Bulls pro wrestler a world champ
A Rangitı¯kei pro wrestler has defeated a WWE superstar to become the top talent in the United Kingdom.
Travis Banks, who was raised in Bulls, won a world title shot against WWE UK champion Pete Dunne this month, in front of 2000 screaming fans at Alexandra Palace in London.
The win sees Banks pick up the Progress Wrestling World Champion belt for the first time, after leaving New Zealand eight years ago to pursue his dream of cracking the WWE.
It was an extra special moment for Banks as his parents, Christine and Edward Bligh, were in the crowd.
Christine Bligh, who works at the Bulls BP, and Edward Bligh, a groundsman at the Ohakea Air Force Base, both jumped inside the ring to celebrate with their son post match.
It caps off a meteoric rise to fame on England’s independent wrestling circuit for Banks, who became the first New Zealander to win the UK’S most prestigious title.
Banks’ feud with Dunne had been a long-running storyline, with the two finally clashing headto-head after six months.
Wherever he goes, English supporters have taken to Banks’ exceptional, fast-paced performances, and his battle with Dunne didn’t deviate from the norm.
The previously unbeaten Dunne threw the kitchen sink at Banks, including interruptions from two other wrestlers, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, who tried to distract Banks.
However, a lion clutch finishing manoeuvre spelt the end for Dunne. Effectively a ‘neck breaker’, the move saw Banks wrap both hands around Dunne’s face and pull back, applying pressure to the neck and shoulder.
‘‘He [Dunne] is probably the biggest talent still working in the independent circuit today,’’ Banks said.
‘‘This win for me now means I’m recognised as a world champion and finally, after eight years of hard work, makes me a big name on the independent circuit.’’
There’s no rest for the wicked though. Banks is due to perform in America soon.
‘‘I’m always going to be climbing my way to the top no matter where I go.
‘‘I’ve worked too hard to stop now.’’
Bulls wrestler Travis Banks with his parents Edward and Christine Bligh, who travelled from Bulls to the United Kingdom to watch him win the Progress Wrestling World Championship belt.