Photo Credit : Brett Hadley Photography
1. Welcome to TheBritishWrestlingRevival Blog Travis, cheers for agreeing to do this interview first of all please introduce yourself to the readers and give them a quick summary about yourself and your career so far??
Thanks guys! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to let people know who I am!
Well mine name obviously is Travis Banks and I have currently been in wrestling for 7 years. I got my start in a small town just out of Wellington (our capital city of New Zealand) call Petone. The company there was called NZWPW. I spent a few years there before making my way too Auckland for IPW and then from there I was able to secure some opportunities wrestling in Australia for amazing companies like MCW, PWA, Wrestle Rampage and Newcastle pro. I think was fortunate enough to be able to go to Zero-1 in Japan, Toured with Davey Richards in the USA and now currently residing in The United Kingdom.
2. Let’s talk about growing up for yourself, did you enjoy wrestling growing up and if so who inspired you to become a wrestler and why??
I have always dreamt of and wanted to be a professional wrestler. I remember at a young age thinking about if I could do this myself. Essentially becoming a real life super hero or super villain. I was immediately drawn to the big characters.
The first match I ever watched was Glacier vs Mortis from WCW and instantly it hit a spot with me as I was a huge video game nerd especially Mortal Kombat.
From there my favourites developed into guys like Sting and Goldberg and then the guy that would shape the way I would develop in my career Chris Benoit.
The reason I liked Benoit is because he had an insane drive and intensity and to this day I try and mimic that in and out side of the ring.
3. How did you get involved with Wrestling training, who trained you, how was this experience and if you could have been trained by any one else or even do a seminar with dead or alive when you started off wrestling who would it be and why would it have helped you as a wrestler ??
I got involved by simply searching wrestling in NZ in Google. I had no idea it were even in the country before then. I searched it and it came up with a show that was being promoted. It was a tour with a bunch of Australia guys and Raven and they were coming to my home city. Which at the time I couldn’t believe my luck. So me and a good friend of mine Luke Farmer (the reason anybody knew who I was back home) went along to this show. To say it was a little underwhelming especially with Raven is an understatement and I told myself right then and there that I could definitely make it at least to this level. In 2009 I started training with NZWPW under the tutelage of Martin Stirling who was a wrestler on the scene from back in the day. He taught me the very meat and potatoes of the business. He also taught me that I needed to have very thick skin in order to do what I do as for the most part I wanted to punch him square in the face. But he’s one of those once in a lifetime characters you meet on your journey and I can’t thank him enough for the experiences he had given me.
From NZWPW I moved to IPW in Auckland and that’s where my training really began. I started grasping psychology and how to really feel confident in my abilities. The trainer there at the time was a guy named Kingi and I don’t think I would be the wrestler I am today with out him.
From there on to Japan I was trained by Ikuto Hidaka and Masato Tanaka. Then on from there I trained with Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly on my tour of the states.
Now I’m currently in the UK and I have had a whole plethora of top talent to train with: Dave Mastiff, Rockstar Spud and The Hunter brothers just to name a few. I was even fortunate enough to train with Dave Taylor.
It’s such a hard task picking one person I’d love to do a seminar with alive or dead as everyone has a different career with different perspectives on wrestling. But to tell you the truth it would have to be Triple H. He’s the absolutely pinnacle of wrestling right now and to be able to pick his brain about things like working TV, match psychology or even small things like working out would be beneficial to my career.
4. You are from Auckland, New Zealand, from your point of view what are your thoughts on the NZ Wrestling scene currently and do you think that if someone breaks out such as yourself that it could make the scene bigger in the future??
I think currently or when I left the New Zealand wrestling scene is just doing what it always has and thats just running shows month in and month out. For me I wanted to so much more out of my career. I’m not saying what they are doing is bad at all but for me I had greater ambitions.
There are definitely a few guys/gals people need to be aware of: Evie who just got back from a tour of Japan, Johnny Idol who’s currently in Mexico, TK Cooper and Dahlia Black who are making waves over here in the UK in places like Progress. Talent that are still there though that are worth a look are guys like Taylor Adams (amazing character), Brook Duncan, Michael Richards. I’m probably forgetting a whole bunch of people but those are the ones that come to mind.
Also Marcus Kool who use to be on the UK scene runs a company over there now and is doing a bloody fantastic job of it.
5. You are currently in the UK and have been for a few weeks, how did this come about, what are your thoughts on your experience so far over here and how long are you over here and finally as a result who do you want to face before you leave??
It was mainly out of necessity for my career. I want to be successful and I can’t sit tucked away in the corner of the world waiting for opportunities to come to me. My good friend Marcus Kool gave me a bunch of contacts for here and also I had met Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews on my trip to the states and they have helped me out a whole bunch as well. A lot of good people have vouched me and I can only repay them by doing well and succeeding over here. I’m here for two years on my current visa but I would like to permanently relocate if it were at all possible.
Honestly I have a laundry list of people I want to face but the truth is I want to be a big name here to. So I want to face all the top talent you know? Plus it gives me a chance to learn and grow as a performer.
6. Last night (20th February) you made your Southside debut at their Battle of the Egos 6 show, how was it working for them for the first time and coming close to becoming a number 1 contender in your first match and finally do you want to return to SWE in the future??
I have really grown to love Southside. The atmosphere in the backstage is amazing. As I’ve said I’ve been very fortunate in the things I have been given and when people give you chances like this I take it upon myself to not let them down. I will definitely be working for Southside in the future!
7. In 2013 you went over to the USA working for the likes of AAW and Ring of Honor, how was it working for Ring of Honor firstly and is experiences like this valuable to you as a wrestler in terms of experience and wrestling different guys??
Ring of Honor was a huge thing for me. Never in a million years did I think I could step in to one of their rings. The strange thing was I weren’t even nervous I remember pounding myself on the chest reassuring myself that this was the reason I had come to the States.
Experiences like that I think in life are worth it. Just the fact I had created an opportunity and it had paid off was definitely worth it. That trip alone has proved worth it as I have made some great connections that have helped me to his day and connections are so important in wrestling.
8. Another country you have been over to is Japan to wrestle for Zero-1 a few years back, again like going over to the States would you say it was valuable and would you say it was a culture shock when you went over there for the first time compared to NZ, USA and the UK??
Japan was by far the most amazing experience of my life. To be able to fully immerse yourself in another culture and embrace the lifestyle was a life experience second to none. To also tour around the country and be paid for something you love I can’t even describe it. That was a goal of mine when I first started. Actually I think it was my number one goals to wrestle in Japan and I had crossed it off within a couple of years. Now here I am a guy from a small town in New Zealand with a population of about 1000 who has now wrestled in 7 different countries.
9. What are your future ambitions in Wrestling and where do you see yourself in 5 years time??
Here’s the thing my passion is performing in front of fans so if I’m doing that I’ll be happy for the most part but the dream is always WWE. However if I’m signed with any company making a living off wrestling that would be ok too!
10. Where can the readers follow Travis Banks on social media, have you got an email for promoters to book you on if they are reading this and wish to do so and is there any future dates you wish to plug??
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – Travis_BanksPW
Instagram – Travis_Banks13
Thanks to Travis for taking part in this interview and taking time out of his schedule to complete these, as a thank you please go and support him on social media and there will be more like this coming up only way to find out when they are out is by going to :
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