His debut with Impact Wrestling has been one of the most striking the company, and even the business, has ever witnessed. Killer Kross decimated and destroyed everyone backstage before unveiling his face to the world and show there was a man behind the red X-crossed card. One word could fit him like a glove, Chaos. The same kind of mastered chaos in-ring legends like Sycho Sid, Brian Pillman or Stone Cold Steve Austin were able to share with the audience through a simple glance. Because if Killer Kross’ eyes were guns, we would all be dead. The fan I’ve been since its debut had the chance to be a part of a media call with Killer Kross a few weeks ago. And the conversation exceeded all my highest expectations.
Of being Killer Kross
Killer Kross started only 4 years ago in the wrestling business but, wherever he has worked, AAA in Mexico, Lucha Underground, indies in the US or Impact Wrestling, he always left mayhem behind him. The man is embodying the heel persona in a way we almost forgot about. And because he takes care of the fans, that’s why he decided to remind them what a heel is supposed to be made of. “I always go back to the nickname ‘Tollman’ because it was given to me by the fans of the audience and I have always been very avid about paying attention to your audience. So when they give you something like that, I think you should run with it, you should respect it.”
To define his character, Killer Kross has no obvious explanations. “I draw a lot from novels and movies and television but, to be perfectly honest, I really just assess what’s going on in professional wrestling as a whole and I attempt to collect things through culture, through society for my own personal experiences, things that I can relate with. I try to translate that into what you’re watching so there’s a sense of familiarness in what you’re seeing you’re going to see something that you’re not seeing somewhere else. I try to be as aware of that as possible. I think it’s as I said before earlier I think it’s extremely important to provide people with it’s not entirely original something fresh, fresh content so when I observe how I can contribute beyond what is being asked of me, I go with that philosophy.”
The man can quote Bach and Marilyn Manson in the same sentence when it comes to his music tastes. About his favourite stables of all time, he can quote The Four Horsemen, like Raven’s Flock and The Dangerous Alliance. When it comes to his unique, neurotic promo style, the spectrum of his answer was even broader. “There is a broad spectrum of influences. I try to be as original as I can, so that you don’t end up insulting the intelligence of the fans watching. I don’t think there’s anything worse to a fan watching at home than regurgitated things that they’ve seen. Redundancies really bother people in the programming. Which makes what we all do very challenging. But if you’re in this, at this level, you enjoy the challenge. It is nothing to complain about. In terms of my personal influences, I probably have to say, Roddy Piper, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Bobby Heenan, Jerry Lawler, Paul Heyman, to be perfectly honest. There was a level of sincerity to all of the people I just mentioned. You never questioned anything that these people said. Everything that these people said felt very real, felt very sincere as I just said. This is what I’m always intending to do when I have something to say.”
Of being a wrestling fan
To build such a strong character, I imagined Kross was a fan of the most violent and hardcore form of wrestling. And of course, I was right when I found out he was a huge fan of ECW. When I asked him about, I thought he could talk about it for hours. “ECW to me versus other professional wrestling companies felt very organic, very carnal, and very violent and there was something very magnetic about that program that separated itself from the rest of the programs that were on television. Even to this day, it’s still very difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what that was. It’s very easy to say it was magic in the air. ECW had an intangible that not every other program constantly had on a 24/7 basis and it was also very unpredictable in my opinion. In terms of who inspired me or idols, I would have to say probably every single person on that program because there was a level of sincerity that was executed match after match and in all the ribs in that program that was very special and I don’t think it’s ever really quite been repeated and I don’t think anyone ever will. I would have to say, out of the few people off the top of my head that did inspire me, per se, number one would definitely have to be Brian Pillman. There are things that Pillman did in this business and outside the business that people still question to this day, whether they were real or not. I would also have to say Bam Bam Bigelow, Taz, and of course Tommy Dreamer.”
Killer Kross revealed he grew up in combat sports for an extended period of time, with multiple people from his family training fighters and wrestlers. Growing up around combat sports made him become interested in every kind of martial arts, MMA and boxing styles. Like a sponge, Kross took the very best of every style he could test and made it yours, to create this hybrid version of a wrestler, destructive, different and striking. Every man he can be compared to is for him seen as a compliment. Every wrestler he has had the chance to work with is a chance for him to learn something new or add a new tool in his repertoire. When I talked to Abyss a few weeks ago, he told me Kross was “definitely a custom-made talent for monsters.” Same for Petey Williams, who said to me: “His psychopathic character kind of reminds me of the Patrick Bateman character in American Psycho or Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. I really enjoy his character and I really think he’s going to be a big star in the future in Impact.” When I asked Killer Kross about Abyss’ words, he was pretty impressed. “It’s always a very high compliment when your peers, who are people ahead of you in terms of career success, will endorse you like that. I always take it as a high compliment and, to be perfectly honest, that’s the truth. I’m going to be the resident monster of this company, depending on your perception I already am, and I look to continue to get that ball rolling, so to speak.”
Of being an Impact wrestler
“My goals in Impact are very simple. I want to hurt as many people as humanly possible in an expedited fashion. I’d like to become a household name in this business. I’d like to bring change to Impact Wrestling and as of right now, we are on course to do that.” The media call was just starting the tone was set. Killer Kross has to come to Impact Wrestling to destroy, break, hit. Well, create chaos. Austin Aries unveiled Kross as his “henchman” in the triumvirate of power he has built, with Moose now by their sides. And with his scary presence, Kross is ensuring Aries to stay on top of the food chain. And if Aries will be busy with Johnny Impact at Bound for Glory, and Moose with Eddie Edwards, Kross is decided to also please the fans for his first Impact Wrestling PPV. “To be honest with you, I want to compete against the people fans want to see me compete against. I think that’s probably what’s best for business. Giving people what they want. With regard to hyper-violence and unpredictability, I think we can all agree if I can toot my own horn for a moment, that we’re hitting home runs in that spectrum. But I would say for Bound for Glory, whoever the people want to see get publicly executed, I’m the man for the job. So, whether that’s someone on the roster or someone that’s not currently on the roster, I would entertain all of them.”
His success on Impact Wrestling is definitely to relate to the cinematic backstage moments that were aired and those insane vignettes and promos. Some would have been scared to death, I enjoyed every second of it. Those vignettes, his promos, and the way he was presented to the fans are exactly the reasons why Kross is enjoying his time there. “I think at this present time, respectfully, Impact Wrestling is separating itself from other promotions as we speak in terms of doing new things, more innovative things than they are currently doing. I probably wouldn’t be the best person to answer that question, however, I will say what I do like that they are doing currently right now is the way they’re spreading out the show, between vignettes, between promos, between the action in the ring, and their comfortability with allowing things to just happen as they’ve been playing out on television. I think it’s opening up new doors to creativity that will translate from the television to the viewer and I think a lot of people watching can feel that there’s something because how you could describe it as new. There’s a fresh feeling in the programming and that has to do with everyone trusting each other. I think that’s a very awesome and rare element to have in a locker room, especially for a television program.”
When the time came to switch off the phone, the Nygma I’m supposed to be couldn’t help but think she just had the chance to talk to another enigma. Killer Kross is a revolution in progress, with the same killer instinct and mind for the business that propelled wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin to the pinnacle of this sport. When you think Kross has just started his path of mayhem, I already enjoy the fact that, in 10 or 20 years, I would say I was one of the first to be there to witness the rise of a Legend.
All pics and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling