Jim Ross has discussed a tag team choosing to walk away from WWE after being “offended” that Vince McMahon wanted to send them to developmental.
2001 was a time of great upheaval in the entire wrestling business as well as WWE. WCW and ECW had fallen by the wayside and WWE had a roster stacked with talent after bringing in several names from the two failed companies.
Two men the company brought in at that time were Bryan Clark and Brian Adams, collectively known as KroniK. Even though the team only formed less than a year before the demise of WCW, they managed to capture the WCW Tag Team Championship on two occasions.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast [available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com] Head Of Talent Relations in WWE at the time Jim Ross discussed how the team came to the company and says it is likely to do with their relationship with The Undertaker:
“I think ‘Taker probably went to Vince and said, ‘Hey, look, I got an idea.’ Vince is really good about the top guys… we talked about Austin turning heel. Vince said, ‘Well, we owe it to him to try it.’ So that’s kind of what we did. We went along with ‘Taker’s suggestion and hired both those guys.”
KroniK only had two televised matches in WWE, one of which came at Unforgiven 2001 when they were handily defeated by Kane and The Undertaker. Afterwards, the duo was asked to go and work in WWE’s developmental territory of Heartland Wrestling Association to hone their skills but the two men baulked at that suggestion:
“I was honest but they were offended and I can understand to some degree why. I got orders from headquarters, man, what am I gonna do? ‘Oh, Vince, you’re wrong on this deal. Those guys are a great team.’ They weren’t a great team at that time. We wanted them to be a great team, and if they were then you’ve got two badass heels that might draw yourself some money. But it just wasn’t on the cards.”
KroniK teamed together a handful of times for All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002 and 2003. Their last match came in January 2003 when they lost inside the Tokyo Dome to the team of Japanese legend Keiji Muto and Goldberg.