- Travis Tomko
height=6 ft. 7 in. (198 cm)
weight=294 lb. (131 kg)
birth_date=birth date and age|1976|3|23
St. Augustine, Florida
Tombstone, Arizona Jacksonville, Florida
Jim Cornetteciteweb|url=http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/t/tomko.html|accessdate=2008-08-31|title=Tomko profile|publisher=Online World of Wrestling]
OVW Training staff
Travis David Tomkociteweb|url=http://www.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/tomko.html|accessdate=2008-07-12|title=Tomko Bio|publisher=SLAM! sports] (born
March 23, 1976), better known by his ring names, Tyson Tomko and Tomko is an American professional wrestler. Tomko has held tag teamchampionships in three promotions. He works for Total Nonstop Action Wrestlingon a semi-regular basis without a contract.
Prior to his wrestling debut, Tomko served as a
bodyguardto nu metalband Limp Bizkit. He appeared in their 2000 music videofor "My Generation" and was thanked in the booklet to their album, " Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water".Fact|date=July 2008
World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–2006)
Tomko was signed to a
World Wrestling Entertainment(WWE) developmental contract in April 2002 and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling(OVW) to sharpen his skills.
While in OVW he was a member of the Disciples of Synn stable and along with stablemate Seven captured the
OVW Southern Tag Team Championship, on March 5, 2003, though they lost them less than a month later to The Acolytes Protection Agency.citeweb|url=http://www.solie.org/titlehistories/ovsttnwa.html|accessdate=2008-06-21|last=Dupree|first=Jim|title=NWA - NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE NWA OHIO VALLEY WRESTLING SOUTHERN TAG TEAM TITLE HISTORY|publisher=Solie]
In July 2003, Tomko began working
dark matches for the " WWE Raw" brand. He made his television debut on the April 19 2004 "Raw", in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, interfering in a Christian vs. Chris Jerichomatch on Christian's behalf and helping him pick up the win. His gimmick was that of "The Problem Solver", and acting as an "enforcer for hire" for Christian and his kayfabe girlfriend Trish Stratusin their feud with Chris Jericho. His singles matches were few and far between; his main goal was ensuring victory for his clients, usually by interfering.
When Christian suffered a (legit) back injury, Tomko continued to stand by Stratus and aid her in gaining an advantage in feuds against Jericho, Victoria, and Steven Richards, among others. The duo occasionally paired together for mixed tag team matches. Upon Christian's return, Tomko immediately paired with him again, filling the same role as before. Following the on-screen split between Stratus and Christian, Tomko remained Christian's enforcer.
His gimmick eventually evolved into that of a straight man to Christian's over-the-top character with delusions of grandeur, and Tomko could often be seen on camera shaking his head in disbelief at the situations Christian had put them in with his braggadocio. Possibly the most famous incident of this was at the 2005 Royal Rumble event, during Christian's rapper feud with
John Cena; Christian asked Tomko to give him a beat, and Tomko responded "No".
The duo also wrestled as a
tag teamon occasion, sometimes aligning themselves with Edge as well. Whenever the duo acted alongside Edge, fans considered Tomko a third party to the occasional reunion of Edge and Christian, often jobbing in six-man tag matches.
In June 2005, Edge, Christian and Tomko joined forces with
Eric Bischoffin his crusade against Extreme Championship Wrestling(ECW). They were separated on June 30 when Christian was drafted to "SmackDown!".
Now on his own, Tomko was pushed as a "monster heel", winning singles matches against many jobbers by (
kayfabe) knock outafter hitting a big boot to the back of the head. On "Raw", he knocked out both World Tag Team Champions, Rosey and The Hurricane. His winning streak ended after he was pinned by John Cenaon "Raw" two weeks in a row.
Tomko then went on to form a tag team with Snitsky and although the two worked well together they weren't given much of a push. On April 3, 2006 Tomko quit WWE on good terms. He then began work in Japan.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2006–2008)
Tomko debuted in
New Japan Pro Wrestling(NJPW) shortly after receiving his release, participating in a tournament for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which had been vacated by Brock Lesnar. On March 11 2007 Tomko and Giant Bernard defeated Manabu Nakanishiand Takao Ōmorito win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.citeweb|url=http://www.solie.org/titlehistories/ttiwgp.html|accessdate=2008-06-21|last=Duncan|first=Royal|title=I.W.G.P. - NEW JAPAN INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX I.W.P.G. TAG TEAM TITLE HISTORY|publisher=Solie]
Tomko was released early in March 2008 after NJPW decided not to renew his contract. NJPW were struggling financially and could not afford to keep him going. They did however, resign his tag team partner Giant Bernard.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2006–Present)
On the November 23 2006 episode of "
TNA Impact!", Tomko made his debut in a run-in during a NWA World Heavyweight Championshipnumber one contender's match between Christian Cage and Sting, attacking Sting and siding with Cage, once again acting as Christian's enforcer.
