Killer Instinct Wiki

Think you got what it takes to beat the champ? Come on!

— TJ Combo's intro quote

Tyler-Johnson Garrett, more commonly known by his ring name, "TJ Combo", is an American boxer and playable character in the Killer Instinct franchise.



In the original Killer Instinct (1994), TJ Combo is depicted as a tall, African-American man with a fairly-muscular physique and short, dark hair. Combo wears a red, white and blue, star-spangled tank top, black shorts with a red belt and red and white-striped socks under his blue and white shoes. His primary weapons are his red boxing gloves.

In Killer Instinct 2, Combo gets some slight changes to his appearance. His tank top is fairly shredded and he now wears long camo pants instead of shorts, along with new American-themed sneakers. He wears an eyepatch over his left eye, a wound he sustained from fighting Riptor, and he has ditched his boxing gloves for hand wraps.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Combo's redesign is more in-line with his original appearance (besides his new goatee) when compared to some of the major design overhauls. He now wears a blue workout shirt with the name of his gym on the front, star-spangled blue shorts, long boxing shoes that go up to his ankles but instead of boxing gloves, he now wears red MMA style fighting gloves with a white star. He no longer wears the eyepatch from KI2/Gold, and both of his upper arms are covered in long scars from the surgeries that removed his cybernetic implants.

TJ Combo's retro costume largely mirrors his KI2 outfit, but with few changes: He has cybernetic implants that are covered with red, white and blue wrist wraps, and he wears an Ultratech Championship belt. His tanktop appears more tattered and his American-themed shoes have been replaced with combat boots. Also, his eyepatch is now blue with a white star, further continuing his All-American-styled appearance in the series.


His moral compass doesn't always point north, but TJ is trying his best to atone for his past mistakes the only way he knows how: Punching things. Hard.

— TJ's story mode description

Described as someone born to win, but hates to lose, TJ Combo is a strong, brash and arrogant man with an unstoppable fighting spirit. Prior to his fall from grace, he was even more cocky than he is presently, but after his humbling defeat at the hands of Ultratech, he was a broken man for many years before finally building up the courage and resolve to fight back. He has to push himself to get back up when he falls, but he realizes that if he doesn’t get back up, he won’t go anywhere at all. Despite his life revolving around seeking fame, fortune and revenge, he recognizes that what is truly important in the battle against Ultratech is saving the world. Overall, TJ is a true example of the undying American spirit, shown heavily in his default costumes, which invoke the simple red, white and blue color scheme.


Combo is quite a skilled, brutal, and agile fighter with his boxing style. In the original universe, his bionic arm implants gave him punching power far beyond the average human and allows him to go toe-to-toe with all kinds of inhuman opponents. In the rebooted universe however, his bionics have been removed in order to help show his true human strength. Also being an MMA fighter, he also has a much more varied moveset than just jabs and punches. He is also still under the effects of an Ultratech serum that helped his body adjust to the bionics years ago, which now allows him to pull off impressive feats of speed and strength. The serum also causes the scars along his arms to glow blue when he is in Instinct Mode.

Killer Instinct[]

Combo in the original KI


TJ Combo was once the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for five years straight. He was stripped of his title for his use of cybernetic enhancements in his arms, he fights to regain his lost fame and fortune.

Extended Story[]

Having to fight his way from a seedy backstreet gym to the world heavyweight title through sheer raw power and aggression, after 5 years at the top T. J. "Combo" Garrett is brought crashing down by his own overwhelming greed. Having blown most of his cash on titanium arm implants to ensure that the title remained his, Combo is stripped of his belt, wealth and public respect when the Ultratech surgeon who performed the operation sells his story to the media. Furious and humiliated, Combo returns to his old ghetto haunts and vows to defy the world at large in reaching the top once more.

Stage: Boxing Gym


With victory in the tournament, Combo has finally achieved his ambition to regain his lost fortune and popular status. Once a nobody from the ghetto, Combo celebrates his win and new found wealth by parading through those same streets. With money and fame at his side, Combo believes he can now achieve anything.

Killer Instinct 2[]

Combo in KI2


After a decisive victory over Riptor in the tournament, Combo attempted to destroy Ultratech HQ. Caught as Ultratech is ripped into the past, Combo must escape home before it is too late.

