A former foe of both Finn Balor and Kevin Owens in the United Kingdom has died at the age of 32 after a battle with stomach cancer. Future wrestling star Kris Travis was first diagnosed with the disease in October 2014. He lost his brave fight on March 31, according to a statement from Fighting Spirit editor Brian Elliot who said, “It is with deep regret that I write that Kris Travis died this morning. He will be missed.”
During his wrestling career, Travis went by the moniker “The Shooting Star.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Former Promoter Said If it Wasn’t for Cancer, Travis Would Have Been in the WWE
Preston City Wrestling founder Steven Fludder wrote in a blog tribute to Travis that if it weren’t for his disease, he would have continued his battles with Finn Balor in the WWE. It was with PCW where Travis got his start. Fludder said, “He was the best talent of recent years the UK produced that never ended up in the WWE. Illness aside I think that is exactly where he would be right now if in good health continuing his battles with Finn Balor in NXT.”
2. He Had Planned to Return to the Ring ‘After Kicking Cancer’s Ass’
The Daily Mirror reports that Travis announced his retirement in 2015 after being diagnosed with cancer in October 2014. The tabloid says he had a tumor removed and and underwent 18 weeks of chemo. At the time of his diagnosis, Travis was in the “boot camp” for American wrestling promotion Total Non-Stop Action (TNA). He told the Daily Mirror about this experience saying:
Having to withdraw from TNA was a heart-wrenching experience and would be for any reason. I remember being laid in a hospital bed knowing I had cancer looking at my phone and thinking it was about that time all my friends were flying to America to start living their, and my, dream. It was absolutely horrible.
According to his official website, Travis planned to come back into wrestling “after kicking cancer’s ass.” At the time of his retirement, one of his former enemies in the ring, ex-WWE star Sean Waltman wrote on Twitter, “Cant express the sadness that’s overcome me after reading this. @RealKrisTravis Honored to have shared a ring with you.”
3. The Wrestling Community on Twitter Are in Mourning Over Travis’ Passing
Some of wrestling’s biggest names have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Travis. Here are some of the most poignant messages:
4. At the Time of His Death, He Was Engaged
Basically I was on a night out for a friends birthday when it all started. I got hiccups pretty early on and they stayed with me for the next 24 to 32 hours on and off, mostly on. I felt very weird as it had never happened before. Then over the next few days I became extremely bloated after food and would begin to burp constantly too. A few days after that I started being sick every night as my stomach would get increasingly bloated.
After many trips to the doctors and being sent away every single time, I collapsed at home and was taken to hospital where it was found a tumour had grown over my waste pipe in the stomach. So basically I was being sick every bit of food I was eating, thus the big belly. I had to have 70% of my stomach removed and intensive 18 weeks of chemotherapy.
5. He Was One of the Top Wrestlers in the United Kingdom
He was a native of Sheffield, England. On his website, his official bio details being voted as #1 by both Powerslam magazine and FSM Magazine. Travis was trained in his home city by Alan Johnson, the later superstar wrote about Johnson, “A guy who although isn’t a household name in the UK, was someone who taught myself and a few other bigger names on the scene the basics very very well. I would like to thank Keith Myatt and Stixx for giving me that little bit more training and polish that really got me noticed and onto the bigger shows.” His full name was Kristoffer Darren Travis.
A separate bio says that Travis made his in-ring debut in 2002. It reads:
A 13 year veteran of the squared circle, Kris Travis is a true student of the game, with an unwaivering love and passion for wrestling. Growing up idolising Hulk Hogan & Bret “The Hitman” Hart, the wrestling bug led to Kris pursuing a career in the ring.
During this time, he’s proved himself both as a solo competitor and as a tag team wrestler alongside Martin Kirby and Scotty Hexx.