Gary Keith Mize (April 29, 1961 – November 23, 2002), best known by his ring name Billy Travis or Billy Joe Travis, was an American professional wrestler who worked primarily in the Southern United States from 1981 until 1998. He is most known for his time in Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) holding several tag team championships over the years.
|Birth name||Gary Keith Mize|
|Born||April 29, 1961|
|Died||November 23, 2002(aged 41)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Billy Travis|
Billy Joe Travis
|Trained by||Dale Mann|
Mize graduated from Madison Central High School in 1979. His mother was Bonnie Todd, who worked for Eastern Kentucky University, and his stepfather was Walter Todd, part owner of a local funeral home in Richmond, Kentucky.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Mize was trained by MWA Championship Wrestling owner and promoter Dale Mann for his professional wrestling career and began working for MWA in 1981 as a face (wrestling term for those that portray the "good guys") known as Billy Travis. As Billy Travis he teamed up with and Mike Mann, forming a tag team known as the Southern Sensations, a team that won the MWA Tag Team Championship.
In 1984 he began working in the Memphis, Tennessee area for the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and later on worked for the World Wrestling Federation, both places gaining experience while losing to established starts. In 1985 he returned to the CWA, working as "Billy Joe Travis", adopting a conceited, egotistical heel ("bad guy") ring character. Travis teamed up with Ron Sexton to form a team known as "Hot Property", the young duo was paired up with veteran Buddy Wayne to act as their manager. Travis also briefly teamed with Norvell Austin during the summer of 1985 as he worked a storyline feud with The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn). In 1986 he started working as a singles wrestler for Texas USA All-Star Wrestling, working storylines opposite Al Madril, Lord Jonathon Boyd and Big Bubba.
In 1987 Travis returned to Memphis, this time with Frank Morell as his mentor. During his stint in the CWA he teamed with another young wrestler, Jeff Jarrett forming a very popular team that won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship three times. He would also win the International Championship from Austin Idol and worked an extended storyline against Phil Hickerson. Travis and a rookie Scott Steiner won the CWA Tag Team Championship twice.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Americas Wrestling Federation (Puerto Rico)
- AWF Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Continental Wrestling Association
- Mountain Wrestling Association
- MWA Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Michael Ray
- Power Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- United States Wrestling Association
- World Wrestling Council
- Texas All-Star Wrestling
- Texas All-Star USA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- "Billy Travis". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 185–189. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Championship Wrestling Association Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "Power Pro Wrestling Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 – 1993: 139 Billy Joe Travis". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. September 23, 1993. p. 42. October 1993.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: UWA Heavyweight Title [Jerry Lawler, Jerry Jarrett]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 198–200. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Memphis: USWA Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 200–202. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (2006). "Puerto Rico: WWC Junior Heavyweight Title [Carlos Colon]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (2006). "Puerto Rico: WWC Tag Team Title [Carlos Colon]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.