Travis Jonathan Nicholson (born April 28, 1992) is an American CAW wrestler, better known by his abbreviated ring name TJ Nicholson. Currently signed to FORCE, New-NAW and Omega Pro Wrestling, Nicholson regularly appears in other promotions as well.
FORCE Wrestling (2018-present)
Nicholson made his first FORCE appearance at the promotion's debut show, Gold Rush, and took part in an eight-man single elimination tournament to determine the inaugural FORCE World Champion. He defeated Hayden Matthews in the first round, but was eliminated by eventual tournament winner Steve Rourke in the semi-finals. Shortly afterwards, it was announced Nicholson had signed a five year contract with the promotion. At Second Coming, Nicholson faced off against his former ASJ mentor and rival Hajime Suzuki, finally defeating him after failing to do so in their two previous encounters.
New-NAW (2014, 2018-present)
Nicholson made a guest appearance at New-NAW Wrestlefest challenging for the New-NAW Hardcore Championship in a 20-man Battle Royal but came up short. At New-NAW Aggression, Nicholson made his official debut by helping former OPW tag partner Norm Dailey defeat Monty Brown for the Intercontinental Championship. It was revealed he had joined The Crusade. Nicholson however was soon released from his contact due to prior commitments with ASJ and OPW that prevented him from appearing in New-NAW as scheduled.
In June 2018, Nicholson returned to New-NAW, representing OPW in a 8-man over-the-top-rope elimination match. He was fairly quickly eliminated by fellow rising OPW star, Bart Balousek. A few days later, New-NAW management confirmed on their official Twitter page that Nicholson had signed a new contract in co-operation with OPW officials to ensure no scheduling issues would arise again.
Nicholson made his official New-NAW re-debut on Page 17, defeating fellow newcomer Al Cabrera in a match that was praised as an instant classic. The two faced off again at Page 19 in a fatal four way match that also involved Mike Valander and Nick Gemini. Nicholson went on to win the match by pinning Gemini after a Cutrope. At Chapter 5, Nicholson was involved in an another four-way, this time an elimination match for the newly created Mountain Range Championship. Nicholson out lasted OPW rival Joe Omega and CAW legend Tyler King, but was eventually rolled up and pinned by Butch Simpson.
Following New-NAW being split into two brands, Nicholson was assigned to the West brand. On Page 21, he faced off against Mike Valander but was defeated after Valander hit Nicholson in the eyes.
Omega Pro Wrestling (2013-present)
It was reported in early 2013, that Nicholson had signed a short time contract with OPW, a CAW company owned by Joe Omega. In his first match in OPW, he defeated his long time idol CM Punk due to an interference by The Undertaker. Later, he was the special referee in a Hell in the Cell match between the two of them at OPW Absolute Zero, which was won by The Undertaker.
Soon, Nicholson became the first ever OPW TV Champion, but the title was deactivated soon after, and at the same time he suffered a strained achilles tendon against Rain Lopez and went out with an injury.
In June 2013, it was rumored that Nicholson would make his re-debut in OPW sometime soon. The month after, it was reported he had signed a new contract with the company. He finally returned on the August 6th episode of OPW Warzone to take part in the Death or Glory series and beat Mick Foley on his first match back. On the first episode of OPW Superstars, Nicholson had a match against John Depp but lost via submission. He was then injured again and was scheluded to be out of action for approx. 6 months again.
Nicholson re-debuted in OPW on December 1, 2013 to fight Rey Mysterio. He viciously attacked Mysterio on the outside before defeating him via pinfall. On OPW Red on December 4, Nicholson saved Norm Dailey from an attack by Bray Wyatt, forming a tag team with Dailey. At OPW Wrestlemania, the team took part in a tag team gauntlet for the Tag Team Championships and survived until the end, before being defeated by the Dudley Boyz.
On OPW's Red second season premiere, Nicholson took part in the main event to determine the number one contender to the OPW Championship. Even eliminating John Cena, he was a part of the final two but was eliminated by Batista. Two days later it was announced online that he would face CM Punk in a number one contenders match at OPW Backlash, the winner of this match would win #1 contendership to the major championship of their brand.
