The devotees of the NXT Black & Gold Era under Triple H knows Karrion Kross intimately. The two-stroke NXT Champion was one of the top talents in 2020 and 2021. However, his rise within the main roster never took off under the creative direction of Vince McMahon. WWE then released him and his valet/real wife Scarlett Bordeaux from their contracts in November 2021.
Last week Friday Night SmackDown, the third under Triple H as the company’s new Chief Creative Officer, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their triumphant return to WWE. It was a whirlwind comeback, and two WWE legends shared stories this week about how quickly the whole comeback took shape.
Karrion Kross’ WWE career
Karrion Kross was a major star during WWE’s Minor League NXT Black & Gold Era. He has fought current WWE superstars like Ciampa, Finn Balor, Damian Priest and Butch (fka Pete Dunne). Cross also faced current AEW wrestlers Keith Lee, Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole and Samoa Joe.
Kross was a major force on the NXT roster, but his success did not translate to the main roster. Once Vince McMahon and company brought Kross to Rawthe team made some weird reservations and creative choices.
McMahon decked out Karrion Kross in a gladiator helmet and gear reminiscent of the legend’s early days on the Demolition tag team. The once intimidating wrestler also lost to Jeff Hardy in less than two minutes, destroying his credibility in the ring.
Then, on Nov. 4, 2021 — less than two years after Karrion Kross signed with WWE — the promotion released him and Scarlett Bordeaux.
Kross (as Killer Kross) bounced back into the independent wrestling scene and even made an appearance on New Japan Pro Wrestling, but he did not sign with a major company. This turned out to be a good thing because after McMahon abruptly retired and Triple H took over the creative side of the company in July 2022, Kross was one of the new leader’s first calls.
Triple H quickly brought Karrion Kross back to WWE after his promotion
Karrion Kross made his triumphant return to WWE on August 5, 2022, episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The show ended with a vicious attack by Kross on No. 1 contender Drew McIntyre.
Kross’ return to WWE happened quickly, and two former WWE Superstars – Bully Ray (fka Bubba Ray Dudley) and Mark Henry – shared stories of how the comeback went on the Open exploded podcast.
Bully Ray shared that he met Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux shortly after they came out. He said Kross “was then in the dumps because of everything that just happened.
Dudley’s former brother urged Kross to be patient, and that patience paid off. Bully Ray said he saw Kross again last weekend, and the returning WWE wrestler patted Bully on the shoulder and simply said, “Man, what the F?”
“And basically [Kross] was like, ‘I can’t believe it,'” Bully told Mark Henry. The former wrestler also shared that Kross told him, “It happened overnight.”
Henry also shared a story about how quickly Triple H broke Karrion Kross when he took control. The AEW personality shared that he was talking to alumni NXT star and current AEW wrestler Swerve Strickland, who is good friends with Kross.
Henry told Strickland to call Kross and tell him to reach out to Triple H and say “I’m ready” to come back. Strickland said he would text, and Henry insisted he call. The AEW Tag Team Champion did call his friend, but at the time “he didn’t need to” because WWE called Kross first.
Karrion Kross’ return to WWE could signal big things for wrestlers NXT who were forgotten on the main roster under McMahon. It’s a major step in the Triple H era and perhaps a sign of things to come.
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