In a career that has spanned over 24 years, Christopher Park was seemingly a dark and harrowing figure in wrestling in Abyss. However, after initially joining TNA under the moniker Justice, Park underwent somewhat of a character renaissance. He would reappear for TNA as ‘The Monster’ Abyss, the man who would attack Erik Watts and later become the bodyguard of Kid Kash. Abyss would later align with Don Callis and would feud with Raven and his faction, The Gathering.
The following year, the dark and twisted Abyss would engage in a feud with AJ Styles. Their rivalry took so many twists and turns. From teaming with one another and becoming NWA World Tag Team Champions to having Abyss have control of the titles to facing one another in Falls Count Anywhere and Ladder Matches. Goldylocks would then manage Abyss. After turning on Goldylocks, & his partner Alex Shelley, Abyss would later engage in a feud with Raven & Monty Brown. This match would ultimately lead to creating the Monster’s Ball Match at TNA’s first-ever pay-per-view, Victory Road.
The history of the match was originally meant to involve all the darkest elements of a hardcore match, but prior to the match, all those involved would be locked away for a day before the match without any food or water. With the intent to make each of the competitors much more aggressive. The locked away stipulation wasn’t mentioned after the sixth match in its history.
This match has been a signature bout of the Monster Abyss. One of his signature weapons is the board filled with nails named ‘Janice’ along with a bed of barbed wire. Abyss’ sick and twisted nature is not unlike that of Mankind’s with his willingness to sacrifice and torment his own body, let alone his competitions. To date, of the 51 matches in TNA history, Abyss has been involved in 49.
Over the next few years, Abyss would be under the management of a man equally as dark and twisted as he was. James Mitchell would lead Abyss in his feud against their archrival Raven. Despite losing his Steel Chain Dog Collar Match at No Surrender for the NWA World Championship. After this, he would engage in No Disqualification matches with Sabu.
Following this match would be the second Monster’ Ball match-up involving Abyss with Rhino, Sabu, and Jeff Hardy. One of the most remarkable qualities about Abyss is his willingness to subject himself to extreme scenarios putting himself in harm’s way. This was no more evident than during the second Monster’s Ball match where Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb on Abyss from 22 feet in the air.
Abyss’ match quality also stood out as well. In 2005, Abyss’ match against Sabu was a Barbed Wire Massacre match. It resulted in being named TNA’s Match of the Year and subsequently ended their feud in the process.
Serengeti Survival match
A second match that Abyss appeared most comfortable in was the Serengeti Survival match. The winner was determined by either pinfall, submission, or slamming your opponent into a pile of thumbtacks. The sheer brutality to which this match suggests best resembles the cold, dark, and tormented monster, Abyss.
As Abyss and Mitchell’s alliance with one another continued to grow, it became apparent that the Monster’s purpose would be to belong. He would join Planet Jarrett, teaming with Jeff Jarrett and America’s Most Wanted. Abyss would now focus his attention on NWA World Champion Christian Cage. He would use psychological warfare such as stalking Cage’s wife.
This would all culminate with a title match at Lockdown in a Six Sides of Steel battle. Abyss was more concerned with hurting Cage and stealing the title than winning it outright despite losing the title. Cage would ultimately reclaim his title, and Abyss’ role in the title picture seemed to fade away.
Abyss’ early time in TNA saw him have a calling. Whether that came to aid Planet Jarrett, Goldylocks, or The James Gang, Abyss was a monster but someone continuing to seek purpose and belonging in many ways. He would engage in thumbtacks matches and Hangman’s Horror Matches as if to show his inner torment manifested on the outside.
Humanizing The Monster
As Abyss’ character continued to grow, questions about his past began to surface. There were instances where Sting would refer to Abyss as Chris (his actual name), and Christian Cage said he knew secrets about Abyss’ past as well. Abyss would defeat Sting at Genesis to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Despite losing the title in a three-way match against Sting and Christian Cage, Abyss’ secret was revealed. He was imprisoned after shooting his father in the back.
The revelation led to a Prison Yard match between he and Sting. The two once again faced each other in a Last Rites Match. However, during a tag team match on IMPACT!, James Mitchell would leave the ringside area returning with a woman. The woman would be Abyss’ mother. It would later be revealed that it was, in fact, Abyss’ mother who shot his father and that he was the one that served time to protect her.
Still, under the control of Mitchell, Abyss would remain under his control to prevent him from reporting the events to the police. He would eventually fight back and turn on James Mitchell, exacting revenge for what he was being subjected to. Abyss was later beaten down courtesy of his teammates, forcing him out of action.
However, it would be at Victory Road 2007 when James Mitchell would reappear, stating that his son, Judas Mesias, was coming to TNA, likely looking to exact revenge for his father against Abyss. Abyss would be subjected to the most horrific battering’s and beatings. He would often be covered in blood, thumbtacks, and chards of broken glass.
The often self-destructive Abyss was also one that would put himself and his well-being on the online in matches, not unlike a first blood match. At Hard Justice, Abyss would team with Sting to face Christian Cage & Andrew Martin to a Doomsday Chamber of Blood Match. After capturing the TNA Championship, Abyss would defend the title against Cage, this time in a First Blood match.
Blood to Abyss was rather insignificant. While he would often taste his own blood, it was more symbolic of willingness and sacrifice. It was something others weren’t willing to subject themselves too, but he was all to willing to do. Abyss would eventually come face to face with a man willing to subject himself to the same pain, anguish, and suffering that he was going to do.
During a Six Sides of Steel match against Kurt Angle, Abyss would come face to face with the son of James Mitchell, Judas Mesias. He would be battered, beaten, choked out by a barbed wife. A couple of weeks later, Abyss would looked to exact revenge on Mesias, beating him down in the process.
However, with Mesias later injured, it would take the likes of Black Reign, Raven & Rellik that would come together to aid James Mitchell in his feud with Abyss. Matches such as the Shop of Horrors and Match of 10,000 tacks would become second nature to Abyss. However, it would be a secret that Abyss would refuse to reveal that would only further his feud with James Mitchell.
When Mesias would later return, it was then revealed that Mitchell was indeed Abyss’ father and that Mesias was the half-brother of Abyss. This would lead to a Barbed Wire Massacre match in which Mesias would face and be defeated by Abyss, who would put him through a barbed wire board to end the match at Against All Odds 2008.
Throughout the years, Abyss would weave an array of different storylines during his time. He was either admitted to a psychiatric ward and wear an all-white asylum uniform or feud with therapist Dr. Stevie. He would also engage in feuds, join factions such as Immortal, and even split off into taking on the role of Joseph Park.
After being associated with a number of different people, it wasn’t until he found a family in the arms of Rosemary and Crazzy Steve. The newly reinvigorated heel would lead a trio of wrestlers that would batter, bludgeon and steal from anyone they came into contact with. Without a mask now, Abyss would showcase a face paint that was similar to invoking the dead with his style. Decay would be part of a battle against the Hardy’s as part of Delete or Decay cinematic match-up between both teams.
Abyss’ career would come to an end in 2019. While he wasn’t an IMPACT Wrestling original, he was fairly close to being one. He has shed more blood during his career that would make any other person squirm. His career wasn’t unlike that of the Undertaker’s, with his dark nature, mobility, and willingness to put himself in some of the most vulnerable of situations. While most of his career was spent in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, Abyss has competed in Mexico and in Ring of Honor.
From his gruesome blood and guts-inspired matches that showcase an often unparallel sense of violence, it is a perfect example of something that went bump in the night and certain fright among these seven nights.