For me, Combo was an immediately likeable character in the first Killer Instinct. I usually identify with "martial artists" in fighting games... and pugilists count as well. In every way, he seemed like a "legit" fighter and reminded me of Mike Tyson (who I was a fan of).
though some 90's arcade noobs would call T.J. a "Balrog rip-off"
(notably because of how he uses charge up moves), Combo still has a uniquely cool, "dirty boxing" fighting style of his own. He's also got a tough guy personality, which is comical at times. In KI2, he also became the first
fighting game character to
pull out a machine gun and bust some caps... lmao. What a jerk.
Combo was actually my original main in Killer Instinct... I
put many tokens into that arcade machine and Ultra-combo'd many opponents (or went with the Ultimate if I was feeling lazy). Combo was no doubt a memorable character in KI / KI2 / KI Gold and had a cool aura about him... but honestly, I didn't like his KI 2013 incarnation, at all. The "spirit" of the design seems lost, IMO. He
doesn't seem as cool (or as thick) anymore. The dude in KI2013 looks like a TJ Combo cosplayer, or just seems like a washed up version. Not a fan of the mustache / goatee either (he ain't
Dudley). Needless to say, TJ's best appearances were in the earlier games.