WWE Superstar and Man-Mountain Karrion Kross is a former two-time NXT Champion who, along with his wife Scarlett, is just starting a path of destruction on the company's main roster. At 6'4'' and weighing 265 pounds, the New York native sat down with M&F to talk life as a couple on tour, making an impression in the UK and of course: the big WWE Monday Night Raw Show for 30th anniversary.
Karrion Kross is a staple of WWE Monday Night Raw Trivia
Most mat fans will recall that after a killer run in NXT last year, Karrion Kross got off to a shaky start in WWE's roster, losing to the legendary Jeff Hardy in his first match. But fewer people will know that in a great piece of Monday Night Raw-based trivia, this wasn't his first appearance on the long-running show.
In fact, under the moniker Kevin Kross, he had teamed up with Darren Young to face The Ascension in a match way back in 2015. Sure, it was a "blink and you missed it" affair that ended in a no contest in less than two minutes, but after he's continued to hone his craft in the rings of Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling ever since the well-travelled wrestler has fond memories of the day.
"At that time, I was approached to do background work (as an extra) for WWE," says Kross. "I was just backstage and I remember Fit Finlay and William Regal came up to me and they said, 'Hey, we know your work and we have a very simple spot tonight.' I said absolutely. If you have the chance to be there for anything on Monday Night Raw, especially if you're not [signed] With the company you seize these opportunities.”
WWE viewers eventually got to know Kross better as a two-time NXT Champion, so were disappointed to see Kross on the losing side on his return to Raw in 2022 in another short contest, this time against the legendary Jeff Hardy. However, despite his dark on-screen personality, he is able to embrace this experience and use it for future success.
"Despite what people felt about it, it was actually a good day for me," says Kross. “I went in there, it was my birthday, July 19th, and I got a brand new contract. I got a massive raise and it was really cool to be in a locker room with people that I had watched for so many years, people with so much equity in the company. They are my friends to this day. So from a personal point of view, apart from the professional side, it was a very good day.”
Karrion Kross is back with a goal
While Kross disappeared from WWE television screens in 2021, he made a statement by returning in August 2022 at the Clash of the Castle live event in Cardiff, Wales in front of more than 60,000 fans. There he took a seat at the ring with his wife Scarlett to compete with the Brit Drew McIntyre. It was a night he will never forget. "I know we're talking about me here, but I have to say I've never seen anyone live in my life get the crowd reaction that Drew McIntyre has," says Kross. And after gaining insight into the upper echelons of WWE, this warrior understands that success in the larger-than-life world of sports-entertainment is as much about building personality as it is about executing moves in the ring.
"I like to think of Karrion Kross, not really as people," he says. “I like to think of it as a very dark energy in space. "Like if you go somewhere late at night you know you shouldn't be there, like a haunted house or something. You know you shouldn't be there, but you feel like you should stay because you're about to see something you can't see anywhere else! He is the dark energy in space that manifests as a person.”
Karrion Kross appreciates qualified advice
In order to keep his distance and build an established run with WWE, Kross also understands that hearing about some of the legends that have graced Monday Night Raw for the past 30 years is a gift that can't be bought. "Triple H always gives me excellent advice," says the tall man. “Shawn Michaels and guys who are currently on the list. I quite like taking Paul Heyman's brain.” Kross says the “Tribal Chief,” Roman Reigns, was always there to encourage him, and he's also grateful to Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg. "He's a big, tough man who likes to run people over and is very good at it," says Kross. But he's also very confident, and he's really incredibly helpful for information and insight, advice and stuff like that.”
Karrion Cross navigates the WWE with his life partner
Of course, Kross isn't alone on his journey to becoming a WWE Superstar. He is joined to the ring by his real life wife, Scarlett, and this duo really brings out the best in each other. "We hold each other accountable in all situations," says the proud husband. “Sometimes she has to tell me to slow down. Sometimes she says "Hey, you're doing too much and need to rest" and vice versa. We go very hard in everything we do because we're usually engaged in things we love." That powerful relationship was never clearer than in a recent episode of YouTube's "Celtic Warrior Workouts," which featured the duo Sheamus intensive training.
Still, there is one area where the married wrestlers have debates and that relates to finding food on the go. "Well, that's always been a bit of a challenge," Kross laughs. "Scarlett is gluten-free, but the one side we're always on is that we like to stick to whole foods, which is organic, and stuff like that." Luckily, they both love their meat and make it a staple of almost every meal.
With Killer Kross currently making waves on WWE's Friday Night SmackDown and antagonizing Rey Mysterio in the process, he's unlikely to show up live alongside the likes of Undertaker and Ric Flair during Monday Night Raw's 30th Anniversary show in the US -Network. But then again, as they say in WWE: anything can happen. "I could show up anywhere, anytime, anywhere — like always," says Kross.