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Wrestling / Karrion Kross

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Tick tock.
-The Tollman, Rey de la Maldad,
Herald of Doomsday.
Kevin Kesar (born July 19, 1985 in New York City) is an American professional wrestler most known by the ring name Killer Kross, an edgier derivative of his initial moniker of Kevin Kross.

He debuted in Season 4 of Lucha Underground as The White Rabbit, the leader of the Rabbit Tribe.

He was signed by WWE in 2020 under yet the subtle-yet-still-edgy derivative ring name of Karrion Kross, where he dominated NXT, eventually becoming NXT Champion. He was called up to RAW in 2021, where the atrocious booking he was subjected to became one of the most heavily-criticised moves WWE had made for a long time, before he was summarily released on the 4th of November 2021 in the latest round of mass talent cuts. However, he would return to WWE in August 2022, shortly after Vince McMahon's retirement from the company, reverting to his dominant NXT self.

"Tick Tock! Doomsday Tropes":

  • Alice Allusion: Plenty of these as the White Rabbit. He would state "Tick tock" and how "time is of the essence" alludes to the original White Rabbit constantly stating how late he was to get to the Queen of Hearts. He also carries a pocket watch.
  • Alliterative Name: Inferring from his ring names, his full favored alias would be Kevin Karrion "Killer" Kross. His real-life name of Kevin Kesar also counts.
  • Ambiguous Situation: His role as the White Rabbit and his connections to the Rabbit Tribe in Lucha Underground.
    • Just who or what the White Rabbit was has never been explained. Where did he get the name White Rabbit? How was he capable of levitation?
    • His relationship to Mascarita Sagrada, considering that Mascarita brought the Rabbit Tribe to see him and then accepted the idea of being bludgeoned to death by Paul London. Was Mascarita brainwashed by the White Rabbit? Was the entire situation with Mascarita all according to some big plan?
  • Arch-Enemy: Keith Lee, Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe in NXT. Drew McIntyre, Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley in SmackDown.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's clearly sadistic and has a violent streak a mile wide.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Despite losing several feuds, Kross was able to inflict long-lasting damage to his opponents after those feuds ended. See The Corrupter below.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: These days, when he's not in ring gear he's usually in a suit.
  • Badass Longcoat: Pre-NXT, he wore a black trenchcoat as his casual and entrance attire.
  • Bald of Evil: This sadistic man had not a single strand of hair on his head around the time of his Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling and WWE stints. Subverted during his 2022 return, as he has since regrown his hair.
  • Battle Couple: With Scarlett Bordeaux on the independents. In WWE it's more of an Outlaw Couple as she mainly acts as his valet and harbinger.
  • Big Applesauce: Kesar was born in New York City, and Kross was first introduced as a criminal from New York.
  • Big Bad: In the COVID-19 era of WWE NXT, he is clearly the most intimidating, evil, and threatening villain in the history of that brand, even eclipsing the brutality of Kevin Owens' brief run there.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Is proudly evil and will always boast of his propensity for causing mayhem and death.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Conspicuous Gloves: In Lucha Underground, he donned a single white glove before using his finishing hold, Down The Rabbit Hole.
  • Cool Shades: He wears Lennon Specs in non-match appearances.
  • The Corrupter:
    • To Impact World Champion Johnny Impact and his wife Taya Valkyrie. He tried to get Johnny to form an alliance with him, but Johnny repeatedly rejected it... until the challenge of Brian Cage came looming. The Mayor of Slamtown and La Wera Loca agreed at that point to accept Kross's help in setting Cage up for an injurious blindside attack.
    • In Lucha Underground, The Rabbit Tribe were loony but ultimately harmless before they met him. He promptly had Paul London commit murder. London's fanatical devotion spiralled out of control from there and resulted in him offering up Mala Suerte and Saltador to Matanza, something that the White Rabbit never asked him to do...and didn't particularly care about afterward.
    • In WWE, both Drew McIntyre and Shinsuke Nakamura turned heel in late 2023 after facing Kross, and AJ Styles did the same in early 2024. Subverted towards Rey Mysterio not turning heel, though Kross take credit of making Rey to be more willing to hit Dom in front of his wife (and the latter's mother).
