HomeImpactImpact: Five Impact Wrestlers Who Benefited From A Gimmick Change

Impact: Five Impact Wrestlers Who Benefited From A Gimmick Change

3. Abyss

Impact Wrestling (TNA) News: Abyss on backstage morale in the company, new  management, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode's success in WWE

An undeniable legend in the history of Impact Wrestling, Abyss has been literally sacrificing his blood, sweat and tears for this business much to the horror and amazement of fans the world over.

Impact’s resident monster was known for his matches that revolve around unique or unorthodox stipulations that we never short on the violence and gore; However due to the shoddy booking of his character under the early years of the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff regime plus the amount of wear and tears his done to his body left the Abyss persona began to feel stale among other things, so when the time came for an update or a gimmick change to Chris Parks’ character it was well needed and surprisingly well-received.

On the March 8th 2012 edition of Impact, cameras picked up footage of a large man in a suit wearing glasses entering the Universal Studios building with many wondering as to who this person was and the answer was none other than Joseph Parks, a lawyer from Chicago Illinois who also happens to be the ‘brother’ of Abyss.

Following Abyss’ victory against Bully Ray at Genesis 2012, ‘The Monster’ would disappearance from the company after an attack by Bully and this leads to Joseph Park starting his own investigation into the whereabouts of his brother much to the anger of Bully Ray, who challenged the lawyer to a series of matches (after signing some documents that absolved Impact from any legal action).

At that year’s Slammiversary pay per view Bully Ray took on Joseph Parks in an Anything Goes Match which resulted in the surprise return of the Monster to help his ‘brother’ out and defeat Bully in the middle of the ring. Of course, it would later be revealed during a match in 2014 that Joseph Parks and Abyss are on in the same however the company has managed to look past that moment and continued to portray the two of them as different people up until his departure from the company in January of 2019.

Highlights:


2. Eric Young

Interview with Impact Wrestling champ & WWE alum Eric Young | Miami Herald

Eric Young can best be described as a ‘Jack of All Trades’ as his being able to play the role of heel and babyface so well that his evolution in TNA/Impact Wrestling has helped to make him one of the all-time best in company history.

Starting off in TNA as a timid but energetic member of Team Canada, Eric Young would spend much of the mid to late 2000s as a loveable goofball who’d get picked on by fellow wrestlers like James Storm and Bobby Roode while using his underdog status to become a man of the people for the Impact fanbase and winning a number of titles along the way.

In 2009, Young would turn heel and become the leader of the anti-American faction known as ‘World Elite’; While sporting a shave heading and a business suit to match, Eric Young presented himself as a calculating evil genius whose intensity could be felt in his promos, unfortunately, this persona didn’t last long (Hogan and Bischoff) and by the early 2010s EY would play the goofball role once again in his partnerships with Orlando Jordan, ODB and his feud with Robbie E for the Television Championship.

By early 2015, EY would turn on Bobby Roode (who was a babyface at the time) and this would begin his turn as ‘The World Class Maniac’, An intense and ruthless mercenary who would sadistically attack various parts of his opponent’s bodies to injury them to make a statement or just to get some sick pleasure out of it. 

Highlights of Eric Young’s barbaric nature as the World Class Maniac include dropping Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy on their head and neck region with some piledrivers, cutting off part of Bram’s beard, yanking out military hero turn pro wrestler Chris Melendez’s prosthetic leg and using it as weapon numerous times, repeated attempts at re-inuring Rich Swann’s leg and of course attacking his boss and former head coach of Team Canada, Scott D’Amore.

Since returning to Impact in 2020, EY has continued his work as the World Class Maniac while also combining his shaved head and calculated demeanour from his World Elite days to become one of the most diabolical wrestlers in recent years.

Highlights:


1. Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy is Revolutionizing what it means to be a Wrestling Show | by J.  King | Casual Rambling | Medium

Perhaps the most well-known person on this list to benefit from a gimmick change would have to be none other then Matt Hardy, who’s different personas allowed him to reach a level of success and popularity in his career that he was never able to achieve.

Debuting in early 2011, a dreadlock wearing Matt Hardy spent the first few months of his time feuding with Rob Van Dam as a member of the supergroup known as “Immortal”; Giving himself the nickname ‘Cold Blooded’, Matt Hardy would go on to wrestle names like AJ Styles, Beer Money Inc. and Crimson before being released from the company in August of that same year following a DUI.

Matt Hardy would return to Impact after getting his life and wrestling career in order and would go on to team with his brother Jeff for a little bit before making a run for the World Championship in 2015; On the January 16th 2016 edition of Impact, Matt Hardy would become a two time TNA World Champion after defeating EC3 in the last man standing match but in doing so, Hardy turned heel and began to start his new persona as ‘Big Money’ Matt Hardy.

Hardy’s Big Money gimmick saw Matt coming out in expensive suits, constantly flashing his wealth, reading the mean tweets of internet trolls and even got a brand new theme song that literally starts off with the words: I..AM..ICONIC!!! 

While the gimmick was itself was enjoyable, the whole I’m richer, more talented than you gimmick is nothing new in pro wrestling and has become commonplace in the sport, but thankfully for Matt, his greatest gimmick change was just on the horizon. After a gruelling and hard-fought I Quit match with his brother Jeff on the April 19th 2016 edition of Impact, Matt Hardy was written off of TV but would return to continue his feud with his brother but with a brand new look that included uncombed hair with a big white streak in it, a black and white-coloured beard and new ring attire that closely resembles pyjamas.

This was the beginning of ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy, an unstable version of Matt Hardy who would talk with a pseudo British accent, a fondest for the theatrics and frantically chanting the words ‘Delete’ and ‘Wonderful’ everywhere he went and well to say this gimmick got over would be a huge understatement. From 2016-17, Matt Hardy and his broken universe became the most talked about thing in all of professional wrestling with many fans loving the absurd antics of The Hardy Brothers, King Maxel, Senior Benjamin and Vanguard One while wrestling purist found the gimmick to be an abomination to the sport. 

In the end, the gimmick got people talking and watching Impact to see what this was all about and considering the condition Impact was in at the time, this was a great thing for both the company and Matt Hardy himself and considering the success of the Final Deletion and the Broken Hardy Universe would lead to the more cinematic style of matches in Impact Wrestling going forward, it’s hard to not see this as one of the best examples of an Impact Wrestler benefitting from a gimmick change.

Highlights:

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