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COMPLETE COVERAGE OF ABYSS' IMPACT WRESTLING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY

By Mike Johnson on 2018-10-13 20:38:00

Impact Wrestling held their 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at McHale's Pub in NYC this evening.

Scott D'Amore spoke of Abyss first, noting that you usually have to negotiate with talents to get them to do something, but with Abyss, you have to negotiate with him to calm down on his ideas and not get him to do so much.

Don Callis said that he managed Abyss for a short time and when he visited in the past before returning full-time, he was visiting and saying hello at taping when Abyss saw him and charged and picked him up and twirled him around in a hug with such force that is scared Callis' girlfriend and a decade later, he gets asked about him.

D'Amore introduced Jim Mitchell, saying there is no one who could induct Abyss better.

Mitchell joked that this would go down as the night the Devil would kill his gimmick.  He said Callis and D'Amore were the only managers of his era that he watched and felt he had to work a little harder to keep up them.

Mitchell said he stated in 2005, no one in the history of Impact, that no one had sacrificed so much for Impact and received so little, but tonight, they are here to rectify that injustice.

In 2003, Dusty Rhodes pulled Mitchell over and told him his problem was he was a main event talker stuck in the mid-card and needed to find a main event level monster heel.  As Dusty said that, he turned his head and Abyss was standing in the gorilla position waiting to walk to the ring.  Two years later, Mitchell received a call while he was sitting at home during one of the many sabbaticals he was forced to take.  Dutch Mantel called and said he had a guy he helped develop in Puerto Rico who he feels is ready to go to the next level, but he needs a voice to help him to go to the next level.  Mitchell asked who it was.  When he was told it was Abyss, he said, "Say no more!" and they were off to the races.

Mitchell said with Abyss he was able to find the collaborator he had been waiting for his entire career.  Abyss was able to translate Mitchell's words into actions in the ring.  Mitchell said that when he asked about how he became Abyss, he was told when he was kid, he loved to act like a monster and chase the girls around.  Mitchell said that when he was a kid, every teacher he had from kindergarten to fifth grade sent a letter home about him doing the same thing.

Mitchell said that Abyss is incredibly intelligent, noting he has a Masters degree.  Mitchell spoke of their late night summits trying to come up with ideas and he loved the idea that it wasn't an Alpha Male thing where someone wasn't trying to force all the ideas on everyone.  He wanted to be a locker room leader and he wanted to be someone who could move into a backstage role to help others.   

Mitchell would get asked about what Abyss was really like.  Pro Wrestling is a shark tank and if you have any kind of success, there are going to be your haters.  But, never has ever heard anyone say a bad word about Abyss.  He is the first at the building and the last one to leave.   Mitchell asked who in the world would bring broken glass, thumb tacks, barbed wire, flaming tables, etc. to weekly television - only Abyss.  He said Abyss would be a walking cactus if he had as many thumbtacks sticking out of him as he had stuck in him.

Mitchell said that he called Abyss a weapon of mass destruction and he did that to entertain the fans.  In doing so, he really became a weapon of self-destruction.  He's never seen a man give so much to entertain the fans.  He tells a story about a multi-man match featuring Jeff Hardy hitting a dive 22 feet in the air on Abyss and that the amount of pressure needed to hit that move should have killed the man.  He asked how is he still around?  Mitchell said that if he was in character, he would say Abyss is a Monster.  He said the reality is Abyss is someone who gives of himself in order to entertain the fans.  When fans chant "That was awesome" and "Holy sh**" they are indeed speaking of him.

One of Abyss' goals was to become the World Champion.  Mitchell didn't want to be a Debbie Downer, but masked men rarely if ever won the title.  Abyss ended up becoming the first and only NWA World Champion who won it and defended it as a masked man.  When it happened. Mitchell thought the world was their oyster.  He had this vision of Abyss being the cornerstone of this wretched hive of villainy and scum that was Impact, and they would have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for Sting.  Sting revealed that Abyss had shot his father in the back three times.  It turned out that apparently Mitchell had fathered Abyss back when he was three years old...and it wasn't long after that they ended up parting ways.  Abyss went on to do more amazing things and Mitchell, well, not so much.  He wasn't being proactive and was waiting for his phone to ring and it didn't.

Mitchell would read about all those things Abyss did while Mitchell laid around for five years.  The best years of his life personally and professionally were spent with Abyss.  He decided to go back to that time.  He dusted off old tapes and watched them again.  He got on YouTube one day and watched everything as Abyss continuously evolved.  He becomes Joseph Park.  He gets to work with his hero Mick Foley.  He gets endorsed by Hulk Hogan.  Mitchell watched all of it and like Kyle on South Park, he learned something today.  When life throws you through fire, barbed wire, glass, and the venom of poisonous snakes, you can lay there and sell it like you are dead or you can rise, grab Janice, run to the ring, and give life a Black Hole Slam.  That inspiration turned Mitchell's life around.

Mitchell got emotional as he said that can't think of anyone who is more deserving of the accolades that Abyss is receiving tonight.  He introduced Abyss.

Abyss was presented with a really nice plaque as he hugged Mitchell for a long time.  Abyss said he needed to catch his breath.