On the January 11 2007 episode of "Impact!", Tomko went one on one against NWA World Heavyweight Champion Abyss in a non-title match. To avoid interference,
Jim Cornettelocked Christian in a cage, and also had Kurt Angleat ringside. During the bout, Angle got into a brawl with Samoa Joe, leaving Cage to release him. The next week on Impact he beat Samoa Joe for a chance (not yet announced) for an NWA title shot against Cage.
On March 8th edition of Impact!,
Christian's Coalitionlost to Kurt Angle, Rhino and Samoa Joe by DQ after interference from Abyss who Black Hole slammed Angle.
At Destination X, while getting out of the limo onto the black and blue carpet, Christian Cage received a telegram from Tomko stating that Tomko was in Japan and would come back if Cage would give him a title shot. Once Tomko returned from Japan, Christian Cage offered Tomko a spot on Team Cage at Lockdown 2007, but Tomko said he wouldn't choose a team until he got a title shot at the
NWA World Heavyweight Championship. It ended up being that Jim Cornettecame out and said that the main event on Impact! that night would be one member from Team Cage fighting one member from Team Angle. Whichever team member won, Tomko would go to the team the member was from. It would be Abyss from Team Cage fighting Kurt Angle from Team Angle. In the end, Kurt Angle won by pinfall, but after the match, Tomko signed on to Team Cage instead of Team Angle, making him the final member of Team Cage to fight Team Angle at Lockdown 2007 along with Abyss, A.J. Styles, Scott Steiner, and Christian Cage. A match was held to see who would go into the cage first. It would be a match between Samoa Joe and Styles, Jeff Jarrettinterfered to become the 5th member of team Angle. Tomko entered that match as the 3rd member, and was successful, until being gored through the cage door. In the end Jeff Jarret hit Abyss with a guitar full of tacks, and Sting got the pin.
On the following episode of TNA Impact!, Tomko took part in Team Cage's brutal exorcism and beatdown of Abyss for being a liability to the team's success after Abyss and Cage failed to win the
NWA World Tag Team Championshipfrom Team 3D. One week later, Tomko and Scott Steiner were given a tag team title shot of their own, but failed thanks to botched interference from LAX. At TNA Sacrifice 2007, Tomko and Steiner met LAX and 3D in a three-way match for the title, but failed again.
After this loss,
Rick Steinerdebuted in TNA, and helped Scott beat down Tomko. Tomko remained in what was from then on once again known as Christian's Coalition, once again focused on aiding Cage. Some friction did set in after Cage cost Tomko his May 31, 2007 King of the Mountain qualifying match by distracting him with a chair. Tomko had been placed in the match vs. fellow Coalition member A.J. Styles because original contestant Jeff Jarrett no-showed (due to his wife's death). Christian was able to convince Tomko to continue on as his ally, which later came in handy as Tomko would go on to do much of the brunt work in the Coalition's feud against the returned Abyss and Sting, though he would be twice pinned by Abyss at PPVs after taking a Black Hole Slam each time. However, the Coalition finally avenged these losses with another bloody beatdown of Abyss which also featured the laying-out of Sting on the July 26 "Impact!"
On the PPV that followed (Hard Justice), Tomko, along with A.J. and Christian, had taken part in a "Doomsday Chamber of Blood Match", which Abyss picked a week after winning the contract to make it. The match was a barbed-wire six sides of steel cage match in which the objective was to make an opponent bleed and pin that opponent. The Coalition was able to lock Sting out for a while, but after he appeared in the ring, Tomko would be the first man busted open. After a long match, Christian would escape the cage, and Styles was pinned by Abyss. At No Surrender 2007 he and
A.J. Styleswon a 10-tag team gauntlet match to win title shots at Bound For Glory. At Bound for Glory on October 14, A.J. Styles and Tomkowon the TNA World Tag Team Championshipfrom Team Pacman.citeweb|url=http://www.tnawrestling.com/content/view/218/84/|accessdate=2008-06-21|title=TNA official title history|publisher=TNA Wrestling]
Styles and Tomko defeated Latin American Exchange on the November 1 edition of "Impact!" to retain the TNA Tag Team title. A.J. and Tomko's success led to some uncertainty within the Coalition, causing Tomko to ask Christian what the chain of command was. Christian said that when he wasn't around, it was A.J. - disappointing Tomko. AJ would go on to make some foolish decisions without Tomko's advice or help, starting with a take-down match against Scott Steiner that night. The last major choice A.J. Styles made for the Coalition was to join forces with Kurt Angle, forming the
Angle Allianceat TNA Genesis 2007 by assisting Angle in retaining his TNA World Heavyweight Championship. This plan quickly fell apart, as Christian and Kurt could not cooperate, leaving them to fight over A.J. Styles and Tomko. The tension between Christian and Kurt would make AJ doubt himself, and he'd often turn to Tomko for advice, which Tomko would not give, telling A.J. that he got into this mess himself since he was the one in charge. Tomko's continued distancing of himself from both groups would lead him to separate from the Alliance two weeks before Final Resolution on an episode of "Impact!", stating that from now on he works for Tomko.