      • Kross explained these in his 12/22/2023 promo, along with his predictions about The Bloodline's implosion and Rey becoming more willing to hurt his son.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Speaking of Brian Cage, they've had history since Future Stars of Wrestling. When they feuded over the FSW Heavyweight Championship, Kross was cheered over Cage because the champion's commitments in other places meant he wasn't there every week (sound familiar?). Both Kross and FSW's authority figure warned repeatedly that he came with bad intentions and they'd be better off supporting Cage than treating Kross as a savior. This is before he was upgraded to Killer.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The White Rabbit resided there, given that his throne and El Bunny's cage are made from tree roots, and it was the name of his finishing hold.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: To Austin Aries in TNA until Aries had his tantrum and departed the company. His corruption of Johnny Impact, who beat Aries for the World Championship, took place after this.
  • The Dreaded: Intimidated everybody in Impact Wrestling with the exception of Johnny Impact and Eddie Edwards.
    • Within three moves in his NXT debut, he already had Tom Phillips calling him Satan.
    • After being squashed by both Kross in his debut match where the above three moves happened, and by Kross's first pay-per-view opponent Tommaso Ciampa a week or two later, Leon Ruff described how facing Ciampa had him scared for his career... but facing Kross had him scared for his life.
    • Later intimidated everybody in NXT with the exception of Scarlett, to the point the latter's appearance with an hourglass left NXT Champion Adam Cole clutching his championship in fear. Read that again: less than two months into his tenure, Karrion Kross is so scary that the greatest NXT Champion of all time is terrified at the sight of his girlfriend.
    • Inverted with Samoa Joe, as he made Kross and Scarlett shut up in his presence and dared them to provoke him, which they wisely refused to do.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • With Scarlett in tow, he had several for every stage of his NXT debut.
      • First vignette introduces his ominous fare about doomsday and the end complete with stock videos amid his own scenes.
      • First in-show appearances involve stalking Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa during their feud, before finally pouncing after the feud is over by violently throwing Ciampa around the backstage area.
      • First match was the debut of his intimidating "Dead Silent" entrance with Scarlett as well as the aforementioned three-move squash that had Leon Ruff claiming he was scared for his life and Tom Philips literally calling him the damned Devil.
      • During his re-appearance on the main roster he viciously assaulted Drew McIntyre and had Scarlett leave an hourglass in the ring for Roman Reigns.
    • In Lucha Underground, he asks London what he wanted and what London would do for it. London asked for "his guidance" and would do anything the White Rabbit asked of him. Then came the moment he commanded Paul London, levitating his staff to London's hands, to kill Mascarita Sagrada and laughed at the carnage.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only person other than himself who Kross seems to have any type of affection or regard for that doesn't come with a catch is Scarlett.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Stands at 6'3", which, when next to El Bunny in Lucha Underground, made him look massive.
  • Expy:
    • Of Dexter Lumis, who ironically was radically altered following Kross's debut on the main roster. Which has led to a bit of a Fandom Rivalry between the two wrestlers fanbases.
    • As the White Rabbit, to Gangrel; both being sinister wrestlers who wear Cool Shades, have little to no backstories regarding their pasts, brainwashed at least one member to the fold (El Bunny for the White Rabbit and Christian for Gangrel), wear outdated outfits and convinced a third member to join them. The only difference between these two is that Gangrel was a vampire, whereas the White Rabbit was Ambiguously Human with some supernatural abilities.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sounds all philosophical and cultured in his villainy, but one look at how his face nearly always veers into either Mad Eye or Slasher Smile territory and there is no question in the world that he is a complete psychopath. Amped up in Lucha Underground, as his debut vignette had him speaking in a soft tone and seeming like a calm guru until he told London to "kill the one [Mascarita] who brought you to me" and all hell broke loose.
  • Finishing Move: A rear naked choke called the "Kross Jacket" (though before he got signed to WWE, his Kross Jacket is originally a modified RNC instead of the standard version he uses today). He also uses either a Saito Suplex called the "Doomsday Saito" or a running forearm smash to the back of the opponent's head or neck (which he debuted in NXT, with Michael Cole coining the name "Kross Hammer" on SmackDown) if he prefers to win by pinfall. In his feud against AJ Styles, he introduced a pumphandle F5-like maneuver which is called the "Final Prayer".
    • As the White Rabbit, Down The Rabbit Hole, a mandible claw submission.
  • Holy Backlight: His debut vignette in Lucha Underground had him sitting on his throne framed by a light.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: "He is time, famine, war, pestilence you cannot endure." Time instead of death? Wait, no. The next lyric in that says "The end is here" and he's always talking about Doomsday. The "time" in question in that lyric is in fact death.
