Karrion Kross

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Karrion Kross
Kross in 2019
Birth nameKevin Kesar[1]
Born (1985-07-19) July 19, 1985 (age 38)[1]
New York City, U.S.
Spouse(s)
(m. 2022)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Karrion Kross
Kevin Kross
Killer Kross
The White Rabbit
Billed height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)[2]
Billed weight265 lb (120 kg)[2]
Billed fromLas Vegas, Nevada[3]
Sin City
Trained byGlenn Gilbertti
DebutSeptember 6, 2014[4]

Kevin Kesar[1] (born July 19, 1985) is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under his ring name Karrion Kross, alongside his real life wife Scarlett and is the leader of The Final Testament.

Prior to his time at WWE, Kesar performed for Impact Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), Major League Wrestling (MLW), and multiple promotions on the independent circuit under the ring names Kevin Kross and Killer Kross. In AAA, he was a member of the MAD and La Facción Ingobernable stables. He has also appeared on season four of AAA's American project Lucha Underground as The White Rabbit, the leader of Paul London's Rabbit Tribe stable.[3]

Kesar signed with WWE in February 2020 under the ring name Karrion Kross and began a winning streak on their developmental brand, NXT, that led him to winning the NXT Championship before having to relinquish it due to injury. Kross regained the title in April 2021 at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. After making his main roster debut on the Raw brand that July, his winning streak was immediately broken, he lost the NXT Championship to Samoa Joe the following month, and his on-screen character was subsequently altered. WWE ultimately released Kesar in November, and he returned to WWE in August 2022, nine months after his initial release.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Global Force Wrestling (2015)[edit]

On July 24, 2015, Kesar made his Global Force Wrestling debut at the GFW Amped taping as Killer Kross, losing to Bobby Roode in the quarterfinal round of the GFW Global Championship tournament.[5] On August 21, Kross faced Joey Ryan in a losing effort during the GFW Amped taping.[6] On October 23, Kross faced Brian Myers and Kongo Kong in a three-way number one contenders match for the GFW Global Championship, which was won by Kong.[7]

Lucha Underground (2015–2018)[edit]

Between 2015 and 2016, Kevin Kross worked multiple dark matches for Lucha Underground. On December 13, 2015, Kross made his debut for the promotion, defeating Vinny Massaro in a dark match.[8][9]

On July 11, 2018, Kross returned with a new character called The White Rabbit, he gave his wooden scepter to Paul London and ordered him to murder Mascarita Sagrada in cold blood for leading the Rabbit Tribe to his secret lair.

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2017–2020)[edit]

On March 19, 2017, as Kevin Kross, he made his AAA debut at Rey de Reyes, helping Johnny Mundo to win the AAA Mega Championship, AAA Latin American Championship and AAA World Cruiserweight Championship. He made his in-ring debut on April 12, teaming with Johnny Mundo and Taya to defeat Argenis, Ayako Hamada and El Hijo del Fantasma in a No Disqualification six-man tag team match.[10] On June 4, Kross competed in a steel cage triple threat against El Hijo del Fantasma and El Texano Jr. at Verano de Escándalo, the match ended in a no contest after both Fantasma and Texano Jr. escaped the cage at the same time.[11] On April 20, 2018, Kross return to AAA, aligning with Juventud Guerrera and Teddy Hart to attack Dr. Wagner Jr. and Hernandez. The trio called themselves MAD.

On August 3, 2019 at Triplemanía XXVII, Kross teamed with Los Mercenarios (Texano Jr. and Taurus) to face Psycho Clown, Cody Rhodes, and the debuting Cain Velasquez; Kross' team was defeated.[12] On December 14 at Guerra de Titanes, Kross joined Rush's new La Facción Ingobernable stable.[13][14]

Impact Wrestling (2018–2019)[edit]

On the June 14, 2018 episode of Impact, Kesar, as Killer Kross, made his debut in a backstage segment posing as a police officer, arresting Petey Williams for being the suspected mystery X attacker who had been laying out talent and personnel backstage for several weeks. Once in a secluded area backstage, however, Kross attacked and choked a handcuffed Williams, revealing himself as the actual attacker.[15][16] Kross made his in-ring debut on the July 5 episode of Impact, defeating Fallah Bahh.[17] Two weeks later, Kross defeated Williams via referee stoppage after applying a choke hold.[18]

On the August 9 episode of Impact, Kross helped Austin Aries retain his Impact World Championship against Eddie Edwards, hitting the latter with a Saito Suplex following a ref bump.[19] Aries announced Kross as his "insurance policy" the following week.[20] The duo were joined by Moose, who betrayed Edwards during a tag team match on August 30.[21] At Bound for Glory on October 14, Kross and Moose were defeated by Edwards and Tommy Dreamer in an impromptu tag match. In the main event, Kross and Moose were in the corner of Aries as he lost the Impact World Championship to Johnny Impact.[22]

After his alliance with Aries ended, Kross entered a storyline with Impact, in which Kross told Impact that he needed him to keep up Impact's title run much longer. At Homecoming on January 6, 2019, Kross attacked both Impact and his wife Taya Valkyrie after the main event.[23] On the January 25 episode of Impact!, Kross challenged Impact for the World Championship, however, the match ended in a double disqualification.[24] At Impact Wrestling: Uncaged, Kross lost a fatal four-way for the title that also featured Moose and Brian Cage.[25] Kross then entered into a feud with Eddie Edwards in May after Kross destroyed a kendo stick that was gifted to Edwards by Tommy Dreamer.[26][27] This resulted in them wrestling in hardcore matches such as a street fight and first blood match.[27][28]

On May 13, it was reported that Kross asked for his release from Impact Wrestling following contract renegotiations. His issue stemmed from problems with his creative direction, as well as his current pay per appearance deal. He was not released at the time.[29] At Slammiversary XVII on July 7, Kross lost a first blood match to Eddie Edwards, where he reportedly refused to do a blade job and they used fake blood instead.[30] Reports indicated there was concern over "lack of blood testing and the absence of an on-site doctor."[31] Following that match, he was not booked to appear at the July, August or September television tapings and the two sides continued to negotiate.[32] It was reported that his contract was set to expire in December but that the company had the option to roll it over for another year.[30] In December, Impact Wrestling released Kross from his contract.[33]

Major League Wrestling (2020)[edit]

Kross made his debut for Major League Wrestling (MLW) at the Fightland event on February 1, 2020, where he defeated Tom Lawlor.[34]

WWE (2020–2021)[edit]

Before signing with WWE, Kesar made a one-off appearance on the February 16, 2015, episode of Raw as Kevin Kross, where he teamed with Darren Young to face The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) in a match that resulted in a no contest.[35]

NXT (2020–2021)[edit]

On the February 4, 2020 episode of WWE Backstage, it was confirmed that Kross had signed with WWE.[36] In the following weeks, mysterious video packages were shown that were later to be revealed about Kross, revealing his new look consisting of a shaved heard and goatee. On the April 8 episode of NXT, Kross and Scarlett (shortened from her former ring name Scarlett Bordeaux) were seen in a car watching Johnny Gargano following his match with Tommaso Ciampa.[37] The following week, Kross debuted by attacking Ciampa.[38] On the May 6 episode of NXT, under the new ring name Karrion Kross, he made his debut by defeating Leon Ruff in a squash match.[39] At TakeOver: In Your House on June 7, Kross defeated Ciampa via technical submission.[40] At TakeOver: XXX on August 22, he defeated Keith Lee to win the NXT Championship for the first time.[41] However, the following day, WWE announced that Kross had suffered a separated shoulder during the match, and on the August 26 episode of NXT, he vacated the title; this ended his reign at only 4 days, making it the shortest in the title's history.[42]

On the December 9 episode of NXT, Kross returned and attacked Damian Priest.[43] At New Year's Evil on January 6, Kross defeated Priest.[44] At the second night of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on April 8, he defeated Finn Balor to win the NXT Championship for the second time.[45] On the May 25 episode of NXT, Kross retained the title against Balor in his first title defense.[46] On June 13 at In Your House, Kross successfully retained the championship by defeating Pete Dunne, Kyle O'Reilly, Johnny Gargano, and Adam Cole in a fatal 5-way match.[47] On the July 13 episode of NXT, Kross faced Gargano to defend the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe as guest referee where he successfully retained.[48] On August 22 at TakeOver 36, Kross lost the NXT Championship to Joe, suffering his first loss in NXT; this was his final match in NXT before he was moved to Raw.[49]

Raw and release (2021)[edit]

