With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
WWE Superstar and man-mountain Karrion Kross is a former two-time NXT champion who, along with his wife Scarlett, is just getting started on a path of destruction on the company’s main roster. At 6’4’’ and weighing in at 265 pounds, the New York City native sat down with M&F to talk about life on the road as a couple, making an impact in the U.K., and of course: the big WWE Monday Night Raw 30th Anniversary show.
Most mat fans will recall that after a killer run in NXT, Karrion Kross got off to a shaky start on WWE’s main roster last year, when he lost in his first match against the legendary Jeff Hardy. But fewer people will know that in a great piece of Monday Night Raw-based trivia, this was not his first appearance on the long-running show.
In fact, under the name Kevin Kross, he’d tag-teamed with Darren Young to face The Ascension in a match way back in 2015. Sure, it was a “blink and you missed it” kind of affair that ended in a no contest in less than two minutes, but having further cultivated his craft in the rings of Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling since then, the well-travelled wrestler has fond memories of that day.
“At the time, I was contacted to do background type 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’re familiar with your work, and we have a very simple spot tonight.’ I said absolutely. When you get a chance to be on Monday Night Raw for anything, especially when you are not [signed] with the company, you jump at those opportunities.”
WWE viewers eventually got to know Kross better as a two-time NXT Champion, so they were disappointed that when he returned to Raw in 2022, Kross found himself on the losing end of another short contest, this time against the legendary Jeff Hardy. Still, despite his dark on-screen persona, he’s able to chalk that up to experience and use it to fuel future success.
“Despite what people felt about it, for me, it was actually a good day,” shares Kross. “I went in there, it was my birthday, July 19, and I was given a brand-new contract. I was given a massive raise, and it was really cool to be in a locker room with people that I had been watching for so many years, people with so much equity in the company. They are my friends to this day. So, on a personal note, away from the professional side, it was a very good day.”
While Kross disappeared from WWE television screens in 2021, he made a statement by returning at the “Clash of the Castle” live event in Cardiff, Wales, in August of 2022, in front of more than 60,000 fans. There, he took a ringside seat along with his wife Scarlett in order to pick a fight with the UK’s own Drew McIntyre. It was a night that he’ll never forget. “I know we’re talking about me here, but I have to say, never in my life live, have I ever seen anyone get a crowd reaction like Drew McIntyre got,” says Kross. And, having gotten a glimpse of the upper echelon of WWE, this warrior understands that success in the larger-than-life world of sports entertainment is as much about building a persona as it is about executing the moves in the ring.
“I like to think of Karrion Kross, not actually as a human being,” he says. “I like to think of him as a very dark energy in the room. “Like, when you walk into a place that you know you shouldn’t be, late at night, like a haunted house or something. You know you shouldn’t be there, but you feel like you should stay because you are about to see something that you are not going to be able to see anywhere else! He is the dark energy in the room, manifesting as a person.”
In order to stay the distance and forge an established run with WWE, Kross also understands that listening to some of the legends that have graced Monday Night Raw over the last 30 years is a gift that can’t be bought. “Triple H always gives me excellent advice,” shares the big man. “Shawn Michaels, and guys currently on the roster. I like to pick Paul Heyman’s brain quite a bit.” Kross says that the “Tribal Chief,” Roman Reigns, has always been 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 he’s very good at it,” says Kross. But he’s also very self-aware, and he’s actually incredibly helpful for information and insight, and advice, and stuff like that.”
Of course, Kross isn’t alone in his journey to WWE superstardom. He is accompanied to the ring by his real-life-wife, Scarlett, and this duo really bring out the best in each other. “We hold each other accountable in all aspects of life,” says the proud husband. “Sometimes she has to tell me to slow down. Sometimes, she says ‘hey, you’re doing too much and you need to rest’, and vice versa as well. We go very hard into everything that we do, because typically we are engaging with things that we love.” This strong relationship was never more evident than on a recent episode of YouTube’s “Celtic Warrior Workouts,” where the duo took Sheamus through an intense workout.
Still, there is an area where the wedded wrestlers do have debates, and that relates to finding food while on the road. “So, that’s always been a little bit challenging,” laughs Kross. “Scarlett is gluten free, but the one page that we are always on is that we like to stick to whole foods that are organic, and stuff like that.” Fortunately, both of them love their meat and make it a staple of almost every meal.
With Killer Kross currently making waves over on WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown, and making an enemy of Rey Mysterio in the process, it’s unlikely that he’ll show up alongside the likes of the Undertaker and Ric Flair during Monday Night Raw’s 30th anniversary show, live on the USA Network. But, then again, as they say in WWE: anything could happen. “I could show up anyplace, anywhere, anytime—as usual,” says Kross.