As one-half of The Ascension with Konnor, Viktor has a certain vision, and he will do whatever he can to impart that vision into the world of WWE. This unpredictable WWE Superstar appears persuaded by a particular outlook to which no one but few can relate. Trained in the acclaimed Hart Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, some would depict the 34-year-old’s grappling style as that of an expert specialist in the squared circle. Viktor prefers to analyze his opponents while waiting for the most felicitous time to attack.
The Ascension first made their imprint in WWE NXT in 2013. Konnor and Viktor ruled the tag team landscape with savage energy, clutching the NXT Tag Team Championships for a record-setting 344 days. All through December 2014 on WWE programming, inauspicious vignettes proclaimed arrival of the monstrous duo to the main roster. The message was basic: The Ascension would transform the squared circle into their instrument of devastation, presenting their adversaries to a no man’s land of discipline.
Konnor and Viktor at last landed on the closing Raw of 2014, pulverizing previous WWE Tag Team Champions Damien Mizdow and The Miz, clobbering the stunt double Superstar with the obliterating Fall of Man. Since their impactful introduction, the titanic group has ruled their adversaries and announced that they will wreak more destruction on WWE than probably the most damaging tag teams in the history of sports-entertainment organization. Whether they can cause more damage than Demolition and The Road Warriors remains to be seen, but The Ascension appear to be headed down a strong path.
After spending over a decade toiling on the independent wrestling circuit, Viktor, who’s real name is Eric Thompson, signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in February 2011. He was assigned to the organization’s then-developmental branch, Florida Championship Wrestling, where he was rechristened Rick Victor. The native of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada native made his television wrestling debut on the May 29, 2011 episode of Florida Championship Wrestling as he partnered with Leo Kruger in a tag team Match loss to Epico and Hunico. On the July 31, 2011 edition of Florida Championship Wrestling, Victor challenged Seth Rollins for the FCW 15 Championship—he was defeated. The following spring, Victor briefly joined forces with the Anti-Divas, Paige and Sofia Cortez. On June 16, 2012 at a non-televised Florida Championship Wrestling live event, Victor beat Seth Rollins to capture the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship for the first time. The reign was quite brief as he lost the strap to Bo Dallas immediately afterwards. He regained the strap from Dallas at a non-televised Florida Championship Wrestling live event on July 13, 2012, becoming a two-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. This reign was brief too as he lost the strap one week later to Richie Steamboat. On July 28, 2012, Victor captured the Florida Tag Team Championship alongside Brad Maddox.
Following the conclusion of the fifth season of WWE NXT on June 13, 2012, Florida Championship Wrestling was rebranded NXT Wrestling, with the various FCW championships being replaced by corresponding NXT championship. NXT thus ceased to become a seasonal competition between “Rookies” and instead became WWE’s developmental promotion. Victor competed on the premiere episode of the rebooted WWE NXT program taped at Full Sail University in Winter Park—airdate June 20, 2012—where he lost to Bo Dallas in a singles match. On the July 12, 2012 episode of WWE NXT, Victor slapped NXT Champion Seth Rollins during a confrontation. This led to Rollins facing and defeating Victor in a non-title contest on the following week’s show.
Following the loss, Victor would not appear on WWE NXT until nearly a year later when he was repackaged as Conor O’Brian’s tag team partner in The Ascension. On September 12, 2013 at a WWE NXT taping, The Ascension defeated Adrian Neville and Corey Graves to capture the NXT Tag Team Championship. The following month, Victor and O’Brian’s ring names were modified to “Viktor” and “Konnor,” respectively. On February 27, 2014 at NXT ArRIVAL—the first professional wrestling event to be streamed live on the WWE Network—Viktor and Konnor successfully defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty). The duo successfully defended their belts on May 29, 2014 at NXT Takeover, defeating El Local and Kalisto.
A little over three-and-a-half years after joining WWE’s developmental system, Viktor, alongside Konnor, made his WWE television debut on the September 9, 2014 episode of WWE Main Event on the WWE Network. To promote their title defense against the team of Kalisto and Sin Cara at NXT TakeOver Fatal 4-Way, the duo beat Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) in a tag team contest. Viktor and Konnor would go on to lose the match and their NXT Tag Team Championship to Kalisto and Sin Cara (known now as the Lucha Dragons). Later during on the show, the debuting Hideo Itami fended off The Ascension when they interrupted his segment to confront William Regal. On the September 25, 2014 episode of WWE NXT, Viktor and Konnor lost a rematch to the Lucha Dragons after Hideo Itami appeared on stage to distract Konnor.
This should come as no surprise, but WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is butting heads with someone in creative. This time, it is yet again his son-in-law Triple H. The two have butted heads creatively before as Vince wants to work for the market side and the money right now. Meanwhile Triple H wants to think long-term, and that hurts the dynamic between the two.
Vince used to think a lot about the future of his product, but due to problems lately where he fears what could happen during the launch of so many ventures, he wants guarantees. Something he was not always after beforehand. Keep in mind, this was the guy who thought of a football company to rival the NFL called the XFL.
Triple H now has that old McMahon thought of building toward the future and still working well in the now. The issue is that now they are butting heads over The Ascension, Konnor and Viktor.
Vince has not been impressed with the recently promoted duo thus far. This includes their look, promo ability and wrestling skills, which he feels is lackluster. Above all else, he feels the audience is not buying them and thus ready to move on. Triple H, on the other hand, feels they need more time to develop. Of course, Triple H’s fingerprints are all over NXT and a talent failure would be a huge blemish to the brand as well as his own credibility.
It was recently reported in the Wrestling Observer that Vince sometimes undercuts Triple H and makes him look bad. However, it could be a simple good cop/bad cop dynamic. The Observer says that there are no hard feelings between Vince and Triple H, so there is no major problem to be worried over. However when the two square off like this, Vince usually gets his way.