Karrion Kross Says He Was ‘In Denial’ After Shoulder Injury: “I Felt Like I Let Everybody Down”

Karrion Kross went through many ups and downs in WWE.

Former NXT Champion Karrion Kross recently appeared on Insight with Chris Van Vliet and would delve into the shoulder injury he suffered in his NXT Championship match against Keith Lee at NXT TakeOver: XXX.

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"I was in denial about it," admitted Kross. "It was a simple bump. I really can't tell you what exactly happened. Maybe it was the accumulation of things over time, I don't know. It was super unusual. Our rhythm was off that night and it can happen to anybody. As soon as I began passing in the middle of the ring, I knew something was going to go wrong and it did. It's hard to explain, but it did. As soon as I landed, my whole mind went in slow motion. I had a very strange experience. It made a strange noise, I can't tell you exactly what it was, it was like a crunch. When that adrenaline is going, you can run through a wall. It made a crunch, I felt something move and shift, and I was like, 'Nope, I'm not going to let them see that in the truck, I'm shoving that back in.' I grab it and try to rub it back in. My fear is that if something is wrong, they would stop the match. 'I'm shoving it back in.' So many year to get to this one night and this happens. I try to shove it back in, doesn't go back in. I sit up, roll my shoulder forward a bit to see if it comes out and sure enough, it's sticking out. The referee asked if I was alright, 'Yup. Doing great.' It was so much. I can tell you all the things I thought about in that moment, but ultimately the main thing was, 'I'm persevering through this.' It occurred to me immediately that it was an opportunity to show people that...you can tell people how tough you are all you want on TV every week, some might believe it and some might not, but this was an opportunity to show your peers and all the people who put equity in you and people watching at home how tough you actually are. This is some serious shit and now you have to prove it. I took it as an opportunity to do that."

Kross would then admit that he believed the injury would be the end of the road for him at the top of WWE's black and gold brand.

"It was slowly creeping into me and I was getting so upset," Kross continued. "What happened after the match; Hunter, Road Dogg, Johnny Russo had walked up to me in the middle of the stage before I could get back there and I saw the look on their face and I was like, 'it's worse than I think.' I was becoming perpetually devastated. They had to walk by me because it was Keith's last night. I'm playing it down, 'I'll be fine,' so they are not overly concerned, but there is enough human concern there, and they did Keith's farewell speech and I didn't want to be rude so I stood there, with my shoulder basically broken, for as long as I possibly could through Keith's farewell ceremony because that's an important thing to be present for. I kept looking at it, and I was holding the belt in the right arm, and I was like, 'I should probably switch hands,' I switched hands and watched it shift forward. I waited until that was done and I went to medical and they gave me the news. I was thinking about all the years and everything I put into it. It really sucked. The emotion, I felt like I let everybody down when it happened. I thought that was it. I thought there would be no reason for them to revisit that at all. It's business and business is business. You take one cog out and put another one in. I didn't hold it against them, I know what it is. I was totally blown away, that's not at all what happened. They had every right and reason to do something like that and it would not have been their fault, but they didn't do that. They gave me a second shot. I privately thanked them for that and was very grateful for that."

Kross, alongside real-life partner and on-screen manager Scarlett Bordeaux were both released by WWE on November 4.

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