NXT Champion Karrion Kross' Monday Night Raw debut was met with utter disappointment this week. Kross entered the show undefeated from his time in NXT, but lost to Jeff Hardy via roll-up in just two minutes. Fans have been voicing their outrage over the booking ever since, particularly in how they feel it reflects Vince McMahon's opinions towards the Black & Gold Brand. Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp released a report on Tuesday after speaking to a number of NXT wrestlers, all of whom wished to remain anonymous.
The report stated that the wrestlers expressed "shock and frustration" after seeing the debut, especially given how big NXT names like Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor worked to build up Kross as an unstoppable force over the past year. Once wrestler even wrote back, "it felt like a message being sent" from McMahon to the rest of NXT.
Sapp wrote that the wrestlers gave off an overall mode of disappointment, "as they felt this represented how the NXT brand was viewed by higher-ups as a whole."
The issue of NXT stars struggling on the main roster isn't new, and Triple H addressed those concerns during a media conference call earlier this year.
"One way of looking at it is misuse, another way of looking at it is things don't always work out. There are players that play in college football and people cannot wait for them to get to the NFL," H said. "Then they get to the NFL and it doesn't work, it doesn't pan out. And you can say a team misused them or mismanaged them or the coach of the team they play for didn't put them in the right role. It can be a million reasons. It can also be sometimes talent doesn't fit in a particular place or talent got to a particular place and thought, 'Oh, I made it' and that was the end of their growth curve. There's a lot of factors."
For Kross, the question of jumping to WWE's main roster was always more "when" then "if." He even addressed it in-character during a press conference ahead of NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
"I'm not a very big fan of undermining people's intelligence. I don't think that's really something anyone in this business should put on themselves. I think the WWE Universe [and] NXT fans should decide who the greatest will be, in due time," Kross said at the time. "But I will tell you this, I don't plan on ever losing this title. That's number one. Number two; I don't plan on staying in NXT forever."