WWE reaches out to a ‘Killer’ former NXT standout after all
When former NXT standout Dakota Kai returned to the WWE Universe at SummerSlam, it signified a pretty big changing of the guard for a company defined by sticking to their ways even when they’ve become incredibly stagnant.
Not only did it signify a pretty big change in the company’s booking philosophy, as Mr. McMahon really liked the idea of Becky Lynch being a heel and reportedly wasn’t as into the idea of a Bayley-led trio, but it also marked the first time a released NXT star came back to the company and was elevated onto a RAW and/or SmackDown role under the company’s new creative lead, Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Here’s what Sean Ross Sapp had to say on debut watched ’round the world, as per Ringside News.
If it wasn’t obvious, this new stable is a product of the new WWE regime. We’ve heard that the stable was actually pitched quite a while ago — before Dakota’s release — and Vince McMahon rejected it. There were other versions pitched that included Raquel and Kay Lee Ray before they got called up and repackaged, respectively.
Factor in Tommaso Ciampa’s elevation from The Miz’s Minion – a Mizion, if you will – to Bobby Lashley’s next challenger for RAW’s United States Championship, and things are looking very good indeed for former members of NXT now looking to make waves on the main roster, but if recent reports are of any indication, Levesque might not be done just yet. No, if Fightful Select is correct, another former NXT Champion may soon be back on WWE television with an actual creative plan for his future.
Vince: "I watched this great flick called Gladiator! It had characters! I LOVE CHARACTERS. We need a gladiator on Raw. NOW!"
Vince spies Karrion Kross who happens to walk past his office door.
Vince: "KARRRRRION!!!!!!" pic.twitter.com/FbSAA4fTN5
— The Dekker Dane (@DekkerDane) August 24, 2021
WWE may soon have a “Killer” new addition.
When Triple H was announced as the new creative lead for all of WWE creative, it generated obvious names that fans wanted to see back in The Fed, be that with RAW, SmackDown, or even just NXT. Folks pointed to Tommaso Ciampa’s former #DIY teammate Johnny Gargano, who is now arguably the most in-demand free agent in all of wrestling, Dakota Kai, and Karrion Kross, the ex-NXT Champion who had his push squashed on the Main Roster, his gimmick changed considerably, and his spot on the roster ultimately squashed out due to “budget cuts.”
This, understandably, rubbed a few fans in the wrong way; while Kross was far from the most popular performer in the company, the decision to thwart his push and embarrass him on the way out of the door felt more like a nose-thumbed Triple H’s way as a knock against the “Killer” performer who was once one of the top guys on both Impact and MLW television. While Kross was told by Mr. McMahon that he was “happy” with what he was going, as he detailed to the Busted Open Radio folks what he felt went wrong with his presentation as dictated by Wrestling Inc.’s Matthew Wilkinson.
“So I just continued to do what I had been doing in NXT in terms of that presentation that we were seeing, which, unfortunately, felt like it was amputated because Scarlett was still singing the music, she wasn’t there. Then there were still remnants of things that we did with this NXT thing. But with no explanation as to why this character was wearing the helmet or suspenders.”
“Respectfully, where I think they went wrong with us was not providing the audiences with a little bit more continuity or explanation as to what was going on, because people checked out emotionally from what they were watching. Because they didn’t have an explanation as to what was going on. In the written world of fiction, we can come up with any reason whatsoever. As long as it’s logical and respectful to their intelligence, why you’re watching this and why things are off and why things are different. And, week to week, they never got that, so they checked out.”
Needless to say, if Kross were to ever return to the WWE, he – and Scarlett – would need pretty significant assertions that their second run in the WWE wasn’t going to be like their first, as the duo went from would-be lifers to the sort of passed around performers who still don’t have a long-term contract outside of an extended commitment with CYN. Fortunately, Kross might have found just that, as the man he formerly had in his corner who booked him with Goldberg-ian zeal is back in power not only over the black and gold brand but of the whole darn show too.
If anyone can make Kross and Scarlett into long-term stars, it’s Levesque.
Will Karrion Kross leave the Killer in the past and ultimately become a long-term WWE performer for years to come? Will he be treated with respect by the same company that once hid his face behind a comical mask, or will he instead be thrust back into a weird role that ultimately results in the former NXT Champion wrestling Minoru Suzuki in NJPW when he’s a year or two closer to 40? Either way, it sounds like we will have clarity on the subject soon enough.