On Superstars on December 19, Nicholson defeated the Legends Champion Razor Ramon in a non-title match. He got a title match for the championship on Kryptonite the following day, but Ramon was able to retain. He then took on a rivalry with CM Punk, which culminated at Backlash at a number one contenders match for the OPW title, which Punk won. Nicholson then had brief encounters with European Champion Seth Rollins, and they were supposed to face for the belt at Judgement Day. However, before the match started, Nicholson was attacked by Roman Reigns and in kayfabe, injured. Out of storyline, he wanted to take time off OPW. Despite him being out of action, he was voted the Breakout Star at OPW's first anniversary show in February 2014.
Against the system
Nicholson returned to OPW on April 22 to take part in the King of the Ring tournament. In the first round, he defeated Sheamus and advanced to the next round. There, he would defeat Crystal 1 via count-out and advance to the semi-finals. The rest of the tournament took place at the namesake pay-per-view, where Nicholson would first beat Seth Rollins to advance to the final round. There, he would ultimately defeat the winner of the first King of the Ring tournament Norm Dailey, and was crowned King of the Ring. A few weeks later, he was arbitrarily forced to defend the crown on Episode 120, inside a steel cage against John Cena. Cena would win the crown from Nicholson, who was then attacked by the Crusade, Nicholson turning face in the process.
Treating Nicholson unfairly would continue in the following episodes. He would manage to beat Victor by submission, but after the match his SummerSlam opponent was announced to be Brock Lesnar. Lesnar attacked Nicholson and knocked him out with three F5's. At SummerSlam, with a little help from the Undertaker, Nicholson beat Lesnar in an epic match. The Authority continued to put him in impossible situations and soon, he faced John Cena again. Nicholson beat Cena by disqualification after Cena hit him with the steel steps. After the match, Triple H attacked Nicholson with his signature sledgehammer, before hitting him with a Pedigree. He was then added as the sixth participant to the 6-man Hell in a Cell match for the OPW Championship at Absolute Zero 2 - this being his first ever world title opportunity. Triple H announced that this way he would make sure Nicholson never walks again.
A couple of weeks later on July 15, Nicholson defeated the Intercontinental Champion Shawn Dynasty in a non-title match. On the next episode, he was defeated by one of the participants of his upcoming Hell in a Cell match, The Rock. At Absolute Zero 2, Nicholson lost as champion Chris Jericho retained the OPW Championship. At OPW Royal Rumble 2, Nicholson entered at number 38, and went on to win the Rumble match. The following night on Episode 140, he beat Randy in a steel cage match. A few weeks later, he interrupted Triple H's rant and as a result, Nicholson was banned from wrestling in OPW until High Octane 2, where he would have to defend his Wrestlemania main event match contract - that he earned by winning the Royal Rumble - against Batista. At High Octane, Nicholson beat Batista in a Last Man Standing match to keep his Wrestlemania spot.
At the following episode on October 18, TJ was attacked backstage by Cyrus Perizma, in an effort to make him unable to wrestle at Wrestlemania 2, in the title match that also would include Perizma's friend John Depp. On November 1, at Wrestlemania 2, Nicholson defeated Brock Lesnar and John Depp to become the OPW Champion, winning his first world championship. However, only one minute later, Mr. Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan, cashed in his contract and ended Nicholson's reign before it properly started. A few weeks later on November 11th, Nicholson announced that he would take time off OPW. He was confronted by Triple H, who immediately put Nicholson into a match against Ace Justice. Nicholson lost to Justice, and after the show, he told the press that he would stay away for a rather long time.
In January 2015, at OPW Overhaul, Nicholson returned after the match between OPW Champion Daniel Bryan and Norm Dailey, but was then attacked by the debuting Diablous. In his first match back, Nicholson was beaten by Norm Dailey. A week later, Nicholson fought JDP in an Extreme Rules match, a match that Nicholson won. Soon after, Nicholson's contract with OPW expired. He made a special appearance on OPW television on September 27, losing to the debuting Krow. Afterwards, Nicholson stated he would like to return to OPW full time in the near future. However, Nicholson soon announced his official departure from the promotion.
In May 2018, Nicholson made his unannounced return to OPW at Warzone, easily defeating Cyrus Perizma. The next day, Nicholson stated he had signed a non-exclusive "multi-year, multi-million contract", although the accuracy of this announcement has yet to be confirmed by OPW officials.
