A Monster's Ball match is a professional wrestling, hardcore match staged by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The key premise of the match was that all contenders are sequestered alone in a locked room without light, food or water for twenty-four hours before the match. This stipulation is intended to induce extreme feelings of aggression in the competitors. Once released, the wrestlers fight one another in a no disqualification match, with the usage of weapons encouraged. Victory can be achieved by pinfall or submission, with the match ending as soon as one wrestler is pinned or submits (there is no elimination format). The locked away stipulation was simply forgotten about, however, and not mentioned since the sixth one. It is now simply a Street Fight, as the match has to end inside the Ring. Many signature weapons include: Thumb tacks, "Janice" (Abyss' friend: A board filled with nails) and a bed of barbed wires.
Due to the hardcore nature of the match, the Monster's Ball typically features numerous high spots. There has been a total of fourteen official matches, plus eleven occurring on TNA non-televised "house shows" and one match dubbed "Monster's Ball" by a non-affiliated company, although it featured TNA wrestler Abyss. There is apparently no set number of wrestlers although it is generally four. The smallest official match was a one-on-one match at Bound for Glory (2009) and Slammiversary VIII.
32 wrestlers took part in a Monster's Ball matches, and two knockouts competed in a monster ball match. Abyss holds the record for most participation in a monster ball match having competed in 45 matches, and holds the record for most victories 18. Right behind him is Jeff Hardy who participated in 11 matches and have won 9 of them.Abyss competed as Joseph Park in two Monster's Ball matches, while the rest as Abyss
Jeff Hardy competed as Willow in one monster ball match, while the rest as Jeff Hardy
Bully Ray competed as Brother Ray in one match, the other as Bully Ray
The first Monster's Ball took place on November 7, 2004 at Victory Road (2004). It took a triple threat match format and included Monty Brown, Raven and Abyss.
The events leading to the Monster's Ball began on the September 29, 2004 episode of TNA Impact!, when then-TNA Director of Authority Vince Russo announced that a four-man tournament would be held to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, with the winner receiving a title shot against then-champion Jeff Jarrett at Victory Road. On the October 8 episode of Impact!, Jeff Hardy defeated Abyss and Monty Brown defeated Raven to advance to the tournament finals. On October 15, Hardy pinned Brown to win the tournament in a match that saw both Abyss and Raven interfere.
On October 22, both Raven and Abyss attacked Brown after he defeated a jobber in a squash match. This led to the Monster's Ball match being scheduled for Victory Road. On November 5, two days before the match, Abyss revealed to Brown that the sack which he had carried with him for the past several weeks was full of thumbtacks.
The Monster's Ball saw Brown pin Raven after Pouncing him through a table. In the course of the match, Abyss attempted to superplex Brown onto a pile of thumbtacks, but was instead powerbombed onto the thumbacks himself by Raven. The match was observed by a hooded figure, later revealed to be the returning James Mitchell.
Monster's Ball II took place on October 23, 2005 at Bound for Glory (2005). It was a four way match that featured Abyss, Jeff Hardy, Rhino and Sabu.
The second Monster's Ball was scheduled after both Abyss and Sabu interfered in a match between Jeff Hardy and Rhino on the October 1, 2005 episode of Impact!. In the weeks prior to the match, Rhino defeated Sabu on October 15, while Abyss teamed with Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown to defeat Hardy, A.J. Styles and Lance Hoyt on October 22.
Rhino pinned Hardy to win the match following a Rhino-Driver off the middle rope. During the course of the match, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb onto Abyss, putting him through a table in the process, from a height of approximately thirty feet.
Monster's Ball III took place on June 10, 2006 at a TNA house show in Wayne, New Jersey. It was a three way match featuring Abyss, Rhino and Samoa Joe. The match was won by Samoa Joe, who forced Rhino to submit with the Coquina Clutch.
Monster's Ball IV took place on September 29, 2006 at a house show in Richmond, Virginia. It was a one-on-one match between Abyss and Rhino. The match was won by Rhino following a Gore through a table.
