To say Karrion Kross' debut on Monday Night Raw was a disappointment to many WWE fans would be an understatement. Kross arrived in Dallas this week as the reigning NXT Champion, having never lost a singles match in a WWE ring and fresh off beating four of NXT's biggest names at NXT TakeOver: In Your House last month. And yet as he made his way down to the ring, fans could immediately tell something was off. Scarlett, Kross' manager and real-life partner, was nowhere to be seen. And the balls-to-the-wall entrance that had been part of Kross' presentation for over a year had been reduced to puffs of smoke lingering around the ring. Then, to top it all off, Kross lost to Jeff Hardy in just two minutes.
The outrage over the booking was immediately apparent on social media. Even now, a full 12 hours after the match, angry tweets are still pouring in about how "Kross was buried" or Vince McMahon's supposed complete disinterest in the NXT brand. But fans shouldn't hit the panic button on Kross — at least not yet. It's time for a quick history lesson.
Midway through the Dec. 8, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw, then-NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair made a surprise appearance and lost a match against Natalya in just two minutes and 34 seconds. This was roughly six months before she would officially arrive on the Red Brand and years before she took on the role as "The Queen" while gobbling up women's championship reigns. Like Kross' situation, this loss angered fans at the time but it didn't stop WWE from eventually building her up as a pillar of the women's division.
Now did this loss hurt Kross' mystique as champion over on NXT? Absolutely. But by every indication, he won't be on the brand for much longer and NXT can bounce back quickly by giving the title to a well-liked, credible champion (Hello, Samoa Joe...). And, as former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz pointed out while the fan outrage flared up last night, Kross can build his momentum right back up on Raw by beating the stuffing out of Hardy a few times.
The heat he’s going to get from the future multiple sadistic Jeff Hardy beatings will be far more beneficial than a predictable win you’ll forget about by Tuesday.— Brian Gewirtz (@bfg728) July 20, 2021
So before we start adding Kross to the same list as PAC, Bo Dallas, Aleister Black and Andrade, let's at least take a minute to see what WWE does next.