Viktor made an appearance on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast to discuss a wide range of topics.
During it, he discussed the evolution of The Ascension, which lasted from 2011 through 2019. The first incarnation of the group was Conor O’Brian, Kenneth Cameron, Ricardo Rodriguez, Tito Colon, and Raquel Diaz before Viktor was paired with Konnor.
“It was actually Ricardo Rodriguez that came up with the whole Ascension gimmick. That started with him, Orlando Colon, Raquel, Thom Latimer, and then Conor. When Dream (Dusty Rhodes) saw it, he said, ‘I like this idea. I want to run with it. It’s like True Blood and Vampires.’ That wasn’t how it appeared at first, but I think that’s how Dusty took it, and so those guys ran with it. I think Ricardo had been hurt and I think he had gone back up on the road so he kind of got separated from it, and they just had the four of them doing it. Then a bunch of stuff happened. They pulled Orlando up and put him with Primo. Then I think Conor broke his back at one point in time. I remember watching that match. He had taken a spill out of the ring and hit the floor. That was before they even had mats around the ring in FCW. He hit the floor and broke some part of his back and he was out for quite a while. Then they just had Thom and Raquel doing it for a while. Then I think Raquel had some issues and she got let go for a while or she had asked for her release, I can’t remember which one.
Then Conor came back. Then Thom got released. Norman Smiley always said, ‘I see you in The Ascension’, and Dream would always say, ‘I don’t see you in The Ascension.’ We would try to put promos in front of him sometimes, but he just wouldn’t bite on it. Dream would say, ‘I see you doing something else Viktor. There’s something else for you in this company and it isn’t The Ascension’ I guess Conor started going up and doing the live events and stuff like that. They came back to NXT, and apparently at the TV before that we did this or something? I think it was when Conor was working with Big E at the time, and I guess Norman and Billy Kidman were sitting there at the time at the timekeeper’s table watching the match. Noman said to Billy, ‘I see Viktor teaming with Conor. I see him making The Ascension gimmick complete.’ Billy, I guess agreed with him. Hunter walked up two minutes later and was watching the match. He said, ‘I really like Conor. I really like the Ascension gimmick, but it’s missing something. It’s just one person. I really need somebody else for it.’ Billy Kidman looked at him and said, ‘Norman just said to me that we should put Viktor in The Ascension’, and I guess Hunter looked at the screen, sat there for a minute and said, ‘I think you guys are right.’ That’s how it happened.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription