|He's got cancer. Give him a hand, alright?|
Photo/Graphics via Preston City Wrestling site
The first time I saw Kris Travis wrestle was around a year ago. As part of TIDAL Championship Wrestling’s debut tour, he teamed with Martin Kirby (known together as Project Ego) to take on Mark Haskins and Ring of Honor’s Adam Cole. When Haskins and Cole came out, the fans noticed a great similarity between the two men, and started chanting “ARE YOU TWINS?!” For the rest of the match, the crowd, the referee and all four men in the ring treated Haskins as Cole and Cole as Haskins. It was a unique, unplanned, hilarious addition to the match enabled by four skilled improvisers and great wrestlers.
Since then, I’ve become aware of Travis as one of the UK’s top talents. I’ve lost count of the amount of shows he’s stolen, but there’s two more that stand out. In March of this year, he faced the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Prince Devitt. The two put on a world class match, literally. As in it would fit in at any top promotion from around the world you can think of (and Preston City Wrestling will no doubt soon be in that list). The match was so good that PCW owner immediately scrapped the plans he had for Travis in April and booked a rematch, and I was lucky enough to see that as well.
On Saturday, Kris Travis revealed he has been battling stomach cancer. He had a tumour removed as well as as significant portion of his stomach. He now has 18 weeks of chemo to endure, but remains positive he can beat the cancer.
Unfortunately, while he’s not wrestling, he’s not making any money but the international wrestling community has showered him with love and support. Martin Kirby and PCW both set-up fundraisers, and have raised over £2800 each as of writing, and PCW are holding a benefit show in January with all proceeds going to Travis. Other promotions such as Southside, TIDAL and Revolution Pro are undertaking their own fundraising activities. Fans are even donating consoles and video games to keep the housebound Travis entertained while he battles the illness.
As sad as it is that one of the UK’s brightest stars as been waylaid with such a serious illness, the response from the wrestling community has been heartwarming. Tweets have been pouring in from his peers around the world. Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, Diamond Dallas Page, are just some of the international names sharing support, as well as friends such a Paige, Devitt and Grado.
Kris Travis is a contestant on TNA: British Boot Camp 2, which debuts this week on Challenge in the UK. If you have a bit of spare money this month, and want to contribute to a great cause. Please head to any of these links.
Martin Kirby’s IndieGoGo Fundraiser
Preston City Wrestling’s IndieGoGo Fundraiser
Preston City Wrestling’s store
Preston City Wrestling: Shooting Star on January 23rd, 2015
Southside Wrestling’s Fundraiser
Pro Wrestling Elite’s Fundraiser