After being permanently drafted to Warzone, Nicholson joined forces with Devon Erik, Neville and Viktor Armada to form Los Proscritos. The group took part in a four-on-four tag team match, winning after Nicholson eliminated all of their opponents by himself. The following week, Nicholson suffered his first loss after returning, getting pinned by Diablous in singles competition. Nicholson then faced Norm Dailey in a losing effort. The next week, Nicholson took part in a six-man over-the-top battle royal and made it into the final two, but was ultimately eliminated by Seth Rollins.
At OPW Overhaul 2, Nicholson unsuccessfully challenged Diablous for the All-Asia Championship. It was later reported Nicholson worked through the match with an undisclosed shoulder injury, which would keep him out of action for a short period of time.
Extreme Society Wrestling (2014)
Nicholson made his debut in EWS on October 14 at Breakcodes 4. He defeated Josh Thorn via submission in a quick match.
All Star Japan (2013-2017)
Nicholson made an appearance at All Star Japan in 2013 on December 2, at ASJ Kings of Puroresu. There he would challenge Hajime Suzuki for the ASJ World Championship, but lost. Nearly a year later on October 16, Nicholson wrestled a tag team match at ASJ Road to Bunka no Hi. The match saw him team up with KAKE against the stable of John Porter and Tajumi Sosa. Nicholson's team was victorious when TJ made Porter submit to a cross armbar. Nicholson wrestled an another match at ASJ's supershow on October 21, defeating Porter with a top rope Face Foetal. On January 3 at New Year Combat 2015, he lost to KAKE in a singles match. Nicholson would then return to ASJ on December 5 to defeat Shinichi Mouri. At ASJ's final event in 2017 on July 2, Nicholson faced off against Hajime Suzuki once more in a losing effort.
Nicholson debuted on the first episode of New-NXT in August 2013. He defeated Austin Aries by pinfall, but after the match he got a low blow from Aries. On the following episode, he was defeated by Joe Omega after Aries tossed a chair to Omega while the referee was distracted. Nicholson and Aries were scheduled for a match the next week, but the federation was defunct before then due to financial issues.
A second generation wrestler, Nicholson is the oldest son of Finnish-American CAW wrestling legend Tommy "Thunder" Nicholson. Nicholson's younger brother Edward and cousin Andrew are both wrestlers as well. Nicholson has been engaged to an English actress named Cheryl since 2015, with whom he resides in Los Angeles.
Nicholson was born left handed, but is gradually considered ambidextrous. Alongside with English, he is fluent in Finnish, Swedish and French.
Although straight edge in his youth, Nicholson has later dropped the habit. He notes Scotch whisky as his favorite, owning shares in the Laphroaig brand. Nicholson takes great pride in a sophisticated lifestyle, presenting himself as a professional in and outside the ring.
Nicholson is a fan of both classic and electronic rock music, as well as soft metal, jazz and country. He enjoys action and western films, claiming Die Hard and Once Upon a Time in the West as his favorite movies. Nicholson is also a self-proclaimed sports fanatic, and cites rock climbing as one of his favorite past-times. He especially closely follows ice hockey, supporting both his hometown NHL team Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings.
- Finishing moves
- Bone Through (Back-to-back double underhook piledriver) - 2014-present
- Face Foetal (Fireman's carry cutter) - 2012-2015; used as a signature move thereafter
- Hailstone (Front facelock cutter)
- Nicholson Deathlock (Arm-trap crossface)
- Signature moves
- Avalanche (Slingblade)
- Cutrope (Jumping reverse bulldog)
- Emerald flowsion
- Frog splash - adopted from Tommy Thunder
- Multiple suplex variations
- German, sometimes rolling or transitioned from a back
- Lifted and dropped into a knee strike
- Rolling snap
- Sitout slam
- Nigel (Pendulum lariat)
- Pikes Peak (Springboard forearm smash, often to the outside)
- Sixth Sense (Spider suplex from the top rope, often followed by a frog splash)
- Superkick, often off a faint leg feed
- Tiger Driver '92 (Kneeling double underhook release powerbomb)
- Entrance themes
- "Move" by Thousand Foot Krutch (July 2013 - November 2013)
- "I Don't Wanna Stop" by Ozzy Osbourne (November 2013 - November 2014)
- "Ultranumb" by Blue Stahli (November 2014 - present)