It’s a Tuesday, which means it’s time for WWE NXT tonight. The current NXT Champion Karrion Kross did an in-depth interview with PWInsider’s Mike Johnson and here are some of the highlights.
Kross commented on what it means to be WWE NXT Champion again:
“It was very strange initially actually winning the match, completing it and just being done with it all because it’s just something that I’ve been waking up, chasing every single day since the injury happened. So to finally actually get it, I kind of didn’t even know what to do with it, I couldn’t believe it. So it’s been settling in over the last couple of days. Very, very happy about it. We celebrated by doing deadlifts, so nothing really changes. It’s back to the gym and back to the drawing board and just staying after it.”
Kross was asked about what it meant to him beating Finn Balor for the NXT Title and comparing to when he beat Keith Lee for the NXT Title last summer:
“I could definitely say that working with Finn Balor was a dream case scenario that anyone should want to have, being able to work with someone that many years deep in the business. Who’s worked everywhere all over the world, success has followed him everywhere he’s gone. His wrestling IQ is completely off the charts. I was really pleasantly surprised to meet somebody I didn’t have initially a very strong rapport with, just because we were professional acquaintances, that we thought very much alike. We knew what people wanted to see out of that match. And we synced really well in terms of creating that emotional response, listening that from the live crowd and for people through television. It was awesome. I really actually felt like I was back to myself that night when I was in the ring. It’s hard for me to still put into words. I just felt very organic, very natural. The things I knew how to do, the person I knew I was as a performer, I felt like was alive and well that night. That probably had to do with just getting even farther away from being injured, but I was training like a maniac, even more so than usual for that match. I spent a lot of time on the mats, in the ring, I was doing a lot of judo, a lot of catch wrestling. Just putting my body through a lot of different types of impact scenarios so I could just really completely get through and get by any subconscious lag that I had from being injured.”
“In relation to the Keith Lee match, it’s just two different styles of performers, two different chemistries. And I think people probably will agree with me that this was the far greater performance than that match, for a variety of reasons.”
When it comes to future opponents, Kross had several names in mind:
“I think guys like Austin Theory, Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano, maybe even Tommaso Ciampa one more time. There’s so many people that come to mind. Obviously WALTER and I, at some point in the future, will have to meet. I try to keep my ear low to the ground and listen to what people are interested in seeing. I think that’s important to do in my profession. I’m not somebody who turns a blind eye to that. I know that there’s a lot of main roster appeal, I also pay attention to that as well. But I think there’s a lot of bangers left on NXT, especially with the guys that are in the PC right now that nobody has seen. WWE has a whole secret roster of people that are going to blow everybody away. I’m very excited to be there for that as well, whenever they decide to pull the trigger on that. And it’ll just be a matter of time so to speak, pun intended I guess.”
Kross commented on what it was like to work with his girlfriend Scarlett on the NXT brand:
“It’s an absolute blast. I mean, anytime I ever become creatively blocked on something or I’m missing a small piece, she is right there to interject with exactly what I’m looking for, and vice versa. If she is blocked on something, I can come in and do the same for her. Her and I think very much alike as well, in terms of how we can contribute to the overall presentation of the show, in terms of diversity. We have luchadors here, we have strikers here, we have European wrestling here, power wrestlers, we have hybrid luchadores. What is missing on the panel overall of the show? Whether it’s theatrics or the darkness of it. Or perhaps tonight we’re going to step away from the philosophical and metaphorical language and we’re going to go really direct language, violence, whatever that may be. I feel like her and I, our thought processes, while very much alike, are very different. It compliments the whole entire thing. And it’s an absolute blessing to be able to work with her.”
Kross was asked about his spectacular-looking entrance with Johnson mentioning a future spectacular entrance at WrestleMania this way: ‘Do you visualize that moment already or is it more, ‘That will come in time, I want to make an XT as strong as it can be. And the other stuff will come when the time is right.’ Kross responded this way.
“I am not becoming too overly consumed with the future ahead. I know it’s there and I know it’s going to be there. But the way I observe this is that WrestleMania moment, which is of course what we want, it should be what everyone wants, in my opinion humbly, we’re going to get there by putting in the maximum effort here at NXT and making NXT currently the best thing that we’re going to be a part of. I feel like it just, it’s all one direction for me. If I dial it in at maximum effort every single day, whether we’re at TV or I’m training during the week, every single day, it’s going to take us there. I’ve never felt more confident with that direction. And I’ve put that into place since I got hired here. And even before I got hired here, I knew that if I just … I can tell anybody whatever I want in terms of how hard I’m working or what I’m doing, at the end of the day I know, I know how hard I’m working. I’m not going to lie to myself about it. The results are out there, people can see it. I do everything I possibly can every day to be the best performer I possibly can when people see me, everything else will follow. I really truly believe that.”
It’s a great interview that covered a lot more. Check it out at PWInsider right here.