
"Yeah, you know, I think it is. I think we're finding our niche as a company and are doing things that other companies won't do. I think that's the feeling and that is what makes us different - As long as we're smart about it and I think we were at Slammiversary. We really presented our unique brand. I think that (hardcore) is something wrestling fans crave still. I think we're giving that to them and I'm really excited about where we're going to go in October."
On Rosemary and other stars saying Abyss influenced their decision to wrestle:
"Oh man, it is flattering to say the least. I don't know of a bigger compliment that a young piece of talent could pay to a veteran than to say that and to mean that. I know Rosemary means that - She's told me that before. I just can't tell you what that means to me. I've had a great career, man. I've had a blessed career. I've been wrestling 23 years, 17 of that at Impact. I've been able to cross an awful lot off my bucket list. I've gotten to share the ring with guys that I grew up idolizing from Roddy Piper to Mick Foley to Hulk Hogan... Sting! I've had a very good career. I have zero regrets. I've been so blessed with it. But, now it is time to give back! I feel really strongly about that. Every piece of talent, as you get older, should turn around and help that next person on to that hill. That's my thing. I want to give back. I'm still going to be in the ring and I want to help these young guys and young girls obtain their dreams and goals and get them to where they need to be with the company - Get them over with the company and over with the fans and to get to enjoy long careers like I've been fortunate enough to enjoy. Giving back is a lot and to get compliments like that, there's no bigger compliment than that and I really appreciate it."
On his program with Kongo Kong:
"I really enjoyed that program with Kongo Kong. Going back to the last thing we talked about, helping somebody new. Kongo Kong's been around on the indies. I've always liked him. I've always thought that for a big man, he could move. So, to do that program and to see him get launched was a big honor for me as well. The program was a great build. You saw almost 10 weeks to finally see Abyss finally get to him. And, it showed in the ratings. It did a very good rating. It did one of our highest ratings of the year. That match has over 3,000,000 views on YouTube. It is just a really good piece of wrestling business. We really told a great story to get Abyss reintroduced into it and to, at the same time, kind of get Kongo Kong launched. It accomplished every goal we wanted. It was very enjoyable... Very enjoyable!"
On Punishment Martinez somewhat recently pondering if Abyss would work if he broke in today:
"If you look when I broke in back in 1995, the Attitude Era was coming. ECW was still in a fairly prominant position. That was kind of a thing, man. It was Sabu and Rob Van Dam. Sabu and Jerry Lynn. Just the hardcore style and the grittier presentation. The business just changed a whole lot. It is a more athletic, a truly more athletic style now when you see the stuff that these guys and girls are doing compared to when I started. It has definitely evolved and changed. I think the whole business has changed. 10 or 15 years ago, you never would have seen AJ Styles as the WWE World Champion! You know? 10 of 15 years ago, I don't think the feeling was that you could have a World Champion that was 6'2, 220 pounds. That's completely changed because of the in ring style. I think that is a change in a positive way. I do think selling is something that is less focused on, I'll say it as nicely as I can, selling is less focused on than it was in previous years. I don't think that is a good thing. I think the high flying and the acrobatics is an amazing thing as long as the strong element of selling is still incorporated into it. I think I would have done well, still. I think I definitely would have had hurdles compared to the style when I started. Everything is going to evolve and change and wrestling is no different."
On what wrestling is missing:
"The one thing I do think wrestling is missing is I do think wrestling is missing characters. Abyss is a character. The one thing wrestling has to be careful of and the pitfall that it doesn't fall into is it is going completely away from characters. When I got addicted to this business when I was a kid, it was characters if you look back to the 80's and early 90's Everybody, even the opening gys, had characters. I fear it has gone too far to athletic contest versus character. I think that is something the business needs to be careful of."
On Impact working with different promotions like Lucha Underground and ROH:
"That's a cool thing. To me, that is something that may go down in history as one of the most groundbreaking things ever happening. 5, 10 years ago. You would never hear of companies working together! You would never hear of Ring of Honor working with Impact or Lucha Underground working with Impact... Or AAA working with Impact... It is somethng that is a really cool evolution. It is common sense! It is common sense for these companies to work together but I think a lot of egos got in the way over the years and now we can't work with them... Those walls have come down an awful lot. You're seeing it with Impact, we wored with AML yesterday. We worked with Lucha Underground in April. Now there's the Jericho cruise and Impact is working with ROH. The walls are coming down and that's huge, man! The wrestling fans are the winners on that one! They're going to get to see the matches that they never thought they would see! Working together is going to breed more competition and be more profitable for everybody."
On the future of Impact Wrestling:
"I think you can expect to continue to see the great stuff that we produced at Slammiversary. The company is on a roll! I think we're really poised to go into Bound for Glory in October strong. I think we have some of the best young talent in the business right now - I really do believe that. I think the company is really poised to do some great things going into the rest of the year and carrying into 2019. I think we're going to have the ship turned around in the right direction. We're excited about it. I think the wrestling fans are excited about it. Stay tuned! I think it is going to be a great year!"
On Joseph Park's shot at wrestling podcasts on a recent Impact:
"(laughing hysterically) That was Joseph Park's little shoot on the podcast industry! (laughs) No offense, my friend! You're one of the good guys! You're one of the good ones!"