Monster's Ball V took place on October 22, 2006 at Bound for Glory (2006) in Plymouth Township, Michigan and featured Abyss, Brother Runt, Raven and Samoa Joe with special guest referee Jake "The Snake" Roberts. This match was very brutal within the opening minutes, as it saw Abyss throw Brother Runt into the crowd where they threw him back over the guard rail. It also saw Abyss and Runt going up to the balcony where Abyss Chokeslammed Runt off it then jumped down with him. But Abyss took some pain when he took out the tacks and it backfired when Samoa Joe back splashed him onto the tacks. Joe pinned Raven after a Muscle Buster.
Monster's Ball VI was announced on October 4 and took place at Bound for Glory (2007) on October 14, 2007 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The participants were Raven, Rhino, Abyss and Black Reign, where Abyss finally won his first Ball after being unsuccessful in the last five. He pinned Raven after a Black Hole Slam onto a pile of broken glass and thumbtacks. It is worth noting that announcers Mike Tenay and Don West referred to this Monster's Ball as the fourth that TNA has put on, seemingly excluding the two which happened at the house shows.
Monster's Ball VII took place at Bound for Glory IV and is the first ever Tag Team Monster's Ball match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. The teams in the match were Abyss, who would be appearing in his seventh Monster's Ball match, and Matt Morgan, Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon), The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez), and Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm), who were the champions. Halfway through, Abyss was taken out by being double-chokeslammed through a flaming table. The match ended when 3D put Hernandez through a table with thumb tacks on it, with Beer Money, Inc spitting beer in Devon's face and stealing the pin to retain the titles.
Monster's Ball VIII took place at Sacrifice 2009 and was the first ever TNA Knockout Monster's Ball match. In the match, Taylor Wilde defeated Daffney, who had Abyss and Dr. Stevie in her corner.
Monster's Ball IX took place at Slammiversary 2009 and was the first ever mixed tag team Monster's Ball. In the match Abyss and Taylor Wilde defeated Raven and Daffney. Abyss pinned Raven after both he and Daffney were slammed onto a pile of thumbtacks.
The tenth Monster's Ball took place at Bound for Glory, where Abyss faced Mick Foley in a match refereed by Dr. Stevie. Abyss pinned Foley after chokeslamming him on a barbed wire board and counting the pin with the hand of the unconscious Stevie.
The eleventh Monster's Ball match took place in a House Show in Nashville where Abyss faced off 'The War Machine' Rhino. The match saw Abyss win by pinfall.
The twelfth Monster's Ball took place on the May 3, 2010, edition of Impact!, where A.J. Styles defeated Abyss via pinfall.
The thirteenth Monster's Ball took place on June 13, 2010, at Slammiversary VIII, where Abyss defeated Desmond Wolfe, when Wolfe's valet Chelsea turned on him.
The fourteenth Monster's Ball took place on July 2, 2010, at a TNA House Show in Brooklyn, New York, where Jeff Hardy defeated Abyss after a splash over thumbtacks.
The twelfth Monster's Ball match (although not a "real" Monster's Ball match as it was unassociated with TNA) was announced by John Cena Sr. (father of John Cena), president of the Massachusetts-based Millennium Wrestling Federation on its MWF Xtra online show to take place at their Night of Champions show (eight days prior to WWE's PPV of the same title) on June 21, 2008 at Good Time Emporium in Somerville, Massachusetts. Todd Hanson, who replaced Makua in the match, defeated Abyss, Rick Fuller and Brian Milonas to win the match and retain his MWF Heavyweight Championship. Through TNA's working relationship with Mexican promotion Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (TNA), Verano de Escándalo on July 31, 2011, hosted a Monster's Ball match, where Chessman defeated Abyss, Extreme Tiger and Joe Líder. On June 7, 2014 at House of Hardcore V, Abyss defeated Tommy Dreamer in a Monster's Ball match. On November 14, 2015, Abyss would face off against Sabu in a Monster's Ball match at House of Hardcore 11 in a losing effort.