The following is an excerpt from an article on Abyss from the Miami Herald website:
Viewers watching Total Nonstop Action Wrestling iMPACT! Thursday nights on Spike TV have seen the return of the monster in the Abyss character.
It’s another progression in the masked tortured soul who has captured the imagination of fans for more than seven years.
Abyss (Chris Parks) credits Hulk Hogan for helping him grow the past few months and legitimizing the character like never before.
“The character isn’t just an emotional mess anymore,” said Abyss, who joins Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson and TNA champ Rob Van Dam in the main event of the Victory Road pay-per-view 8 p.m. [EST] Sunday, July 11 at Universal Studios Orlando.
“He is not afraid of his own shadow. He is more confident in himself and believes in himself. He is not going to cower down. Hulk has taught me so much, but one of the biggest things he taught me is to utilize everything you can out of a story. Squeeze everything you can out of the story you’re given and incorporate that into your in-ring work.
“I’ve gotten to know Hulk on a professional level and on a personal level as well. I kind of cherish that relationship. Hulk has been through an awful lot, and I think he has come through it pretty strong. For him to be in TNA and to take me under his wing like that, I’m pretty proud of it. It’s a big thing for me to be mentored like that. It’s pretty amazing.”
The near 7-footer felt shock, some nervousness and intimidation, mixed with excitement, when he heard the news Hogan was TNA bound. About seven months later, Abyss sees the positive contributions the legend has made for many on the roster, including himself.
“It is amazing how unselfish he has been, and he’s really tried to elevate different characters and people in the company,” Abyss said.
“I’m a good example, but you can go down the list of others. It wasn’t just anybody walking through the door. He probably put wrestling on the map to begin with. It’s a dream come true to have a guy like Hulk Hogan give you a stamp of approval.”
Another veteran Abyss believes took him to another level has been Mick Foley. Each man built their careers on bloodshed and barbed wire. Foley and Abyss proved they are more than hardcore performers. There is a method to their madness.
“Mick has always been someone I looked up to, even before I knew him,” said Abyss, who earned a Master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University. “Everything he has done for this business and brought to the table, not just for hardcore wrestling, the guy is pretty creative. I’ve never met a guy who is as witty and creative in his head. It’s just the way he articulates himself.
“Working with him has been a dream come true. It was my dream match I never had until last year. To work with him after idolizing him and coming up in this business is an honor. As far as the hardcore stuff, I don’t know if I can ever match what he has done. I’d like to come as close as I can. I have him up on this pedestal. He is the God of Gods when it comes to the hardcore stuff, and I will take a backseat to him when it comes to that any day.”
Check out the full article online at MiamiHerald.com.