A.J. Stylesdefeated Kevin Nashand Samoa Joeto retain the TNA World Tag Team Championshipat Final Resolution. When A.J. interfered on behalf of Kurt Angle to help him retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championshipagainst Christian Cage, staying with the Angle Allianceand turning his back on Cage, Tomko was not present with him, leaving both Christian and Kurt Angle, staying true to his word.
The January 1
TNA Impact!clarified Tomko's new outlook. While A.J. worried about Christian's wrath in Kurt Angle's dressing room, Tomko explained to him that he's on his own. Later in an interview, Tomko said A.J. got himself into the situation - matter of fact, he created it - and that Tomko knew it was no-win, generally stayed out of it, and now is making his own decisions. That same night, Tomko had his first singles match since becoming independent against an injured ( kayfabe) Shark Boy, who he quickly squashed. [cite web| url = http://www.gerweck.net/news/1200032786.shtml | title = January 10 iMPACT Results| date = 2008-01-10| quote = Recap of the January 10 iMPACT Results] [cite web| url = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5lo95KC1A0 | title = Video Recap of the January 10 iMPACT| date = 2008-01-10| quote = At second 31, footage of Tomko's match against Shark Boy showing the three moves he uses to end the match.]
Tomko later cost Christian the world title, then reluctantly aligned with Kurt Angle, following A.J.'s example so they could stay partners - with no intention of being a team player to the point of becoming a lapdog again. He has also grown to become frustrated with A.J.'s constant attraction to
Karen Angle, claiming it's hurting the team's focus and even exploding on A.J. on an episode of Impact.
At the 2008 "Lockdown" PPV, Tomko was captain of his own team in the Lethal Lockdown match, though his team lost to Team Cage after Rhino pinned
James Storm. The following episode of Impact, Styles and Tomko lost the TNA Tag Team Titles to Eric Young and Kaz in controversial fashion relating to Young's alter-ego of "Super Eric". This resulted in the titles being vacated and put on the line in a tournament at Sacrifice, which was won by the Latin American Xchange.Following the tournament, Tomko returned from a (kayfabe) injury suffered in Japan, and expressed unhappiness towards A.J. for participating in the tournament with Super Eric, whom was responsible for their title loss in the first place. A.J., in turn, expressed frustration over having to follow others for the past months and wanted to break out on his own. Following that, Tomko wished A.J. the best of luck and officially disbanded their tag team.
Tomko continued to act as Kurt Angle's henchman, notably harassing
Karen Angleon the debut of her interview segment "Karen's Angle" on the July 31st edition of "Impact." He was then scheduled to feud with Matt Morgan but the program was cut short when Tomko parted ways with TNA in late July of 2008, with reports circulating that he was unhappy with management. His final television appearance was on the August 7th edition of "Impact" in an 8 man gauntlet in which he was pinned by Samoa Joe.
Tomko has since returned to TNA in late August. Tomko had planned on working regularly for the
Inoki Genome Federationin Japan but they have canceled many of their upcoming shows. He appeared as the third of 3 challengers to Samoa Joeas a part of the Kevin Nashchallenge, his first appearance in a semi-regular non-contractual capacity with TNAFact|date=September 2008.
*Finishing and signature moves
**Running arched big boot, sometimes to the back of the head – WWE; Used as a regular move in TNA
**Torture rack neckbreaker
**Military press lift dropped into press slam or a fallaway slam
**Running or a standing clothesline
**Senton bomb – NJPW
**Spinning side slam
*With Giant Bernard or
**"Magic Killer" (NJPW) / "Tornado–Plex" (TNA) (Aided whiplash) [cite web|url = http://www.puroresucentral.com/moves4/MagicKiller.wmv|title = Magic Killer|date =2007-10-14|quote = Giant Bernard, tag-team signature moves]
*Wrestlers managed by Tomko
**The Problem Solver
**The Insurance Policy
Championships and accomplishments
New Japan Pro Wrestling
IWGP Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Giant Bernard
G1 Climax Tag League(2007) – with Giant Bernard
Ohio Valley Wrestling
OVW Southern Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Seven
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
**PWI ranked him #76 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2004. [citeweb|url=http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi50004.htm|accessdate=2008-07-12|title=Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 2004|publisher=Wrestling Information Archive]
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
TNA World Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with A.J. Styles(Longest reign)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
**Worst Worked Match of the Year (2004) vs.
Stevie Richardsat Unforgiven 2004
Tomko's tattoos reference Egyptian symbols and his Blackfoot Native heritage. They took around 120 hours to complete. He is a married father of one, but little is known of his family as he tends to keep his private life to himself.
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