Travis Banks on overcoming injuries; missing NXT UK TakeOver & carrying New Zealand on his back (Exclusive)
Travis Banks has yet to win a title in NXT UK, or indeed in WWE as a whole, and hasn't wrestled in an NXT UK TakeOver show (admittedly there's only been one). This is a surprise, given that he was the runner up in WWE's United Kingdom Championship Tournament and a former Progress world champion.
There's no denying that Banks was one of the bigger stars on the independent circuit thanks to his 318-day reign as Progress' World Champion for which he currently holds the record for most title defenses for that belt as well.
It looked like Banks was going to replicate that success in NXT UK when he progressed swimmingly through the United Kingdom Championship Tournament beating Ligero, Ashton Smith and Joe Coffey to make it through to the final, where he only narrowly lost to Zack Gibson.
So what happened after that? Why has Banks perhaps not managed to emulate the promise he has shown on the indies? Well, he was sidelined with a dislocated shoulder during the start of NXT UK's television tapings, being written off in a backstage attack angle.
When he returned it looked like Banks was rising to the top again and was due to face Jordan Devlin at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, only to not be cleared to compete due to another injury (unclear if real or kayfabe). Instead, he suffered a 'pre-match beatdown' at the hands of Devlin and was replaced by Finn Balor.
Banks has now gotten over his injury hump and finished his feud with Devlin with a great Falls-Count-Anywhere match and has since gone on to become #1 Contender to the UK Championship, but fail to capitalize on it by recently losing to Walter. Now Banks seems set to finally wrestle at an NXT UK TakeOver with a probable match against Noam Dar.
We caught up with Travis Banks to before the NXT UK Plymouth TV tapings to talk about all of the above, including his injuries, potentially wrestling at an NXT UK TakeOver, wrestling on WWE's other shows and we even talked about the ICC Cricket World Cup Final.
Travis Banks on his feud with Noam Dar and potential TakeOver: Cardiff match
On night one of the NXT UK tapings in Plymouth Noam Dar defeated Ashton Smith and during a post-match in-ring promo arrogantly claimed that he was going to be at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff.
Later on in the night, Travis Banks picked up a win against Kenny Williams and then had a verbal altercation with Noam Dar, who was on the commentary booth. I asked Banks about this altercation.
Banks: "Well, Noam Dar thinks his spot is guaranteed on TakeOver, but I was speaking to General Manager Johnny Saint and he said that wasn't the case at all and you actually have to earn it in this place, just like everyone else. As you know I got taken off of TakeOver: Blackpool and I've really been working hard to get on TakeOver Cardiff so I had a bit of an issue with Noam Dar just thinking he has a guaranteed spot I guess."
Apologies for the kayfabe question to start things off, but I couldn't hear the altercation between Dar and Banks at the tapings so was genuinely interested in what the build was for the feud between these two.
It also almost guarantees that one of the matches that will be added to the card will be Travis Banks Vs. Noam Dar to go alongside Toni Storm Vs. Kay Lee Ray, Walter Vs. Trent Seven and Grizzled Young Vets Vs. Gallus Vs. South Wales Subculture.