Fightin' Fanboys

Fightin' Fanboys: Joseph Park of Impact Wrestling

As he prepares to go after the Television title at Slammiversary, the lawyer-turned wrestler talks comics and his own origins!

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Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Photos courtesy of Impact Wrestling

By Blake Garris with Ben Morse

Impact Wrestling superstar Joseph Park combines the traits of many great Marvel super heroes: The pure power of The Hulk, the dedication to responsibility of Spider-Man—and the courtroom skills of Daredevil.

Though he entered the promotion one year ago as a mild-mannered lawyer searching for his missing brother—and former World Champion—Abyss, Park has become caught up in the struggle between Impact and the nefarious Aces and 8s gang, becoming a full-fledged competitor along the way. On June 2 at Slammiversary, the litigator will attempt to wrest the Television title from Aces and 8s member Devon.

As he prepares for his big opportunity, we got Park to chat with us about growing up with Marvel heroes, how he got into wrestling and much more.

Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Marvel.com: Slammiversary caps off your first year with Impact Wrestling. What have been some of the highlights?

Joseph Park: Well, you know, it’s been a wild year. It’s been crazy. I gotta say the most memorable thing was getting my first win—my first big W against Robbie E. But it’s been a whirlwind year to say the least for me, and I really think going to Slammiversary is a chance for a part of me to get a little momentum for a change and start to progress a little bit. I want to keep getting better and better, and practice and so forth. Get myself to where I need to be. I think Slammiversary could be hopefully a nice avenue for me to get to do that.

Marvel.com: You’re going to be taking on the Television Champion, Devon, who has both experience and the Aces & 8s on his side. What will you do to win the title?

Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Joseph Park: Well you just said it yourself: The deck is stacked against me. Not only am I in there with a very, very smart and very, very tough competitor in Devon but I also have to worry about the rest of his buddies in the Aces & 8s, so I’m going to have to have eyes in the back of my head. I’m going to be training hard. I’m going to be hitting Ohio Valley Wrestling, getting as much ring time as I can and just preparing for a fight. It’s going to be a battle. There’s no doubt about it. I need to stand up for myself and stick to my instincts and not back down, and that’s exactly what I’m planning on doing.

Marvel.com: Switching gears, you’re both a lawyer and a wrestler. Daredevil is both a lawyer and a super hero, but of course he has a radar sense that compensates for his blindness. How would you use those kinds of abilities in the ring?

Daredevil

Joseph Park: Gosh, I wish had the radar sense Daredevil has. It would’ve come in handy an awful lot up to this point. If I would’ve had what Daredevil has, maybe I would’ve been able to fight off a couple of these attacks that have happened on me and on other members the Impact roster

Marvel.com: Let’s say the Avengers were recruiting—what would you bring to the team?

Joseph Park: I think one thing I’d bring is a great outlook, a great layout intelligence-wise. I think I could really add smarts. I think Joseph Park could bring a little bit of strategy to the table for those guys.

Marvel.com: Let’s say you were getting a new tag team partner and could pick any Marvel super hero, who would it be?

Joseph Park: I’m going to go with the Incredible Hulk. I mean, how could you go wrong with that guy? You can’t match his strength and you can’t overpower the guy. He really is a monster.

Marvel.com: Did you read comics growing up?

Spider-Man

Joseph Park: Yeah, I was big into comics. I was really big into Spider-Man when I was younger. My teenage years and stuff like that, I really got into the Incredible Hulk comic books after the TV show came out. That’s when I really started getting into them.

Marvel.com: What made you go from Spider-Man to The Hulk?

Joseph Park: I think just because of the power and the strength. Spider-Man was a little bit more finesse. Spider-Man was a little quicker obviously and climbing walls and so forth, which doesn’t really describes me. I think I’m more of an Incredible Hulk guy—big, obviously; big in stature, big in fire, big in strength. I think that’s why I gravitate a little bit more towards the Hulk than towards Spider-Man.

Marvel.com: Obviously there is a lot of crossover between comic book fans and wrestling fans. What would you say to fans that just like comics to get them excited for Impact Wrestling?

The Hulk

Joseph Park: I would say that there’s an awful lot of positive crossover between comic books and Impact Wrestling as far as they have the larger than life characters, and larger than life people, and larger than life storylines that you see. Comic book characters are really relatable to wrestlers. I mean, you have the Incredible Hulk in Marvel Comics and Hulk Hogan for Impact Wrestling. Comic book characters are larger than life, and in a lot of ways, wrestlers are too.

Marvel.com: I know you mentioned you grew up with the Hulk and Spider-Man, but what got you into wrestling in the first place?

Joseph Park: I was about eight or nine years old and I was flipping through TV. This is before the advent of cable and so forth. This was back when I remember in Cleveland, Ohio growing up I had four or five channels total and that was it. It was probably about midnight or 12:30 and I was flipping through and I saw this show. It WWF and they were getting ready for their first WrestleMania. I fell in love with the business. I fell in love with wrestling. I fell in love with Hulk Hogan. And I couldn’t get enough of it. I couldn’t watch enough of it; I couldn’t talk about it enough. I used to bug my childhood buddies and they were sick and tired of hearing about it. I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with the athleticism and the drama and the contact and the physicality. I just fell in love with all of it. It’s been a part of my life since I was 10.

Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Marvel.com: What’s it like working with the guy who got you into wrestling, working with Hulk Hogan now?

Joseph Park: It’s so surreal. Sometimes I pinch myself, I can’t believe it. This is a guy literally I grew up watching, I grew up idolizing. I was in love with everything he did and everything he stood for. Fast forward twenty-some years and here I am actually working with him. I can’t begin to tell you what a gigantic honor it is to be able to work with Hulk and to pick his brain and get his advice, his feedback, and his help. I remember, looking back on it, being such a fan as I was. Now I’m actually working with him. It’s amazing; it truly is a dream come true, so to speak.

Marvel.com: What makes Impact Wrestling such a fun atmosphere?

Joseph Park (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Joseph Park: We’ve got a fantastic group of people here, and I’m talking everybody from Dixie Carter on down. I think what makes us special as a locker room and as a company is the support that we give each other and the competitive edge that we push each other to reach every week. I think another thing that makes us different and special is our fan base. We have a loyal following that’s been with us for almost 11 years now, and they’ve been fantastic. They’ve stood by us and I think that camaraderie and that workmanship in the locker room between all of us relays into positive television and the fan base has been right there to support us throughout it. I think it’s a combination of our locker room, and the talent we have here—which is second to none—and our great fan base.

Visit the official web site of Impact Wrestling for more information on Slammiversary—coming June 2—and follow Joseph Park on Twitter.

Tomorrow, we talk with X Division title contender Chris Sabin!

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