Killer Kross, formerly "Karrion Kross," spoke with Chris Van Vliet during an episode of "Insight" where he shared his thoughts on choosing to head to NXT in 2020, his experience there, and getting injured during his NXT championship match.
Killer Kross on why he decided to go to NXT in 2020:
“I knew since I was a little kid and watching this on TV that I could be there (WWE), do this, and perform on the highest level," Kross began.
"I knew it since I was a little kid, and little kids know everything. So it’s hard for your parents and your friends to get behind these statements that you have as a child, because they want to steer you in the right direction, but don’t want to burst your bubble. No one in my family has ever done anything like this. They live in a practical world and are very realistic. It just seemed like a foreign idea to them, but it felt like something that I could do as a kid."
"As a kid, I watched WWF/WWE. Part of me always wanted to be there. I initially went to wrestling school so I could do this at the highest level and eventually go there. Over the years, I would meet people that would discourage me, and I wondered if I could hang with these people. But you find places that you love working with people, and finally I made the decision to pursue it."
Kross on his experience in NXT:
“I had such an awesome experience there. I don’t know how else to put it," Killer Kross shared.
"I was introduced to the entire chain of command that I had to answer to, asked a lot of questions, and wanted to understand the operation at every level. If ever there was any time to go into the truck and look at the production and the camera angles, I really wanted to learn as much about all this as I possibly could. I even recreationally would research what the company was doing outside of what we were directly involved in."
"I wasn’t waiting to be told exactly what I needed to do, I just thought to myself that I bet the people at the top of the food chain probably did this, or someone smartened them up to it. I’m going to get ahead of this and I really want to know this. I don’t want to be somebody here who is in a privileged position. I want to learn every step from the beginning. If I’m asked a question, I don’t want to say I don’t know. I want to know."
Kross was asked when he realized he was hurt during the NXT Championship match:
“I was in denial about it. It was a simple bump. I can tell you to this day what happened. Our rhythm was off that night. It can happen to anybody."
"As soon as I began passing the middle of the ring, I knew something was going to go wrong and it did. It was hard to explain. As soon as I landed, my whole mind went into slow motion. My body made a strange noise. I can’t really describe it. It was like a crunch. But when that adrenaline is running, you can run through a wall. So it made a crunch, and I felt something move and shift, and I’m like, ‘No, they are not seeing that in the truck’, so I grab it and push it back in because my fear right now is that something is wrong and they will stop the match. I’m like, no way. I’m shoving this back in."
"So many years to get to this one night and this happens. I try to shove it in and it won’t go in. I roll my shoulder a little bit to see if it comes out, and sure enough, it’s sticking out. The referee asks if I’m alright and I’m like ‘Yep, I’m doing great.’ I could tell you all the things that happened in that moment, but ultimately, the main thing was to persevere through this. It immediately came to me that this is an opportunity to show people that you can tell people how tough you are every single week, some might believe it, but this is an opportunity to show your peers and all the people that have put equity in you."
"This is sincere as sh*t, so you’ve really got to prove it. I took it as an opportunity to do that.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.