The Curious Case of Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux


Remember when Karrion Kross dominated as the NXT World Champion? Somehow, that feels like it happened yesterday and 100 years ago!

Fans everywhere were predicting how his career would go once he was “called up” to the main roster and how quickly WWE would strap the rocket to his back by putting him in the main event scene.

Not only was his in-ring work very solid, but he brought with him an entrance that made him and his wife/manager, Scarlett Bordeaux, immediately intriguing. I can’t imagine anyone could have seen his main roster run going the way it has.

Karrion Kross has endured some baffling booking on the main roster.

Kross was made to look like an absolute killer in NXT, posting a 17-2 record and holding the NXT Championship twice. His first title reign was cut short by a shoulder injury, which caused him to vacate the belt on the August 26, 2020 episode of NXT. Triple H referred to this as a “difficult moment for Karrion Kross, but the greatest comebacks come from the harshest falls.

The comeback that Triple H spoke of would take place on April 8th, 2021 at NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver – Day 2. It was there that Kross defeated Finn Balor to reclaim the championship that he never lost. He then successfully defended his title against NXT standouts Balor, Austin Theory, and Johnny Gargano. Kross would even get his hand raised in victory following a Fatal 5-Way match versus Gargano, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Pete Dunne.

Looking at the names he defeated during his time in NXT, it was apparent that he was pegged for stardom. He had the physique, the attitude, the valet, the incredible entrance, and the air of credibility that one needs when making the move to Raw or SmackDown.

On July 19th, 2021, during his undefeated run as NXT Champion, he got the opportunity to compete on Monday Night Raw for the first time. Not only would he make his main roster debut that night, but he was set to face the “Charismatic Enigma”, Jeff Hardy, who is a sure-fire future WWE Hall of Famer. It is safe to say that most expected Kross to handle Hardy with ease, cementing him as someone you would soon see wreaking havoc on anyone that stood in his way.

This is not what happened. Not even close.

Instead, Kross lost to Jeff Hardy in less than two minutes, resulting in his first pinfall loss since signing with the WWE. Following this loss, he lost the NXT Championship to Samoa Joe in the main event of NXT Takeover 36.

He never recovered from this.

The night after losing his title to Joe, Kross appeared on Raw once again, but this time he did so dressed as some sort of gladiator, and without his wife by his side for the first time. This new look did not go over well with the live crowd, and following back-to-back losses to Jeff Hardy on Sept. 18 and 19 during the WWE Live Supershow, it was very clear that the wheels had fallen off this once dominant character.

The disconnect between what Triple H was booking in NXT and what Vince McMahon was booking on the main roster had never been more apparent than with the fumbling of Kross’ character. Incredibly, less than three months after his main roster debut, both Kross and his wife Scarlett were released from their contracts with the WWE. Somehow, Kross went from one of the most dominant in-ring performers in NXT history to unemployed in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Fortunately, Kross and Scarlett were rehired when Triple H was put in charge of the main roster. The duo would make their return on SmackDown in August of 2022 where Kross would go on a six-match winning streak before everything came crashing down once again following a feud with the “Scottish Psychopath”, Drew McIntyre.

Any chance of this second run going well for Kross went right out the window following his EIGHT-MATCH losing streak to McIntyre. Granted, several of those were house shows, but the damage was done.

Since April 22, Kross has lost to Sheamus, Xavier Woods (twice), and, most recently, to Shinsuke Nakamura on the May 5 episode of SmackDown. It is apparent that the booking team has no idea what to do with him on the main roster and it has been ages since he has been in a meaningful feud.

That being said, there is still a slight glimmer of hope for his future with the WWE. Though he lost to Nakamura, Kross was booked to look fairly strong throughout the match.

There have been plenty of wrestlers that had seemingly lost their way but bounced back and regained the attention of the fans. It only takes one good story to reignite the fire that previously burned.

Imagine Kross interfering in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, costing someone like AJ Styles the win. This act could then be followed by an actual program where Kross goes over on a Premium Live Event. Such a feud, resulting in a prolific veteran and future Hall of Fame member such as Styles putting him over, just might give Kross the credibility that he has lost over the last few years.

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It isn’t too late yet, but one more awful feud could see Kross delegated to the lower card for the rest of his run. That would be an absolute shame.