Killer Kross was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet at Starrcast III in Chicago, IL.
He talks about where he would like to sign next, his thoughts on AEW and NXT, the movies and books that influence his in-ring style, Scarlett Bordeaux and more!
A transcript of a few highlights are below.
His Thoughts On AEW:
“I watched the AEW show live in Vegas and I’m not saying this because I think I’m supposed to say it, in all sincerity, I was really blown away by it because there was just a different energy to the show, in a good way. I’ve said this before but I just think it needs to be said, with all the different tools we use to illicit and engage an emotional response from an audience when we go out there, from putting our bodies on the line to the execution of the story, sincerity, energy, listening to the fans during the match, timing, everything. There was like people literally weeping in the audience; Cody vs Dustin. You can’t like orchestrate that, that’s not something you can pre-plan. Putting things together you can’t be like ‘And at this point the audience is going to cry.’ That was amazing to actually be around, I don’t think I’ve been at a wrestling event in the audience where that’s happened. It was just awesome. I think with the direction that they’re going in with TNT and I think that with the flexibility that I’ve heard they are offering creatively, I definitely think there are somethings that I could do there and creatively get out that it just might not fly elsewhere. But ultimately I’m not married to go in any specific direction for any company right now, it’s even difficult to think about, it’s stressful to think about just because of the other things that are associated with it.”
Would going to NXT or WWE change how his character is portrayed?
“I’m in a place right now where I feel like it won’t really matter where I go, I’m going to be able to do what I’m doing in any way shape or form. I’ve hit a really cool peak creatively with things, I know how to lay things out differently so it will work on any platform. People haven’t seen me do that yet and there’s a reason why, because I’m saving it for perhaps a direction that I finally go in.”
On His Approach To Pro Wrestling:
“One thing that I really have always tried to do is create an emotional engagement and a response, to understand the purpose of what we are really doing out there and for me it’s always been to illicit emotion and engage people with the art of storytelling, the oldest stories in the world, light vs dark, good vs evil and so forth. I grew up in that time when 80s horror films, and early 90s horror films, they didn’t make sense and that was unsettling. Remember how things used to be? I think that that really scared people because in life, the things that really bother us are the things that create uncertainty. It’s like you’ve been walking down this street your entire life, you know exactly where everything is, and then one day you walk down and everything is different. It’s just something as simple as that, it freaks people out, they feel displaced. So, I’ve always tried to create that kind of atmosphere in what I’ve been doing.”
On What Wrestlers Inspired Him Growing Up:
“A lot of people will always throw out one name for a political reason. Like, a lot of the guys in the business will say that their favorite wrestler was a specific person because they are afraid they are going to get heat from someone who is above them being like ‘Why would you mention that guys name? He never drew any money’ you know? I really had a tonne of favorites but not to be redundant, I mentioned Warrior. As a child, I had a manic amount of energy. More so as a child, I could scale this wall. I just identified with high energy characters and back then, 80s and 90s, there was a lot of high energy stuff.”
On Separating Himself From Killer Kross:
“I’m not Killer Kross but Killer Kross is definitely a real thing and I think people would agree that when they go to the shows they are getting something very visceral, very carnal, and very real, in the way that we can use that word for this, out of him. So, we put him away until the music and the lights start.”
Kross on Impact
SPORTING NEWS: How would you describe your relationship right now with Impact Wrestling?
KILLER KROSS: Not good (laughs). It is not good at all.
SN: When did the issues begin?
KK: The issues began last year regarding merchandising.
SN: What was that issue?
KK: I’ve been advised not to go into the full detail of the issues, but I am hoping that they can be resolved as quickly as possible. It’s something I’ve been working on for many months.
SN: Is that the only issue you have with the company right now? There has also been talk differences regarding about pay and your creative direction.
KK: I’m in a situation right now where I have to be very careful how I choose to address things. My hands are completely clean in all of this. I have been attempting to get clarification on things that were supposed to be given to me in a timely manner. Some of them have been … I’m not even sure how to put it. It’s so difficult to answer. It’s very difficult to even discuss. I’m doing my absolutely best to remain civil and professional on the entire ordeal and it’s extremely difficult.
I’m really just looking to being treated fairly and I’m just looking to put my best work out there. There are now situations that are occurring where, basically, opportunities are being delayed and I guess, what the easiest way to put it, opportunities are being … I apologize. It’s really the first time I’ve talked about it. These things I’m attempting to pursue in my career, I’m being blocked from pursuing them for really ridiculous circumstances.
SN: What have some of the people on the roster said to you regarding this situation you have going on with Impact?
KK: I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth or necessarily mention anyone’s name, but the best way to put it would be they’ve expressed that they’re pretty disgusted about how this situation is being dealt with and how I’m being treated. I’ve had full support from them the entire time which has been awesome.
They know me personally and they know me professionally and I think anyone you could ever ask who’s ever met me, talked with me, or worked with me will tell you that I’ve been a constant professional ever since I stepped foot into this industry. I’ve always followed through with everything that I said I was going to follow through with. That’s not always reciprocated, unfortunately.
SN: There has been talk that you are going to sue Impact Wrestling. Do you plan on suing them?
KK: I’ve actually made it abundantly clear that I have not been interested in going into litigation. I’m not interested in going down that road. I’ve been trying for many, many, many months. I’ve been exhausting all options on how to fix this situation. There’s an attorney involved and we’re not suing anyone. I’ve been trying to avoid litigation as much as possible and, again, I have nothing to worry about in all of this. I really don’t. I’m not on the wrong on any of this and I’m just trying to follow my lane here.
I have everything on paper. As I said before, I’m not worried about anything at all. I’ve done nothing wrong — at all. I’m just trying to do the right thing and I wish I would be met with that as well because there’s only one right thing to do here and it’s not being done.