14 July 2014

Monster Team Player

At this point in Abyss' career it would be easy for him to rely on his past achievements, bask in his physical sacrifices, and rest on his tenure as one of the only remaining TNA originals.  However, he hasn't done that.  Instead, he's put over every wrestler he has faced or been teamed with for quite some time.  He doesn't have the kind of over-inflated ego that others (who have left the company) have exhibited in the past.  I know that some fans complain about Abyss "being old" and that's he's kind of "been there done that".  I respect that opinion, and I can see where that mindset would come from.  I contend, however, that when Abyss/Chris Parks is used correctly that he can be very effective in progressing the careers of the younger TNA superstars.  He knows his role within TNA, and it's fairly well known that he serves in an agent role backstage.  He could have gone to the WWE earlier in his career but chose to stay in TNA because he loves the company.  Those "team player" attributes and his undying loyalty are what make Abyss an important member of the TNA team.

Now, that's not to say that I agree with all of the things that Abyss has been involved with in these last few years.  I haven't written an "Into the Abyss" column for over 5 months now (which bummed me out because the new banner for this column series is pretty awesome IMO).  I just could not find the motivation to write about my favorite TNA wrestler, simply because so much potential was lost in his story that had been building up for over 2 years.  In some ways, it made me bitter against the writers involved in his storyline.  Rewind yourselves to the 2nd Glasgow IMPACT from earlier this year.  Remember that great Monster's Ball match between EY and Abyss?  The aftermath of the match was very captivating as Abyss looked into the broken piece of glass and finally realized he was Joseph Park AND Abyss.  Fans were really discussing it at that time and a lot of us had hopes of where the whole thing could perhaps go.  Then the follow-up to all of that just kind of went away.  We all thought at some point that perhaps James Mitchell would surface and tie-in everything from The Monster's past into his present.  That never happened (and may never happen for that matter).  After so much time invested in the Joseph Park character, the audience was basically forced to forget about that and to shut up and like it.  That's a pretty tough pill to swallow for fans like myself that enjoy Janice's boyfriend. 

So then Abyss went away and LockDown in Miami rolls around.  During the World Title Match, I cringed and literally rolled my eyes at him coming up through the ring to snatch Samoa Joe.  Why were they doing this?  Just WHY?!?  For God's sake.....they literally took an intriguing story that was over 2 years in the making and just shit all over it.  Magnus needed to have Abyss as his stooge bodyguard because.....Abyss wanted more money all the sudden?  WTF?  I had to exercise some extreme patience to not go on a huge ranting column at that time.  But then Magnus began name-dropping Father James Mitchell in his promos and I thought to myself, "OK, as long as we get that I can overlook the debauchery that this has evolved into".  Then that never came to fruition, like I mentioned before.  Eventually we got to a mini-feud with Willow and Abyss fighting Bram and Magnus.  Talk about a round-about way of getting from Point A to Point Z.  I can't even do it justice in my recollection here, but I suppose a Bram/Abyss feud is decent (if that's where this goes). 

The only thing I can come up with to make sense of it all is that at some point there was an audible called that caused a domino effect with several storylines.  Remember when I discussed some of the reasoning for why the World Title was put on Eric Young?  The Animal Planet cross-promotion is what I am referring to.  I fully believe that EY was deserving to be World Champ, so don't get me wrong.  However, I don't think Magnus' title run was originally supposed to end when it did (obviously this is the case since the main element of EY's title win was surprise).  At some point, they made the decision to take EY away from the Abyss story and crossed things over into the Magnus story.  Then that left Abyss without a really effective ending to his psychological paradox.  It also abruptly took Magnus out of the World Title scene and introduced Bram into the mix.  So essentially here's the questions/choices Creative were faced with:  How do we make Magnus relevant/exciting again?  How do we integrate Bram onto the roster?  How do we get the title on EY?  The Abyss story took a backseat to all of these things, which made it all very difficult to digest as far as he goes.

Don't even get me started with his current look.  I don't like the newest Abyss mask and it frankly makes him look goofy.  Something needs to be done to provide change to Chris Parks' character.  He does get respect from the fans with the Monster's Ball matches (and rightfully so) and people seem to love Janice.  Other than that, he has been relegated to a position that seems to be just floundering around.  Not that I want Abyss to be a main event player again.  I realize those days are over.  I just cannot recall any other wrestler in TNA history putting up with the bullshit that Chris Parks has endured.  To me, TNA dropping the ball on the Abyss/Joseph Park situation was just as bad as the Hall of Fame-ring-wearing Abyss-a-Mania debacle.  I love TNA but they've really done Abyss a disservice.  Somehow he's put up with it all, and for that he should get major kudos.    

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