Who is Karrion Kross: WWE Needs to Figure Out How to Use Karrion Kross

DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 01: Karrion Kross poses during the WWE Live Show at Westfalenhalle on November 1, 2022 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 01: Karrion Kross poses during the WWE Live Show at Westfalenhalle on November 1, 2022 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images) /

Karrion Kross hasn’t quite worked on the WWE main roster and there are several ways that can be improved upon. 

What feels like a lifetime ago, Karrion Kross and Scarlett returned to Smackdown with palpable anticipation as he squared off with Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre. WWE can fix their Kross issues only after they answer the question, who is Karrion Kross? How WWE answers that question will directly impact his future booking and how the promotion can better use him going forward.

Kross and his manager and real partner, Scarlett, have always been enigmatic. The characters the duo portrays are always seeped in mystery and darkness. Kross could stand out in an era of wrestling where the mainstays represent wrestlers based closer to reality. Despite on-and-off pushes and rumored matches with some top talent like Roman Reigns and the late great Bray Wyatt, He last had a significant storyline almost a year ago and hasn’t had any main event storylines since his original NXT run. The WWE Universe and the NXT faithful only partially accepted NXT’s Kross. If they want to figure out who is Karrion Kross, they need to look at his time outside of the promotion and, crucially, who is available to work with him.

Karrion Kross, the Fighter

Kross’s brawling didn’t light the NXT Universe up as his more agile and daring contemporaries did. It is, though, a consistent part of his style. Karrion Kross needs to be a fighter in WWE, a hard-hitting brawler with no fear. WWE has shown flashes of this Kross since his return, especially against Drew McIntyre. However, they can take it a step further. Fans are increasingly into the more hardcore elements of wrestling, with John Moxley and Eddie Kingston being among the most prolific. WWE hasn’t had a sustained response to those extreme moments on AEW, but they could do it while using Karrion Kross.

Any one of WWE’s talented roster can work a brawling style. If they have the right aura and build, it should be easy to work a match that way. The desire to fight is what WWE needs to inject into the Kross character. With Scarlett on his side, there should be a palpable danger on whichever roster they place him on. A danger that has beset the roster thanks to his frequent bursts of violence and constant need to square up with his enemies.

Karrion Kross, the Killer

Violence is Karrion Kross’s brand, not just as a brute in the ring. Outside of the confines of a PG WWE, he even goes by the moniker Killer Kross. WWE has tried the serial killer gimmick, playing it for laughs with Dexter Lumis on NXT. That character did get over, but the tone is certainly not what Triple H and company had in mind for Korss when he returned. While the premise is silly for a wrestling company, the idea of Kross as a killer is not.

Karrion Kross can achieve this through what we see and don’t see. A mysterious background, an outrageous temper, and many attacks are all staples of his independent work. If WWE is looking for a better way to use Kross, his next story should insert all of these tropes from his independent runs. They can outright steal an idea, like making him the faction’s leader like he was in Lucha Underground. Or they can match the “Killer” vibe he uses as Killer Kross. It is a character that the performer knows well, and it worked in the past, which is more than can be said for his vague clock magic.

Karrion Kross, the Creep

While WWE is looking to use Karrion Kross more effectively, they must consider what they currently don’t have that he could pull off. Wrestling overall has a very “real” aesthetic currently. Even AEW, with its independent wrestling roots, uses relatively plausible gimmicks with a few exceptions. The move away from more outlandish characters isn’t new in mainstream wrestling either, and the shift was on full display as the attitude era progressed. Even with the changes in tastes and preferences, WWE has always had resident spooky monsters. These are not just monstrous athletes of great strength but genuinely scary gimmicks.

For the longest time, the roles in popular wrestling were filled by Kane and The Undertaker. Then, a new crop of horror acts like Wyatt and his family, or AEW’s Malachai Black and The Dark Order, tried to fill the dark void left behind by the brothers of destruction. WWE doesn’t really have anyone that fits that archetype now, but Karrion Korss could. He is arguably the closest to a creepy or unsettling act in the company. If they are unsure who Karrion Kross is meant to be, that mystery helps. Diving into the supernatural elements already toyed with in that iconic entrance will make him stand out and give him something to do of interest to fans.

Who is Karrion Kross in WWE?

Suppose WWE is interested in utilizing Karrion Kross more consistently and interesting. In that case, the writing team needs to finalize who Karrion Kross is. Since his first NXT debut, he has been a harbinger of doom, a strange leather-clad loser, and a generic brutish heel. None of those has generated the intrigue WWE was hoping for. Luckily, the answer to who is Karrion Kross in WWE can come from who he was outside the promotion.

Borrowing from the characters that made him famous enough to warrant a WWE run should be a no-brainer. Yes, it is always good to create something new, but the creative team can do that while keeping the bits that work. Kross can stand out from the realism of the moment by leaning heavily into horror and mystery like he has in the past. He can show aggression, which is increasingly uncommon among the heels of the promotion. Wherever they choose to utilize Kross, returning to his past work outside the main roster holds the key to his future success.

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