  • Hypno Pendulum: In Lucha Underground, his pocket watch acted like one, since he swings it in front of London and El Bunny before they assault Ivelisse, XO Lishus and Joey Ryan. In the episode after that, while he observes the blood on his white glove after putting Joey Ryan into his Down the Rabbit Hole finishing move, he swings his pendulum and London looks at it with interest.
  • I Have Many Names: One of his first gimmick videos online started with a voiceover describing him as a recently-released convict and notorious criminal from New York City whose legal name was kept secret but instead went by several aliases, including Morgan Baines, Carmelo Massione, Marius von Lynch, and of course, Kevin Kross.
  • Jack of All Stats: Speed, agility, strength, size, intimidation, intelligence, he has everything it takes to be convincing as a Serial Killer who wrestles.
  • Large Ham: As the White Rabbit. "Tick tock, Mr. London! Time is so very fleeting! KILL HIM!!!" ("Him" being Mascarita Sagrada)
  • Laughing Mad: The White Rabbit absolutely enjoyed Paul London gruesomely bludgeoning little Mascarita Sagrada to death.
  • Light Is Not Good: The White Rabbit is introduced with light shining behind him, painting him as a benevolent figure at first, then he convinces Paul London to commit murder.
  • Mad Eye: The most convincing rabid-animal face in wrestling since Edge, with a far more active on-switch.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In a mostly out of character interview Scarlett explained that one thing that annoyed her about Kross is his willingness to spend a long time talking to fans, going as far as to say that when people describe her as nice “No, I’m pleasant, he’s nice”.
  • Meaningful Name: Karrion/Carrion is the decaying flesh of the dead. It also sounds fairly similar to Charon, The Ferryman of the dead in Classical Mythology. In Kross's pre-Performance Center days, they'd called him The Tollman (among other things) and bestowed upon him the moniker of Killer. Additionally, his pre-debut imagery incorporated vultures, which are also known as carrion birds.
  • Mind over Matter: The White Rabbit was capable of telekinesis, as he levitated his staff into Saltador's hands.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Was literally given the moniker of Killer Kross down in Mexico once it became abundantly clear that he was every bit the deadly threat he claimed to be.
  • Non-Indicative Name: As the White Rabbit, he didn't wear whitenote  nor did he have any rabbit motifs.
  • No-Sell: In Lucha Underground, he took two superkicks to the face from Joey Ryan and was completely unfazed by it.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The White Rabbit. Who was he? Where did he get the ability of telekinesis? How and why did he know Mascarita Sagrada? We may never know and that makes him even more frightening.
  • Older Hero Versus Younger Villain: He wrestled against older hero wrestler such as Keith Lee 1 year older, Finn Balor 4 years older, Samoa Joe 6 years older, Drew McIntyre 1 month older, Rey Mysterio 11 years older, AJ Styles 8 years older, and Shinsuke Nakamura 5 years older.
  • Red Baron: The Tollman, The King of Evil, The Devil of Monterrey, The Herald of Doomsday, The Calculated Lunatic, and on NXT, he and Scarlett have been called The Tandem of Terror.
  • Shout-Out: His second appearance in Lucha Underground had him tell London that "Time is a flat circle", a Nietzsche quote.
  • Slasher Smile: Anytime Kross smiles, expect it to be a sinister grin.
  • Tattooed Crook: Japanese characters and a grim reaper image stand out amongst the impressive shadows inked all over his back.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Kross is spelled with an K as an intentional match with Kevin, with the nickname of Killer also matching this. Karrion is spelled with a K as an intentional match with Kross.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Kayfabe-only, as he is built like a god, but it's a wonder his proclivity for seething with evil all over his face doesn't scare away the affections of an accurately self-described smokeshow such as Scarlett. On the contrary, it excites her.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Happily billed from Las Vegas after moving there over the course of his career.
  • When He Smiles: One of the signs that Kevin is far more pleasant off the clock than Kross is in the ring or on TV is that his real smile doesn't make you fear for your life.
  • Wicked Cultured: When he speaks, you can tell he's clearly thought through his doomsday philosophy, and for promos he'll usually be dressed up in leather, shades, and/or a nice suit. Doesn't make him any less of a savage monster when it's time to fight.
  • You Don't Look Like You: This goes back and forth. He had hair when his career started, but by the time he debuted in Impact Wrestling and then WWE, he was bald through and through. Fast forward to his 2022 return, whether first seen in MLW and NJPW Strong early on or in WWE over the summer, he becomes nearly unrecognizable before he speaks due to having grown his hair again beforehand. The only cue to recognizing him on SmackDown is the hourglass his valet Scarlett carries, which also doubles as his gimmick item from NXT.

Alternative Title(s): Killer Kross