Just two years after making his pro wrestling debut, Travis “Flip” Gordon now finds himself competing on an international stage against the best wrestlers on the planet.
The innovative high-flyer was one of the hottest free agents in the sport when he signed a contract with ROH this past May.
ROHWrestling.com caught up with Gordon recently for an exclusive interview.
ROH: You obviously had offers from other pro wrestling companies. Why did you sign with ROH?
FG: One of the reasons I signed with Ring of Honor is because I had already been there and I knew what the process was. It was about comfortability. But it also was about the competition. I honestly think ROH has the best competition, especially with the partnerships with CMLL and New Japan Pro Wrestling in addition to the talent that is strictly signed to Ring of Honor. There’s so much talent in this company that I can learn from.
ROH: What made you want to pursue a career in pro wrestling and how did you break in?
FG: It’s been my dream ever since I was a little kid. I remember watching wrestling as a kid with my cousins and my uncle. I remember my cousins powerbombing me on the bed. One time my cousin put me through a coffee table (laughs). When I was about 10 or 11, that’s when I knew that this is what I wanted to do. Living in the Northwest, there’s not much professional wrestling there, so I looked at it as, “What can I do now to prepare myself?” So I got into amateur wrestling in high school and junior high. I got into theater. I got into MMA. And I did gymnastics as well, because I knew all of those things would help me. When I was eventually ready to take that leap of faith and pursue this dream, I loaded up my truck and drove across the country to the East Coast to start training.
ROH: For fans who may be unfamiliar with you, how would you describe your in-ring style?
FG: I’d say I have a very unique style and it’s a hybrid style. I definitely wouldn’t say I’m just a straight high-flyer or a flippy guy. I feel like I’ve learned so many different styles and have integrated them together. I really watched a lot of Eddie Guerrero and luchadors growing up, and I’ve tried to make up my own moves to help me stand out. I always try to incorporate my dance moves because I used to be a break-dancer as well. I try to do things that people have never seen before.
ROH: You attended the ROH tryout camp last January. What was that experience like?
FG: It was a great experience. I think everybody interested in becoming a pro wrestler should attend at least one. I learned so much just from those two days.
ROH: Did you get the vibe during the camp that you were impressing ROH officials?
FG: I didn’t -- not until literally the last 10 minutes of the camp. After you have your last match at the camp, all the trainers give a yes or no as to whether they could see you on (ROH) TV in your own segment. I got two yeses -- from Christopher Daniels and Delirious. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I remember growing up watching Christopher Daniels on TV, so it was kind of surreal for him to say yes to me. I was almost in awe, but I was very happy because that meant they could actually see me with this company.
ROH: Since signing with ROH you’ve had singles matches against Frankie Kazarian and Jonathan Gresham. Even though you came out on the losing end of both, were you able to take anything positive away from them?
FG: Oh, 100 percent. It was a great learning experience. Jonathan Gresham has wrestled in I think a dozen countries, and obviously Frankie Kazarian is a veteran in this business. Just being in there with them was a learning experience in itself. The match against Frankie Kazarian was one of the best matches I’ve ever had in my career.
ROH: You’re still an active member of the Army National Guard. What motivated you to enlist?
FG: The reason I enlisted is because of my best friend. He talked me into it. I almost didn’t do it at first but I’m very glad I changed my mind. I’ve learned so many things. It’s definitely been a big part of my life over the past five years. They’ve worked with me with my wrestling career very well and been very supportive.
ROH: Any final message for ROH fans?
FG: The past two years have really been me just trying to figure out who I am as a professional wrestler and as a person, and I think now that I’m at the next level, it’s just going to be that much greater, and I’m really excited for them to be on this ride with me. And I’m very excited for them to see what I am capable of doing. I just hope they take it easy on me and hang in there, because I know sometimes ROH fans can be a little rough (laughs). Give me a chance and I promise I won’t let you down.