By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
CBS Sports interview with Killer Kross
Host: Shakiel Mahjouri
Video footage available below or via SHAK Wrestling YouTube Page
Killer Kross reacts to working on the Ric Flair’s Last Match event: “In a lot of ways, for me personally, it’s very surreal. You grow up and you see people behind the television screen. People behind the glass. You never meet these people. They just will always be behind the television screen. I grew up in the working class, I didn’t grow up in or around wrestlers. Captain Lou Albano used to come into the local bars that were in New York State when I was little or restaurants or something. That was about it. The very first wrestling show ever went to was at the Civic Center. It was in the early ’90s. I saw wrestling from the stands. You never really got near these people, though.
“Then just one day you’re on Ric Flair’s last wrestling show. You’re on that card and you’re sharing the same locker room. That’s just not supposed to happen in life. So it hasn’t exactly hit me yet. I think it’s going to hit me in waves and then the day off and then probably for a long time after the show is done. I’ve had a whole series of events in my life where things happen like that and it’s always really crazy. For me, it’s kind of a reminder to aim for the stars. Not to sound corny or whatever cheesy.”
Killer Kross on his relationship with AEW and Tony Khan: “We had a great conversation and we talked for a while. The way he comes off as enthusiastically as he is in interviews, he’s really like that. He was a ball of energy on the phone and I thought that was really cool. I thought that was refreshing because if you talk to most people you work for in a major wrestling company, they’ve been doing this for thirty-plus years. You have to imagine they love this, but if you do anything for more than thirty years, you get a little tired of it. Let’s be honest. Even if it’s the job you always wanted, it’s human nature to get tired of it.
“So it’s refreshing to talk to somebody who is really, really passionate about what they’re involved with. It’s contagious. I can see how a lot of people that I know work for the company really, really thrive off that. Especially if they’ve worked in other places. They know what I’m talking about. So to have a boss who’s enthusiastic about the ideas that he wants to execute makes you feel good about it. I’m always open for communication with any major company.”
Killer Kross and him and Scarlett’s approach to their characters: “So people understand where I’m coming from because stories always get taken out of context, things that you say are always readdressed. They have one liners, they put them online and they try to turn things into something that they’re not. Scarlett and I know what people want to see out of us. We see people, thousands of people, almost every single weekend at live shows, meet and greets, we’re out in public, traveling around with people all the time. People tell us what they want to see out of us. Her and I have always operated from creating from that place. We’re not doing stuff because it’s like, ‘Hey, we think this is cool. Let’s just shove it down their throats.’ We have an idea, let’s let people get a taste of it and let’s see how they feel about it. Let’s create from what they want to see out of us.
“That’s always worked for us. I don’t want to become married into a professional situation where I’m at the mercy of someone else’s idea when I can see that there are limitations on this and there’s no end game as to an idea that’s being suggested. To put it more politely or more accurately, if I can’t see this landing me to where I want to be in my long term career goals, I’m going to politely and respectfully decline and suggest another solution or idea. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that. I think people are too afraid to do that these days because sometimes there’s a scarcity of work for some people. They get scared or uncomfortable. They’re insecure and say no. I think it’s okay to say no sometimes and suggest another direction.”
Killer Kross on patient approach post-WWE and gauging fan reaction online to fans reaction at live shows: “Her and I are both very good. There’s the social media optics of people trying to say that somebody is falling out of relevancy or they’re this or that and people get worked up by that. They get scared about that. Then there’s real life. Real life is going to the shows and actually meeting and engaging with real people right in front of you and having those experiences of fans. I gauge everything I’m going to do based on real life interactions with people. Everything online can be manipulated and convoluted and half the time, unfortunately it is. It isn’t all the time, but I will never base the trajectory of my career and everything I’m doing creatively and what I want to do with my life based on online reactions. We were at the mercy of that during lockdowns, which was brutal.
“I know the realities of the situation and the last thing I would ever want to do is make a decision based out of fear. Just being afraid that you’re going to fall out of favor. Our fans are still there. We see them all the time. There are people, no matter what, that have an idea of who you are and what you are going to dislike you whether you’re a great person or you are actually a terrible person. They will find ways to convolute everything you’re saying and doing. Try to take away your accomplishments.Her and I don’t live in that place. We don’t make decisions based on that type of stuff.”