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Viktor from The Ascension says he was not allowed to mention the Hart Dungeon in WWE, his first meeting with Johny Laurinaitis was strange



Vik the Spacelord, aka Viktor from The Ascension, was on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling to talk about his wrestling career. He talked about his run in NXT, the main roster, Triple H, Vince McMahon, FCW, OVW, winning the NXT Tag Team Titles, main roster failures, Konor, and more.

Viktor said he was not allowed to mention the Hart Dungeon when he got to WWE:

“When I got to WWE, they told me I wasn’t really allowed to say it. I’m not too sure if it had to do with the Benoit stigma or whatever it was, but we used to always pitch it. Like, this is one of my things because that’s a thing in wrestling. Everybody else that came from the Dungeon, it was a given that if you hear somebody is from Calgary and you’re like, ‘That guy can work. That guy is going to be a good wrestler.’ When I got to FCW, they were like, ‘Nope, we're not letting you say that anymore.’ I think even (William) Regal said it one time on NXT and they told him to quit saying it. I never got a definitive answer as to why. They just told me to drop it, and I said fine.”

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Thoughts on John Laurinaitis:

“When I was trying to get hired, I did not like him. But I didn’t know how to take him. The Johnny Ace that I first met when I was trying to get hired was not the same guy as I knew as a producer once I was hired. It was very strange. I just can’t figure it out because it was like two completely different people. It wasn’t like the first one I met was a d*ck or something like that. He just seemed like he was very full of himself at the time. One of his favorite lines when we were extras in the back was, ‘You kids probably don’t even know who I am. I was only over in Japan and I wasn’t even really over there. How did I ever get to be Vince’s right hand man. It doesn’t make sense, but here I am.’ I heard him say that almost every time I was an extra. Even when he hired me, I was amazed that I got hired that day because I felt like I was in a boxing match and getting my lights knocked out. I said, ‘No, I don’t think you want to hire me and I don’t think there’s anything I can say to make you hire me’, and then he hired me. But working with him on the road, he was a great producer. He helped us out a lot any time he was producing one of our matches. We had great matches. He was actually a lot of fun to work with. He was always very upbeat. He was very much the People Power person that you saw but without being a jerk about it. He was always in a good mood. He always wanted to see whoever he was working with that day have awesome matches.”

Viktor talking about the evolution of The Ascension:

“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.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to for the transcription.