Wrestling & MMA

TNA’s Abyss talks ‘Global Impact Japan’

TNA Impact Wrestling’s Abyss is looking forward to the TNA Bound for Glory pay-per-view emanating from Tokyo in October.

Fans can get a taste of what to expect with “Global Impact Japan,” a one night only PPV premiering 8 p.m. EST Friday, July 4.

“It was a huge honor,” Abyss said, reflecting on his experience performing on the card during an international conference call. “It is a huge honor. We are going back for Bound For Glory, which I think is incredible to do our biggest pay-per-view internationally in Japan. For me personally, to go there is a huge honor. The Japanese culture of wrestling is storied. It’s got unbelievable tradition, and it’s an amazing thing to be a part of and to see and to see the different presentations of the sport around the world is something that always impresses me. I love learning.

“The Japanese fan base is incredible. Wrestling in Japan is a big deal. It’s a big thing. To be there with legends like the Great Muta and to be able to show the TNA banner there and show off our style of Impact Wrestling and share it with Wrestle-1 and the great fans of Japan is pretty exciting.”

On “Global Impact Japan” the near 7-footer takes on Takayama in a hardcore match. The former IWGP heavyweight champion was the perfect adversary for the American monster.

“I had never wrestled him before,” Abyss said. “I’ve seen video and so forth. He is an intense guy. He is a brawler, a fighter, a hardcore specialist. Going into it I was a little leery. The guy’s tough. He is big. He is practically as big as I am. He has a few screws loose and isn’t afraid to mix it up. Going into the match with him I had trepidation. You got to keep your guard up with a guy like that. He is tough and intense. I remember when I turned on his video with him with Don Frye I was just amazed at the level of physicality. I have so much respect for him, and I very much enjoyed locking horns with him.”

Above all the “Monsters Ball”, hardcore and barbed wire matches, and even winning the TNA title, Abyss is most proud of his longevity in the company. He stands one of the few veterans on the roster who can say they were there from the very start. The talented performer has gone through many transformations in more than 12 years.

There was even a point where the man behind the mask even portrayed another persona in Joseph Park, the storyline brother of Abyss. The rough-and-tough grappler credits writers including Dave Lagana and Matt Conway for helping with the success of both characters.

“The character has been so many places,” Abyss said. “He has done so much. He has had so much done to him. I just would like to keep striving forward. The character has had so much longevity. It has been around for a long, long time in this company. That’s rare in wrestling to begin with, so I’m proud of that. I wouldn’t mind seeing the character open up and show the intelligence of the monster a little bit more.

“That’s something that you may see down the road. I just want to keep plugging away and doing what Abyss does and giving the people a product that people can walk away from and say, ‘Wow that was special.’”

Through the years Abyss has been able to work with some of the greatest minds and stars in the business. These include names such as James Mitchell, Mick Foley, Sting and Hulk Hogan. Now the TNA original is nearing 20 years in his profession and finds himself giving his own advice to emerging talent.

“I always tell them to remember who you are and don’t ever change,” Abyss said. “These guys the Ethan Carter’s, the Bram’s, the Jessie Godderz, the Robbie E’s, Davey [Richards] and Eddie [Edwards] of the Wolves and Rockstar Spud. These guys have an unbelievable work ethic. They are so humble. I remember that is how I was. I remember that advice I got in this business when I was first in TNA with the Dutch Mantell’s and the Terry Taylor’s of the world and Jeff Jarrett. That’s the one thing I remember.

“Remember who you are and don’t ever change who you are. Don’t sacrifice your attitude or your work ethic. That’s what I tell them, but these guys are already on that page. I just give them the friendly reminder. When you’re working with talent like that it’s such an incredible feeling to see them succeed.”

• TNA Impact Wrestling presents “Global Impact Japan” 8 p.m. EST Friday, July 4 on pay-per-view. See Abyss, The BroMans, Gail Kim, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and a host of other stars in action.

• TNA Impact Wrestling is 9 p.m. EST Thursdays on Spike TV.

• Follow Abyss on Twitter @TheRealAbyss.

• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.