Karrion Kross is currently in his second reign as the NXT Champion after he defeated Finn Balor for the title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. His first reign, however, did not last as long as his current one since he had to relinquish the title just four days after winning the championship.
Kross defeated Keith Lee for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: XXX after he connected with a Doomsday Saito Suplex from the top rope. Even though Kross won the championship, he separated his shoulder at some point during the bout and worked through the injury to finish the match.
Speaking with Michael Morales of Lucha Libre Online, Karrion Kross explained how he recovered from a separate shoulder to return to NXT within the span of four months:
“It was a day-by-day process if I’m being honest with you. For anyone who’s ever dealt with certain challenges like that in life, whether it’s physically, mentally or spiritually, you just have to take things day by day.” Kross added, “You’re going to have to battle doubt and you’re going to have to battle phobias and different subconscious things that might not even occur to you initially when you’re thinking or hearing about something going through something like this.
“But every day I woke and just said: ‘I am going to optimize this day. I’m not going to worry about yesterday. I’m not going to worry about tomorrow.” Kross went on, “Today is the day and I’m going to be present. I’m going to make the most of this day’. I did that every single day and that’s what worked for me.”
Karrion Kross worked his way back to the NXT Championship
After recovering from injury, Karrion Kross was ready to return to the ring and by December he was back in action. However, Kross didn’t instantly get a shot at the NXT Championship.
He worked his way back to the top after feuding with top NXT stars like Damian Priest and Santos Escobar, both of whom he defeated in hard fought matches. At NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Karrion Kross finally got a shot at Finn Balor’s NXT Championship.
At the end of the match, Kross connected with two Northern Forearms to the back of Balor’s neck to pick up the victory and win back the NXT Championship.