Karrion Kross Explains How Richard Nixon And ‘Dark City’ Influenced His Character
Photo Credit: WWE
Karrion Kross says ECW legend The Sandman was one of his big character influences before getting into the business.
Karrion Kross was the latest guest on the Table Talk podcast, where they discussed his professional wrestling career and his current run in WWE. When asked about his influences growing up, he credited Gary Albright and Dr. Death Steve Williams, but when it came to character work, he credited the likes of ECW originals, Raven and The Sandman:
“I grew up with a catch wrestling family, so when I would go to practice right see him doing that stuff on TV,” Kross said. “Gary Albright [and] Dr. Death, those two guys that type of stuff because I was involved like grappling and stuff when I was a kid, so that really spoke to me.
“In terms of characters. I would definitely say Raven, Dudleys, the way Sandman would be able to capture a whole building without being able to say one word, it was just a look, just be able to turn this head, and that whole side of the building would just tear apart, and that’s power. That’s power. He didn’t have to say anything. I mean, little things like that I mean, I have my favorites from all over the place. I have tons of favorites in WWF too. I was a very big Diesel fan when I was a kid, Sycho Sid, Brian Pillman.
“You know to this day. Everybody has a preconceived notion of what it is that they’re watching that we do, and everybody thinks they know exactly what they’re watching, but when Pillman was on the TV, you had no idea. That is something that cannot be taught, the same thing with Bobby Heenan and Roddy Piper. To this day, Jerry Lawler too. Andy Kaufman, that whole thing. I could go on forever, and I’ve been deep into this since I was a kid. People would be shocked.”
Regarding how he came up with his “Tick Tock” and “Fall and Pray” character, Karrion Kross credited the movie Dark City along with documentaries on the Richard Nixon administration.
Patience is a virtue.
Violence is a symptom.
Suffering is a catharsis.
— Karrion Kross (@WWEKarrionKross) October 5, 2021
“Well, when I first broke out of the business at the independent level, I was looking at everyone who is currently on the local show that I was in when I got my break in Las Vegas,” Karrion Kross began. “Everyone seemed to have all of the –, and I don’t mean this pretentiously at all. They just they have the usual suspects of gimmicks, all on the show. There was a shoot wrestler on the show. There was the loudmouth. There was like a Honky Tonk spin-off. There was like a group of dark figures that were there. There was the big man, the small man, David, Goliath, all that.
“I was like, I want to get on the show, and I understand the concept of you’re getting on the show because you’re supposed to be contributing to the program, not just getting to wrestle, everyone wants to wrestle, like how can you contribute to the program. So I was thinking about some of my immediate interests in terms of character development, and what I like to watch what I was into, and at the time, a movie was on called Dark City. I don’t know if anybody would be able to find it, it’s a little bit of like an obscure film, but it had a lot to do with time.
“Then following that, I was watching a lot of programs about the Richard Nixon administration era, and at that time, they introduced something called the doomsday clock. And it was basically like this propaganda piece that was like just terrifying people every single night they come on, they’d have this clock, and they were talking about the Cold War and all this stuff going on in Russia and like they were telling people like you know, as this conflict begins to expand the clock is going down and we’re going to be through the war like they were just terrorizing people every night and they put the TV on and watch it was insane.
“And I was just thinking myself like I can’t imagine a world that was like that, where they were just like gassing people up every night with this and then I kind of at the time I married the two things that I was watching something semi-supernatural with time and clocks and that time period where you’re telling people, Hey, I’m coming for you, and here’s the clock, and it’s ticking down, and I thought that now there’s clocks and time everywhere. Anytime anyone sees the time or clock, they begin thinking about this character. And so that just began to develop and expand, and I have a bit of a shoot background, and so I kind of wanted to marry the larger than life ideology of character work, and then the shoot stuff where people were seeing on TV with combat sports, so that’s how I developed that character.”
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During the same podcast, Karrion Kross and D-Von Dudley also discussed how A Nightmare On Elm Street influenced Road Warrior Hawk’s on-air persona. Read their full comments on the film at this link.
Are you surprised Karrion Kross took influence from wrestlers like The Sandman? Have you ever seen the movie Dark City? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.