On October 11th 2014, top British pro wrestling star Kris Travis made an announcement that he is suffering from stomach cancer:
“So…. Some people don’t know and a lot do. So I’m going to just clear this up here. About a month ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had Surgery and had most of my stomach removed and with it a tumour. I now have 18 weeks of chemo to hopefully kill the rest of this disease. I’ve moved into my family home with my mum + I’m being well looked after by my amazing family and friends. I WILL fight this and I WILL win! Thank you to EVERYONE for support and messages. If I don’t txt back please don’t worry, it’s a time for myself with my family and down time. I miss and love all of my friends in the wrestling world and fans. And I WILL be back even better than before.”
Kris Travis has quickly made his mark within the UK independent scene and has fast become a household name for all that follow British wrestling. He has been wrestling for over a decade, but it was his involvement within Preston City Wrestling (PCW) is where his career elevated. Travis made his debut with PCW’s debut show, A New Beginning, in August 2011 as a heel. He was involved in lengthy feuds with fellow PCW wrestlers Lionheart, T Bone, and Noam Darr. Following this he was quickly dubbed as ‘Mr PCW’ and embarked on a successful career within the promotion. Kris has also wrestled latest WWE NXT sensations Kevin Steen/Owens and Prince Devitt/Finn Balor.
During his time at PCW, Kris successfully won the PCW Money in the Bank match twice and has also been crowned PCW Heavyweight champion. Kris also embarked on a feud with ex-WWE superstar, Chris Masters which saw them battling it out in both No DQ and Last Man Standing matches, which also delivered some of Chris Masters best fights till date. In 2013 Kris had a try out match for WWE and since then he has won many awards and accolades from Fighting Spirit Magazine, including UK Wrestler of the Year, UK Tag Team of the Year, and UK Match of the Year.
After establishing himself within PCW and other promotions in the UK. Kris Travis embarked on a bigger journey that would potentially catapult his reputation to international status. Kris appeared on TNA’s British Bootcamp 2 and impressed judges Al Snow, Samoa Joe and Gail Kim (impressing Al Snow was a competition in itself). Kris impressed the judges so much that he advanced to the final six within the British Bootcamp competition. This would see the final six competitors receive the opportunity of all life time to travel Nashville Tennessee to be meet, wrestle and be mentored by TNA’s finest superstars and of course advance to final stages of the competition with the view to winning that all important contract to become a wrestler on TNA. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, but… this was not to be for Kris.
The above illustrates Kris no doubt has a tremendous biography of matches with some of the finest wrestlers in the UK and overseas. With the wrestling world being his oyster and him starting on what some may deem as an illustrious career with the independent wrestling circuit and a potential TNA contract hanging in the background, Kris could do no wrong? We would then find out Kris was to encounter a hurdle placing him in a battle he never saw coming, a type of fight that requires less muscle and more courage, a contest that will see him up against an opponent that we all wish to see him defeat, this fight being Kris Travis versus Cancer.
Kris decided to publicly address his absence from the squared circle and informed all about his battle with cancer. Some cynical critics may depict this announcement as a potential PR stunt by Kris garnering further publicity for his promotion or for him as a wrestler to gear up for his impending return to the ring. In my opinion, you have to applaud and respect Kris for taking such a stand and having the confidence to publicly acknowledge his battle with cancer. Kris had the option to quietly undergo treatment and return to the ring once he is 100% ready and not provide an explanation for his absence from TNA British Bootcamp 2. But, Kris decided to be transparent about his illness and now regularly update his fans on Twitter on the progress he is making and also makes rare appearances to charity events held to show their support for him. This decision did not go un noticed as several top named wrestlers, including Mick Foley, William Regal, Paige, DDP, Chris Jericho and Sean ‘X Pac’ Waltman, took to twitter to publicly support Kris on his recent announcement.
British Wrestler Kris Travis is going through a rough time with cancer.Please help if you can. https://t.co/v4cbk7OoTR
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) October 12, 2014
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) October 13, 2014
Credit should be given where credit is due, as I am sure, Kris would have been aware of the potential impact that his career could have taken with promoters perhaps taking the approach in showing reluctancy in hiring him in the future due to concerns of his in ring ability being compromised due to his illness. Well… in fact quite the opposite has happened, aside from the worldwide support he has received from wrestling’s top names, top promotions including PCW and Pro Wrestling Elite have clearly pledged their support and actively supporting a fundraising programme which is becoming known as #TravAid. A wrestling charity event organised by PCW to specially to support Kris is to be scheduled on January 23rd 2015. Till date, over £4000 has been raised for TravAid. Most of the merchandise specially designed for this charity including t-shirts and Blu Ray/DVDS have all sold out! The response has been phenomenal. The abundance of support and appreciation the fans have given to Kris over social media is overwhelming, which was evident during an event held on November 16th where Kris attended and publicly addressed his fans, in what was described as there being’ no dry eye in the arena’ during his segment to the fans.
In this case there is a fine line between the word sympathy and support in Kris Travis’s story. Naturally people would be sympathetic towards (not just a wrestler) for anyone suffering with cancer, after all tackling this illness takes a lot courage and inner strength. Kris’s story has unified the wrestling fraternity across the pond and the fans alike. This level of appreciation and amalgamation contributes an undue level of support and respect that should be rightfully afforded to Kris Travis. The way that fans and wrestling’s most famous names have all shown their support to help Kris is a huge sign of the respect and love found within wrestling as a whole. Whilst the circumstances causing Kris to be absent from wrestling maybe uninvited, the affection around this story is simply moving. We have seen other wrestlers including Canadian wrestler Ashley Sixx and most recently Jake the Snake Roberts overcome their hurdles with cancer, strongly suggests Kris can beat this and make a full fledged return to wrestling.
There is no doubt that Kris is a tremendous wrestler with a promising future within the wrestling industry, but the continued support given to Kris will hopefully give him the courage and strength he needs to overcome the biggest challenge of his life and then we can see him where rightfully belongs … in the squared circle.
I, on behalf of LWOS and the millions of fans across the nation, wish Kris a speedy recovery and very much look forward to you seeing you doing what you do best and that is kicking ass!
Please feel free to show your support to Kris by visiting this link developed to support Kris and is open until December 11th 2014.
Photo credit here.
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