Bully Ray asked, “Where did they go wrong with you, and where did you go wrong with them?”
Kross: “I went wrong with this, in retrospect, maybe perhaps being too over compliant. I wasn’t crazy about the outfit. Now I will say, I felt comfortable wearing it. I knew it looked a little silly, but from my point of view at the time, I wanted to embrace these ideas given to me because people previously had embraced the ideas I had given to them. It was a collaboration. I wanted to demonstrate that at the time. I probably should have said no, and I probably should have tried to sell them on what we created and what we had done in NXT, and say I really believe we should have really stayed the course with this, and fans were invested in this. The moment we walked out there with that presentation in NXT, people online, and that was the only time to engage as we didn’t have a crowd, people online said they wanted to see that at WrestleMania. I really should have attempted to assert myself with that idea. Respectfully, where I think they went wrong with us was not providing the audience with a little bit more continuity and explanation of what was going on because people checked out emotionally from what they were watching because they didn’t have an explanation as to what was going on. In the written world of fiction, we can come up with any reason whatsoever, as long as it’s logical and respectful to their intelligence, watching as to why things are off, or why things are different. From week to week, they never got that, so they checked out. It got to analytical mode rather than enjoying the story, taking in what we were doing, and getting into what we were putting ourselves through. They just sat there wondering, ‘What is going on?’ That’s the worst thing you could possibly want in wrestling is when they are no longer attached emotionally to what is going on. You’re dead in the water, and it’s very difficult to get them out of that.”
Kross continued, ‘There are two things to this. The first thing I will say, I did at a point, I believe it was the second week of the outfit, I did speak with management. I said, ‘Look, I’m saying this out of professionalism and respect. Based on the reaction from last week, which is measurable through social media and the live reaction as well, this is not being received well. So respectfully, I do believe we should attempt to change course at this point before it’s too late, or we can attempt to develop some sort of narrative that we can put on television where we can connect what I was doing on NXT vs what I’m doing here because people don’t understand what’s going on.’ To paraphrase, I was told to just stay the course, which I thought at the time was crazy. I did speak up very early, but in a respectful manner. I never walked into anybody’s office or told somebody, ‘I’m not doing this.’ Nothing like that at all. I said, ‘I want to be a return on your investment. If I can’t do that, I’m going to be out of here. I know how this works. So the course we’re on right now, we’re about to go off a cliff.’ I did make that very clear. My other concern at the time, I have a family. I want to make sure everyone is taken care of. To be fired or released because this guy was unprofessional, he was a mark for himself, he didn’t want to do good business, they gave him all these opportunities and they asked him to do one thing and he wouldn’t do it. I didn’t want that to be a part of my history. I would rather be given something that didn’t work out that people know that it didn’t come from me and I gave it my all, then to be known as someone who’s unprofessional and wouldn’t do business. That was just an unfortunate situation, how I perceived it at least, that I was in. I didn’t know what the national economy was like. It’s still in a state of recovery. What would it be like to be out there and get a job? I didn’t know they were going to be as fruitful as they are. I had no idea. I did say that I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but it’s still very disparaging. It’s very upsetting at this point to be released. We wanted to be there. We absolutely did. I won’t play that down, but that’s what was going on in my head at the time observing the whole field.”
Bully: “Did you get a call from any of the higher ups at NXT saying this (his time on RAW) is wrong?”
Kross: “Many people expressed that they thought this was messed up. People that had been around for a very long time.”
Kross was asked if he is getting any feelers for bookings:
“Yes. I’ve been very weary as to whether or not I should put the dates up. Some of them have already been promoted, but I like the idea of surprises. I like the idea of showing up to places unannounced and keeping that element alive and fun for people. Very shortly, probably in the last week of January, I’m going to post everything. I have work until June. I left some areas open in the event that something big winds up coming through, or something already has and I can’t say.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.