This past Thursday saw the final appearance of The Decay, arguably one of Impact Wrestling‘s most popular factions of the past year. Combining three unique talents – Crazzy Steve, Abyss and Rosemary – the macabre madness of The Decay at first shocked the Impact Zone but slowly became one of the most bizarre creations and trios the company had ever put together, capturing the TNA World Tag Team titles and the TNA Knockouts title in just over a year together. But this past Thursday on Impact Wrestling, The Decay failed to recapture tag team gold after a recent slump (that coincided with the change in management to Anthem Sports & Entertainment), where they lost to the Broken Hardys (prior to them leaving), The DCC, Moose & Brandi Rhodes, Reno Scum, Garza Jr. & Laredo Kid and current TNA Tag Team Champions LAX (Santana & Ortiz). Fortunately, Rosemary has still retained her Knockouts title, which she won in December of 2016 and continues to carry.
The Decay began in January of 2016, when former evil clown character Crazzy Steve joined forces with Impact’s resident Monster Abyss to attack The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards), then the TNA World Tag Team champions. The following week, we were introduced to the third (and most dangerous member), Rosemary, and thus Decay’s first feud was born. The Decay would go on to win the TNA Tag Team belts from Beer Money months later, become embroiled in a summer long storyline (and first proper tag team feud) with the Broken Hardys, with the year capped off with Rosemary capturing Knockouts Championship gold to kickstart one of early 2017’s best feuds, Rosemary vs Jade.
But following this week’s Impact Wrestling, it is apparent that The Decay are no more a threat in the Impact Zone, as their slump continued and one third of the group, Crazzy Steve, announced his departure from the company. So what’s next for Decay?
The unofficial “leader” of the trio of madness, Crazzy Steve was a 10 year veteran of the Canadian independent circuit (he was trained by former TNA World Champion Eric Young) before he arrived in Impact in 2014 as part of Knux‘s outlandish stable The Menagerie (alongside Rebel and “The Freak” Rob Terry).
But it was his switch to the more demented Decay member alongside Abyss and Rosemary that he found his mark with TNA. But following the last set of tapings, he announced his departure from Impact Wrestling on Twitter.
According to Dave Meltzer, the decision to leave Impact Wrestling (he was granted his release request) was to pursue potential job opportunities with WWE and it’s NXT brand. He went so far as to post on Twitter than he was now accepting indie bookings “for a limited time”, which seemed to indicate he would be starting with a promotion soon enough that wouldn’t allow such indie bookings.
Now accepting independent bookings. (For a limited time) contact >>> firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/X1qYv4QP7A
While nothing substantial has emerged on his ultimate destination, it is assumed by most that it will NXT that Crazzy Steve is heading towards – perhaps to join his former mentor Eric Young as a new addition with Sanity? Or something more devious? Regardless, Crazzy Steve’s tenure with Impact Wrestling is over and sadly, so is Decays.
THE MONSTER ABYSS
The Monster Abyss has been an Impact Wrestling staple since the promotion began in 2002 and, much like the WWE’s Undertaker, has managed to tweak his character multiple times in his 15-year run with Impact but still ultimately remain the same character. His inclusion into Decay was another reinvention, as he tossed his usual facemask and swapped it for facepaint more akin with his two stablemates. But it was a return to vintage Abyss for the former TNA World Heavyweight, 3x World Tag Team Champion and TNA Television and X-Division Champion. Now that Decay has seemingly evaporated, many wonder what will happen to this TNA Icon, but that question was answered fairly quickly. With Jeremy Borash locked in “legal problems” with Impact Wrestling over announcing duties with Josh Matthews, JB hired his own lawyer. And thus, Abyss’ “brother” and alter ego, lawyer Joseph Parks, returned to Impact.
Chris Parks, the real life man behind both Abyss and Joseph Parks, has mentioned on multiple podcasts and interviews of late that he is currently a member of Impact Creative, so he’s by no means leaving the company anytime soon. And his infrequent appearances of Joseph Parks are usually signs of another Abyss “tweak” coming soon, so it’s very likely that Joseph’s re-appearance is just to set up the return of the original Impact Monster. After all, Anthem seems intent on reclaiming much of the TNA history that the Dixie Carter regime seemed intent on burying, with recent resurrections of “Cowboy” James Storm, Low Ki and LAX to name a few. Bringing back another TNA Original, in the true Monster Abyss, would be another bridge in the history of Impact Wrestling.
The most intriguing character of the three is the current Knockouts Champion, Rosemary. Another standout from the Canadian indie circuit, Rosemary debuted as PJ Tyler in 2008, following training at Border City Wrestling with current Impact senior management member, Scott D’Amore, and former X-Division Champion Johnny Devine. By 2010, she was working for Shimmer under the name Courtney Rush, where she became Shimmer Tag Team Champion with women’s indie legend Sara Del Rey. In 2015, she paired with another Canadian, Xandra Bale, before her Courtney Rush character began to undergo a radical transformation into the Demon Assassin we all know and love. Her year long feud with Cherry Bomb (now known as Allie in Impact) in Toronto’s Smash Wrestling is the stuff of legend.
Following the focus of the tag team turmoil of Decay vs The Hardys, the focal point then shifted to Rosemary’s ascension to the top of the Knockouts division. In December of 2016, she beat Jade for the vacant Knockouts title (relinquished by Gail Kim due to injury) and the two had a tremendous feud that culminated not only with Rosemary retaining the title but Jade leaving Impact Wrestling and returning to the indies (where she competes as Mia Yim). Since Anthem’s acquisition of majority ownership, Rosemary has appeared but her future has remained unclear. Until now.
With the announcement of Impact Wrestling merging with Global Force Wrestling two weeks ago from Karen Jarrett, the GFW Champions have begun to appear and defend their titles. The first one to do so was the reigning GFW Women’s Champion, former indie superstar Christina Von Eerie, whose own trash talking punk rock anarchist character could be seen as an early inspiration for some of Rosemary’s own theatrics. Like Rosemary, Von Eerie is also a veteran of Shimmer, as well as PWG, AAA and other indie promotions (she had a prior short stint in TNA as Toxxin, part of the faction Ink Inc. with Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal, in 2010). It would only make sense that Impact Wrestling would now want to merge the GFW titles with the old TNA titles to create brand new Impact Wrestling titles.
So a showdown between Von Eerie and Rosemary would seem to be inevitable. And Rosemary has recently been doing “final appearance” shows at many of her normal indie circuit homes, including her Canadian home in Smash Wrestling, leading many to assume she had signed a new exclusive deal with Impact. Once she’s done with Von Eerie, Impact would be smart to rekindle Rosemary’s feud with Allie from Smash (or perhaps reboot it), so that the Impact Zone can finally see what Allie can do in the ring. And while Rosemary may not be chanting “Decay, Decay, Decay” any longer, she’s quietly been laying groundwork for her next collective, The Hive, for months on social media – whether that is a new faction of her own or simply the buzzing in her head remains to be seen. But we’ll all be watching.
Main Photo: Impact Wrestling