Abyss said he had a lot of people to thank.  He wanted to thank Jim Mitchell.  He is a big reason why he is standing up here right now.  He said that he feels this is for him and Jim both.  Jim helped him achieve everything he wanted to do in the business.  When they were just together a bit, they were traveling together and getting to know each other.  He asked Mitchell how he got his eyebrows to rest the way he does.  Mitchell told him the secret was glue streaks.  He said Mitchell remains one of the best talkers in the wrestling business and is a good man a good manager and a good friend.

Abyss said he went to Ohio State University on a football scholarship.  He got a D+ in a philosophy class and a Mark Twain quote that stuck with him is "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."  He told a story about discovering pro wrestling and rocking as he watching WWF wrestling.  He couldn't get enough out of it as he wondered who was this Roddy Piper guy and this Hulk Hogan guy.  To his mom's dismay, he dropped everything to pursue it.  

Abyss said he wouldn't have had the career that he's had without everyone else.  He said that he's joining the Hall of Fame and some heavy hitters like Jeff Jarrett, Gail Kim, Sting, Kurt Angle and the Dudleys and Earl Hebner.  To be considered worthy to stand among these men and women as a Hall of Famer, nothing in his life will ever be cherished as much as this.  He couldn't be more proud to stand among these greats, but to be the first Impact original to be inducted means so much.  The foundation of the company was built in 2002.  Men like Eric Young, AJ Styles, Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Sonjay Dutt and many others and he decides it to them because it was for them too.

Abyss said that the business has given him more moments than he deserves.  Main eventing for the first time vs. AJ Styles at Lockdown.  Barbed Wire Massacre against Sabu.  Wrestling Mick Foley, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Jeff Hardy and others.  Introducing Joseph Park.  Beating Sting for the World title.

Abyss said a lot of men have touched his heart and he's afraid of forgetting people.  He said Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter took a chance on his when he had no name and everyone else had a name.  Abyss said he wanted to thank Jeremy Borash for being his best friend inside and outside of pro wrestling.  Borash was just a friend, not because of wrestling, but because of loyalty, personally and professionally.  He thanked him for being there for the bad times and the good times.

Abyss said he wanted to specifically thank every man and woman he ever stepped into the ring with.  They allowed him to craft himself and have amazing life experiences.

Abyss said the fans were the glue that held it all together and made the journey worth it.  

Abyss said he wanted to thank his Mom, the most caring person he ever met.  She taught him to be caring and to take care of people and he thanked her for that.

Abyss said he wanted to tell the young men and women in professional wrestling that they have revolutionized the business and raised the bar with their passion and performances.   He said that if he could offer one piece of advice, it's that oen dat, Father Time will tap you oin the shoulder and you can blow him off, but he's not going to go away.  Abyss asked them to think about how they want to be remembered.  The titles, the tours and the Twitter followers are not going to be how you are remembered.  He told them when they get to the top of the hill and you pump your fist out about it, stop, turn around and reach out to help the next person up on the hill with you.

Abyss thanked Ed Nordholm, Scott D'Amore, Don Callis and Sonjay Dutt for making tonight happen.  He said that he never thought this would happen and they made it a reality.  They and Anthem have made the success of Impact a reality again.  He said they have given fans and wrestlers in Impact what they all deserved, a product that they can take pride in.  They have put together a strong team and have allowed the company to see its potential again.  He thanked them for the fan base and for the wrestlers.

Abyss closed off by thanking his wife Christy and began crying as he talked about her support over the last 18 years.  They met in 1999 and they were about to get married when he blew his knee out right before he was supposed to have a WWE tryout on Sunday Night Heat.   He was just a wrestler with no insurance and she worked as a bank teller and she grabbed him and immediately married him so he had insurance to get surgery and move on with his career.  He told her he loves her and she was the best part about him.  He thanked everyone again and asked everyone to go out and make Bound for Glory the best event possible.

As they were signing off, Impact Champion Austin Aries asked for the mic.  He said he wanted to apologize for his late arrival due to travel issues but he was thankful he got to make it there in time for Chris' speech.  He said he's been asked all week what he was looking forward to this weekend and it was this night.  He said that he's not an Impact original but he's been around a long time in the company and there's always been one constant - this man, Abyss.  Loyalty in life is hard to come by.  Everyone is looking for the next opportunity and the greener grass and no matter how many times he's been offered something else, Abyss has remained.  Aries said loyalty means a lot to him. He's been to a lot of Hall of Fame ceremonies here and in WWE, but there is no one who deserves to accolades more than Abyss.  Aries said there are nice people and good people in the business but Abyss is one of the few who is both.

Aries then turned himself heel by asking why he wasn't brought in early for media.   He then said he wanted to apologize for some words he said on social media this week.  He said when you blur the reality between reality and fiction sometimes you go too far and he wanted to apologize, until he saw Johnny Impact and his wife were on TMZ Live "trying to capitalize on this sh**...."  At this point, Impact jumped up from his front row seat and went to confront Austin. Scott D'Amore yelled for the mic to be cut and the Twitch broadcast abruptly ended.

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