Abyss found new life on TNA Impact Wrestling television as a member of The Decay.
This assemblage of oddities, which includes the deranged Crazzy Steve and Rosemary, has already wreaked havoc. Looking like something out of American Horror Story, The Decay is becoming a force within the promotion, and Abyss couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve been around the last 14 years, so it’s hard to sit back and say I’m doing something fresh,” he said.
“This is kind of new and different. It’s outside-the-box a bit. I have to credit [TNA creative team member] Billy Corgan a lot for it. Billy has been the one who kind of came up with the concept for the group. Billy was the one who secured the rights from Marilyn Manson for the group’s entrance music. That has been huge. Just the reaction of Marilyn Manson lending his sound to the group, it has given us instant credibility.
“Crazzy Steve I’ve known for several years,” Abyss continues. “He is such a young untapped talent. He has a lot of passion. The same can be said for Rosemary — Courtney Rush — who I didn’t really know before coming to TNA. Seeing her work ethic and how positive an influence she has been on our group. I think we are all going to do some pretty neat stuff together. I think there are some good plans for it.”
Along with the Smashing Pumpkins’ visionary, Abyss also credits writers Dave Lagana and Matt Conway for positioning the trio in a good spot on the show. He believes they have only scratched the surface with The Decay.
“It’s totally outside-the-box,” he explained. “I think there is a good mix with me being the big guy. Rosemary is going to do a lot of great things in the Knockouts division. Steve is just getting started. Together, we are this group that is dark, demonic, hardcore and edgy.”
Considering the longevity, Abyss is arguably TNA’s greatest multi-dimensional character. The persona has taken on many forms, but is at its best as an unhinged monster. In recent years, Abyss lost some consistent direction. He rediscovered it with The Decay.
“Don’t get me wrong — working in The Revolution and James Storm was incredible,” he said. “I liked it very much. I’ve known him for 18 years. That was nice, but it was really something I’ve never done. It was a little bit of an odd paring.
“This is a lot more of what Abyss is and what the character is and what I am. It’s a clean fit. Just as important — maybe more important — The Decay is developing two new stars in Rosemary and Steve. They are two pieces of young talent that I don’t’ think people realize how good they are yet or could be. I really cherish this role of being the older, experienced veteran and trying to help these young folks out.”
The Decay has arrived as TNA begins to grow its relationship with Pop TV. Abyss finds the partners are meshing well together.
“I thought we did a lot of great things for Destination America, and I think they did good things for us as well,” he said. “But I’m really excited for the Pop TV deal because there is an opportunity to reach more viewers. They are really excited about this whole thing. They’ve done a lot already. They are associated with great networks like CBS and with Lions Gate, and they are slowly becoming a great network as well in their own right. I think we are doing a great job with it so far. It’s been a fun adventure.”
Abyss is proud to be a long-lasting member of the TNA roster. He has seen many come in go during his career. Some have gone on to work for WWE or other promotions, but Abyss remained loyal to the company that gave him the platform to entertain fans for so long.
“I’ve been in wrestling for 20 years, six of which has been on the independents and 14 with TNA,” he said.
“I look back on it, and I’ve been able to accomplish everything I’ve been able to accomplish times 10. I have been able to build my character more than I ever thought possible. As far as me not going to WWE, I did have the opportunity to go. I look back on it and have no regrets. I’m very proud that I was with TNA from the beginning and helped build it from the ground up.”
Another TNA original is AJ Styles, who recently signed with WWE. Abyss wishes his good friend and rival the best in the next chapter of his professional life.
“My best matches in TNA were with him,” he said. “I think a lot of guys would share my sentiment. He is just a fantastic persona and a great family man. When he comes to work, he brings it — and he comes to work every day. My favorite match was with him at the first Lockdown in the all-cage pay-per-view in 2005. That was the first time either one of us were in the main event on traditional pay-per-view for the company. We tore it down. I’m really happy for him. I’m happy for him to get the opportunity. He has already had great success, and I think he will do fantastic there. When he puts his mind to something, I know nothing stops him.”
These days, Abyss finds himself in a young locker room. He has enjoyed not only working in front of the camera, but behind the scenes as an agent/producer. It’s his way of giving back and having a hand in cultivating the next generation of stars. He relates to it as being an offensive or defensive coordinator for a football team.
“It’s been an incredible experience,” Abyss said.
“Just to be on the other side of it. It’s so fascinating. This whole other side of the business I’m getting to learn. I’ve been doing it for a little while now for the last couple of years. One thing about the wrestling business is we are naturally self-absorbed in our own progress and own careers. I never thought I would get the same satisfaction out of being an agent and helping that young piece of talent achieve success and achieve their goals and the company’s goals in the ring.
“It’s such a great feeling to help a young piece of talent. And direct them, leading them down the road and going for what the writers want and what the company wants for the segment and the match. I’m a motivator. I’m there to lead them in the right direction and incorporate their ideas. I’ve loved every bit of it.”
Abyss takes pride in the young talents stepping up like Rockstar Spud, EC3, Jessie Godderz and Robbie E. He will work with two other young guns, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards, on Impact Wrestling Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9/8CT on Pop TV. Abyss teams with Crazzy Steve to face The Wolves in Monster’s Ball.
“I’ve been in a lot of Monster’s Balls, and I’m really proud of that match,” he said. “It’s kind of branded after me. The Monster’s Ball has been my match. We’ve done a ton of them, and the challenge is how to make it different and stand out. It can be a tough hill to climb. I’ve been a big believer in hardcore wrestling. It’s no different than any other match in the way everything has to mean something. You have to build to something.
“That said, I’ve never been a fan of those death matches because I think they don’t have a whole lot of psychology with them. There is blood and guts, but not much thought behind them. With Monster’s Ball, I’ve been proud of them because we have been able to get creative with them and build them with a match. Just because you are using barbed wire, tables and tacks don’t mean you can’t have a story behind it and psychology behind it.
“You can really elicit emotion from the crowd, and we’ve done a good job with that. This one coming up is going to be special. The Wolves, Davey and Eddie, those are two pieces of young talent who are both incredible. They are great athletes who come in with a great attitude. They also come to work. I’m looking forward to people seeing this one. I think there will be a ton of crazy stuff in it.”
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Photos Courtesy: TNA Entertainment