Extended Story[]

Combo is beginning to wish that he had never seen that tournament bulletin on TV, never succumbed to the wild temptation to use it as a ladder back to the peak of public acclaim. His toughest clash of the contest, in which he only just managed to rid the world of the bestial Riptor, left him hospitalized: on his release, Combo made for Ultratech HQ with a vengeance and was in the process of looting and vandalizing when he was caught up in the temporal chaos…

Stage: Street


Kill Tusk[]

Having won the tournament and vanquish Gargos, Combo knows he can achieve anything. With no challenge remaining in the past Combo returns to the future through a time portal. Strengthened by his experience he vows soon to regain his lost fame and fortune once again.

Don't Kill Tusk[]

Having won the tournament and vanquish Gargos, Combo knows he can achieve anything. Rejected by modern society for cheating, Combo grabs the chance to again win fame in the arena. Staying in the past he puts his fighting skills to work and soon becomes a great champion.

Killer Instinct (2013)[]


To defend his world championship title, TJ resorted to illegal cybernetic implants. When discovered, he was stripped of his title and his world crumbled. Determined to prove himself and regain glory, TJ rips out his cybernetics and returns to the fight.

Extended Story []

Glory Days:

Main article: Glory Days

Shadow Lords[]

Prehistoric Predator

(1/1) - before fighting Riptor

Some slithering little dino has been trailing TJ Combo for the past few days. TJ doesn't know what Ultratech is up to this time, but he isn't about to start caring, either. After defeating Riptor, TJ remarks: "Like she had some 20 year old grudge, or something..."


Main article: Downtown Demolition

During an Ultra Combo, a train will collapse through the road-rail bridge and crashes near the stage. During the slow music due to characters not moving, the sample of his classic theme, "Yo Check This Out!", and his remixed classic theme, "Street" will play. His stage music also has samples of "Freeze" and his conclusion dynamic theme has different variations of the conclusion themes of "Yo Check This Out!", "Freeze", and "Street" if no Ultras were performed.

Stage ULTRA - WRECKED: During an Ultra Combo, the victor would send his/her defeated opponent in the air, causing the wrecking ball to hit the defeated opponent, sending him/her flying towards the "TJ Combo Boxing" sign, and explodes on impact.


I took the easy route, once. It got me fame, fortune, and glory... but it was all hollow. When I fell, I fell hard. I lost everything. But I'm back now and this time I'm doing it right. And don't think for a moment that I'll let anything get in my way. Cause if you give me that moment... I win!

— TJ Combo in his trailer

Pft! Is that the best you got, Ultratech?

— TJ right before he gets bodied by Cinder in the latter's teaser trailer

Watchu got?

— Combo's taunt

Right here!

— Combo's taunt

I ain't done!

— Instinct activation quote

Eat it!

— TJ's victory quote in Killer Instinct (1994)


— TJ Combo's victory quote in Killer Instinct (2013)

You've got a lot of talent, man. Why are you always hiding from the camera?

— TJ speaking to Tusk during the events of Shadow Lords

Like she had some 20 year old grudge, or something...

— Combo after defeating Riptor in Shadow Lords


  • Combo's character profile for Killer Instinct 2 states that TJ had a "decisive victory over Riptor in the tournament". This indicates that TJ Combo killed Riptor in Killer Instinct (1994), leading to Riptor's absence from the cast in KI2. This also explains the eyepatch that Combo wears in KI2 (and also in his KI 2013 retro custome), as Riptor likely ripped TJ's eye out during their fight.
    • This in-universe factoid is referenced in KI 2013 during Shadow Lords when, while playing as Combo, the player suddenly is attacked by the real Riptor. After defeating the dinosaur, TJ will say: "Like she had some 20 year old grudge, or something..."
  • Despite being a signature character of the original Killer Instinct (1994), TJ didn't return in Killer Instinct (2013) until its Season Two. He has also become one of the weaker or understated heroes in the KI universe, having no magical or mystical power, blessed weapon, ancient origin, or a higher purpose like the rest of the characters. A possible explanation is that Combo was originally envisioned by Rareware to be KI's archtypical "strong man" in 1994, but with several other characters now also filling this role, TJ's design has become dated and he was kept as a legacy character to complete the original roster.
  • In Killer Instinct (2013), TJ Combo can be customized to look like the character Kick from Iron Galaxy's game Divekick.
  • During TJ's intro and victory animations, crowd noises and a boxing bell can be heard. Also, it was stated by the developers that each time Combo rises from a knockdown, a bell can be heard.
  • In his Hunter Gear, TJ Combo bears a resemblence to the Marvel comics superhero Blade.


Killer Instinct (2013)[]

Killer Instinct Comics[]

External Links[]