WWE Main Roster Stars NXT Champion Karrion Kross Should Feud With
Even after WWE just recently released a dozen or so NXT Superstars, it seems the black-and-gold brand is about to lose several more wrestlers with impending call-ups to the main roster.
According to Andrew Zarian of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the 2021 WWE Draft will follow SummerSlam, and if this past week's episode of Main Event is any indication—he defeated Shelton Benjamin in what was likely a tryout match of sorts to assess his skills—Karrion Kross is set to be moved to Raw or SmackDown.
Assuming he drops the NXT Championship and gets drafted soon, let's look at the Superstars on the main roster who could be great opponents for him to feud with once he makes that big move.
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
While Kross is no Undertaker, he does have more ethereal elements to his character than most Superstars.
Rather than just being another guy in trunks who steps between the ropes and starts chain wrestling, Kross and Scarlett have one of the more elaborate and haunting entrances in the company today.
The more they play with imagery of hourglasses and talk about the apocalypse, the more obvious it becomes that Kross has to feud with Bray Wyatt.
In a battle of demonic possession, mind games and lighting effects, Wyatt should immediately take interest in the new guy on the block who has carved a chunk of the darkness for himself.
The Fiend could pose a legitimate physical threat to Kross, too, as he's one of the least vulnerable wrestlers but still able to lose, which would be important for establishing the NXT newcomer's credibility.
There's even potential for Wyatt and Alexa Bliss to team up—assuming they get back together at some point—against Kross and Scarlett. That's a rare opportunity for a mixed tag team match WWE shouldn't sleep on.
An age-old adage is to pick a fight with the biggest kid in the yard in order to establish your dominance when you're new to a social circle. If Kross wants to do that on Raw, he doesn't have to look much further than Drew McIntyre.
The Scottish Warrior is not just among the tallest and most muscular on the red brand. His status as a two-time WWE champion and the de facto top babyface for over an entire year makes him someone Kross needs to clash with at some point.
After all, Kross is going to want to go straight for competition and the top of the food chain, which McIntyre wants to get back to. There isn't enough room for both at the peak of the mountain.
Few on the roster are as imposing as McIntyre, and if Kross were to beat him, it would instantly send the message that he's not to be overlooked.
Working with a veteran like Randy Orton has more than a few benefits and likely no drawbacks.
While Kross is certainly not a fresh rookie, he's only been wrestling for a few years. That's nothing compared to The Viper's 20-plus years in the business.
Kross could learn a lot by stepping in the ring with Orton. Not just the fundamentals, but character work too. The Apex Predator is in a special class of Superstars who are among the most effective storytellers as both a vicious heel and a dangerous babyface.
The best-case scenario would be Kross as the heel in this feud, with Orton seeing some of himself in him, for better or worse. It could even play out like the total opposite type of partnership than what The Legend Killer has with Matt Riddle at the moment.
A general rule of thumb is that everyone should work opposite AJ Styles. He's just that good in the ring.
The Phenomenal One didn't earn that nickname for nothing. He's consistently one of the best, if not the best, wrestlers in the company.
Whether fighting someone bigger or smaller, no matter what their wrestling style may be, Styles can get the job done.
When looking for learning trees to sit under, Styles is another great option. There's no doubt Kross would walk out of their feud a better wrestler for having had even one match with him.
If Omos is still by Styles' side, too, he would provide backup to help offset the size difference between Styles and Kross.
Seth Rollins checks off nearly everything on the list that's already been said. He's a veteran who is great in the ring, a credible name Kross can beat to establish his status as a monster, and he can play both heel and babyface in their feud.
If heel, The Messiah moniker can be disrupted by Kross and Scarlett's perpetual threats of biblical destruction. Plus, Rollins could be tossed around the ring, and it wouldn't fly against his nature.
However, as a babyface, Rollins could be the type of underdog who stands up to a bigger bully like Kross and puts up a fight but comes up short. He's done it before against Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman and others, so he can do it again.
Also, similar to the Wyatt feud and the potential involvement of Alexa Bliss, if Rollins were to go back to a more babyface character and WWE wanted to pair him back up with his wife, Becky Lynch, those two against Kross and Scarlett is another mixed tag team match opportunity that shouldn't go to waste.
Not only is Kevin Owens one of the most overlooked and underutilized talents who should be on everyone's list for practically any role in the company, he's also just as much of a top guy who can put someone ove.
Owens is a former universal champion. While he hasn't reached that level a second time, he's only a breath away from capturing a title if WWE decides to pay attention to his skills and push him.
Babyface Owens would absolutely challenge a guy like Kross in a bid to prove he's still got it. He'd also likely have no problems losing that feud, based on how few big wins he's had in the past couple of years.
There's an air of genuine passion that Owens breathes into all his character work that could pair nicely with Kross, too. Sometimes, wrestlers feel like they're becoming too close to caricatures of themselves, and a guy like Owens can point that out and snap them back into reality.
That may be necessary for Kross a few months down the line if WWE loses track of who he was in NXT and what got him over to begin with.
Owens can be the perfect big (but not too big) guy in both size and name value to keep Kross grounded while simultaneously boosting him up to a higher level.
One of the most fun characters in WWE today is Sami Zayn's delusional and eccentric conspiracy theorist who attributes everything to karma and universal imbalance.
Not only would it be fun to see Zayn's anguish while feuding with a guy like Kross, who could speak threats of predestined calamities and talk about the ticking clock of impending doom, it would also be great to just see them in the ring together.
Zayn is always entertaining to watch, and when he's up against someone bigger than him—especially while he's playing a cowardly heel role—he's among the best to see get thrown like a ragdoll.
While those are some standout Superstars who should get feuds in the coming year or so, there are still some names worth mentioning.
If WWE cared more about reestablishing Jeff Hardy as a former multitime world champion and let him explore his creativity, he'd be a great option for a short feud to put Kross over.
You can't get much better than Cesaro when looking for all-around in-ring talent. He can not only wrestle but match or equal the strength of anyone on the roster and could pair nicely with Kross in a variety of styles.
Dolph Ziggler is a top-tier seller. He can bounce around the ring like nobody's business. If anyone's going to completely job out and make Kross look like a million bucks, he's the man for the gig and a former world champion in his own right.
Sooner or later, Sheamus is going to have to slug it out with Kross. That would be a simple scenario of two brutes battering each other into submission.
Kross could be the next big man in line to usurp Bobby Lashley on Raw. Either he could beat The All Mighty for the belt or after the title's already changed hands, which could be a catalyst to Kross climbing the ranks.
Lastly, the real money match of them all is against Roman Reigns. That wouldn't work with their current heel characters, but since The Tribal Chief is the top Superstar in the company, he's the obvious endgame to any big push for Kross down the line.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.