While he was NXT Champion, Kross made his main roster debut on the July 19 episode of Raw, where he was defeated by Jeff Hardy in a non-title match, marking his first pinfall loss in WWE. Many critics and audiences complained that the result damaged the formidable character of Kross due to losing in less than two minutes.[50] According to Kross in an interview after his release, the match originally was supposed to last 10-minutes before being abruptly shortened to 90 seconds just after he made his entrance to the ring.[51] After losing the NXT Championship, Kross was transferred to Raw on its August 23 episode, performing without Scarlett and debuting a new look where he wore a gladiator helmet and suspenders in his entrance; his new attire and character direction was further criticized, with many deeming these changes unnecessary and poorly thought out.[52] WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley talked about WWE's problems, saying that Kross' character was "greatly watered down and even made a joke of when they debut on the main roster."[53] Foley's comments were supported by another WWE Hall of Famer, Booker T.[54] On November 4, Kross and Scarlett were released from their WWE contracts.[55]

Return to MLW (2022)[edit]

In February 2022, Kross made his return to MLW, where he was absent for 2 years. Going by the Killer Kross name, he won his return debut match at SuperFight against Budd Heavy by referee stoppage.[56] On July 31, at Ric Flair's Last Match event, Kross defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr..[57]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2022)[edit]

Killer Kross made his NJPW debut at the Lonestar Shootout event, losing to Minoru Suzuki.[58] Kross returned during the Collision 2022 tapings, defeating Yuya Uemura.[59]

Return to WWE (2022–present)[edit]

Various feuds (2022–2023)[edit]

Kesar made his unannounced return to WWE as Karrion Kross on the August 5, 2022 episode of SmackDown, now sporting long hair and a beard; accompanied by Scarlett, he attacked Drew McIntyre at the end of the show and officially joined the SmackDown brand.[60] On the September 23 episode of SmackDown, McIntyre challenged Kross to a strap match at Extreme Rules, which he accepted.[61][62] At the event on October 8, Kross defeated McIntyre with the Kross Hammer after interference by Scarlett.[63] At Crown Jewel on November 5, Kross lost to McIntyre in a steel cage match when McIntyre escaped the cage before he did ending their feud.[64] Beginning in December 2022, Kross began a feud with Rey Mysterio. On the January 27 episode of SmackDown, Kross lost to Mysterio after a roll up pin.[65] The next night at Royal Rumble, Kross entered his first Royal Rumble match at #7 but was eliminated by Drew McIntyre.[66] On the February 24 episode of SmackDown, Kross defeated Mysterio after interference from Mysterio's son Dominik.

As part of the 2023 WWE Draft, Kross and Scarlett were drafted to the SmackDown brand.[67] Throughout the summer, Kross feuded with AJ Styles, with the two trading victories against each other on various episodes of Smackdown!. The feud concluded on August 11, where Styles emerged victorious.[68]

The Final Testament (2023–present)[edit]

After a four-month hiatus, Kross made his return on the December 8 Tribute to the Troops special episode of SmackDown, taking part in the United States Championship #1 Contender Tournament, where he lost in the first round to Bobby Lashley.[69] On the December 22, 2023 episode of SmackDown, Kross and Scarlett appeared in a vignette, stating that they have formed a new alliance.[70] On SmackDown: New Year's Revolution, Kross, accompanied by Scarlett, attacked Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits, alongside the Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering, who officially made their return to WWE, confirming their alliance in the process.[71] One week later, Kross confirmed the stable's name as The Final Testament. On January 27 at the Royal Rumble, Kross participated in the Royal Rumble match. Kross was eliminated by Lashley, which caused Kross to return to the ring to eliminate Lashley in retaliation.[72] At Night 2 of WrestleMania XL, the stable lost against The Pride in a Philadelphia Street Fight.[73] On the following episode of NXT, Kross made his return to the brand alongside The Final Testament.[74]

During night 2 of the WWE Draft, which occurred on April 29, 2024, Kross was drafted to WWE Raw, with the rest of The Final Testament.[75]

Other media[edit]

Kesar appears in WWE 2K22, WWE 2K23 and WWE 2K24 as his Karrion Kross persona.

Personal life[edit]

Kesar is married to fellow professional wrestler Elizabeth Chihaia, better known by her ring name Scarlett Bordeaux.[76] After becoming engaged on September 23, 2021,[77] they married in April 2022 in a private ceremony on a glacier.[78]

Kesar is of Central American,[79] as well as Puerto Rican descent.[80][81]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]