WWE: Into the Abyss? A look into the past of Joesph Parks

To look at him, the WWE Universe may see him as Mick Foley’s/Mankind’s enormous cousin.  If not that, they may think he has the same dry cleaner as The Undertaker and Kane.  In actuality, Abyss/Joseph Parks is highly regarded in the Independent and TNA/Impact scene.  He’s a respected member of the Impact Hall of Fame, holds several TNA/Impact Titles and his career spans over 25 years.  Wikipedia and other sites report Parks has been working as a producer for WWE since 2019.  Standing at an intimidating 6’8”, he may have been placed alongside AJ Styles (5’11”) to help maintain a sense of grandeur on the expansive WWE stage.

This is not the first time Parks has more or less played himself.  With Impact, Parks debuted as Abyss’ brother in 2012.  The storyline built a feud with Bully Ray who had kidnapped Parks’ brother (Abyss) to goad him into a match for that year’s Slammiversary.  They played with that angle until 2014.  Eventually, the storyline revealed Abyss and Joseph Parks were one and the same and Parks would later return as himself in 2017 to help set up a match for Slammiversary where he would lose himself again to his Abyss persona.

That being said, there is a chance Abyss/Parks could wrestle in WWE.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to say if the WWE Universe would be interested.  Looking at Abyss’ highly viewed matches, he is known for being Hardcore and WWE is soft.  Being the most mainstream option of the inherently cult Wrestling Industry, WWE often leans towards current trends.  General audiences tend to cringe at matches that involve barbed wire and thumbtacks.  Their shows’ TV-PG rating doesn’t help either.  Moreover, Parks is large, 46-years-old and not in the best shape.  At his size, he doesn’t move very well and it’s difficult to say how much more he can take.  His giant frame and stunts are the spectacles, not his athleticism and charisma.  Respected as he is, there doesn’t appear to be a popular demand for his particular brand of entertainment.  

What is interesting is that Abyss was originally advertised as a “Monster Among Men”.  Naturally, one thinks of a potential showdown with his successor Braun Strowman.  Who is the most monstrous of all?  As fun as it sounds, there’s no guarantee it amounts to a good match.  Neither one moves well.  It could boil down to a display of punishment and brute strength.  In that case, when it comes to contenders there’s no point in considering Big Show.  It could be viewed as an exercise in sadism.  People would end up focusing on their lack of mobility rather than the match.  There could be potential with The Fiend.  The feud could revolve around their alter egos. 

Perhaps the blend of editing and huskiness could balance out for a viewable display.  Baron Corbin is another plausible rival.  Also standing at 6’8”, he could prove to be a formidable obstacle.  Yet, for a big guy, Corbin moves well.  A match may result in a squash unless Corbin is Corbin and he messes up.  A Hail Mary of a possibility is Parks showing up on “RAW Underground”.  He could start as a Robert Paulsen type from Fight Club fame.  He could plough through and lay opponents to waste, giving the WWE audience a chance to accept him on his terms. All in all, it’s hard to say what will happen with Parks.  We may not see him on television much but in his brief appearances on the recent episodes of SmackDown, he did a good job.  He played the lackey and was the comedic foil, showing he has other talents.  It’s too soon to tell how Parks will fit in but he demonstrated he understands the job.  Hopefully, WWE finds some way to make the most of his unique expertise.

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