WWE SmackDown Star Says "Excellence is Expected" From Triple H

While Vince McMahon's return to the board of directors has fans questioning how long this new-look WWE will last for, WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque's vision for the company has been a weekly constant since he took over creative responsibilities in Summer 2022. The biggest shift that has happened under the Triple H era has come in the form of the roster itself, as both Monday Night Raw and WWE SmackDown have been bolstered with familiar faces. Over a dozen of previously-released stars have been brought back to the company, including former NXT Champions like Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross as well as pay-per-view main-eventers like Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman.

Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Kross noted that while Triple H is easy to talk to, that doesn't mean there is room to coast.

"We've always loved working for Hunter. He's the easiest boss that I've ever had in terms of being accessible to discuss ideas with," Kross said. "On the flip side, he may not tell you this, but excellence is expected. He has a high standard for all of his talents to meet. He's easy to talk to and everyone's favorite boss, but we all know that he expects us to bring it. That brings out the best version of all of us and is one of the main reasons people like to work with him. When we have a show, he's out there at ringside with everybody and doing everything. We're very lucky to have that."

Kross's initial WWE run lasted for just two years. He reached the pinnacle of NXT, becoming one of the fastest NXT Champions in history, but ultimately flopped on the main roster. Much of that was due to the significant tweaks made to his character come his Monday Night Raw tenure. His epic entrance was traded in for a generic walk. Fan-favorite manager Scarlett was nowhere to be seen. The sinister ring gear become gladiator cosplay.

Regardless of what went wrong the first time around, Kross emphasized that he knew what to expect upon his return.

"I wasn't apprehensive at all," Kross continued. "99 percent of your success in this industry comes down to your ability to compose yourself under stress and pressure. I knew, coming back, what I felt I should say. I felt better with myself in terms of feeling confident to shoot down an idea or a theme or a project that I knew wouldn't work."

Kross competes on WWE SmackDown, which airs every Friday at 8 PM ET on FOX.