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#ThrowbackThursday: The Descent of the Ascension

The Ascension is known as the most dominant tag team in the history of NXT, having held the NXT Tag Team Championships for 364 days until the Lucha Dragons won the titles from them last year. Since dropping the titles to Kalisto and Sin Cara, they got demoted to the main roster and have become the premier jobbers in the tag team division.

As we celebrate Throwback Thursday at the Smark Henry offices, let's take a look back at the Ascension's rise through FCW, NXT, and their descent through the WWE main roster.

The Ascension started out as a Latino cultist stable, led by Ricardo Rodriguez. At the time, Rodriguez led a group that included Raquel Diaz (or Shaul Guerrero, Eddie's eldest daughter), Tito Colon (Fernando of Los Matadores), Kenneth Cameron (Bram of TNA), and Conor O'Brian (now known as Konnor).

One of their early matches in FCW featured a menacing entrance that had a lot of promise because of the intimidation factor, plus the fact that we don't get stables like this every day. Never mind that they didn't have a lot in common. They were being built as the next super-stable in FCW and they looked good doing it.

Not long after their debut, Rodriguez left the group while the other four members continued on under the Ascension stable. Check out the original Ascension's 6-man tag match from 2011 below against a young Jason Jordan, a short-haired Colin Cassady and some gorgeous dude named Mike Dalton.

Not long after this match, Raquel Diaz broke away from the Ascension and became the Queen of FCW, while Tito Colon got called up to the main roster as Epico. Conor O'Brian got injured, too, leaving Kenneth Cameron as the only member of the Ascension. Cameron would go on to use the Ascension gimmick as a singles wrestler until O'Brian rejoined him in March 2012.

Together, Cameron and O'Brian's incarnation of the Ascension saw them act like characters from the Underworld movie franchise, which was actually pretty badass.

They would team up through 2012 until Cameron got released in November of that year over an arrest. Conor continued to use the Ascension gimmick on his own until Rick Victor appeared and started joining Conor. 

Conor O'Brian and Rick Victor would win the NXT Tag Team Championships from Adrian Neville and Corey Graves on the October 2 episode of NXT, and about a month later, they were renamed as Konnor and Viktor.

During their run of domination throughout NXT, they were just a couple of badasses who hit hard and slowly won over the NXT faithful. The Full Sail crowd would routinely yell "YA!", which was the Ascension's battle cry throughout their matches.

Upon getting called up to the main roster, Konnor and Viktor's Ascension gimmick evolved once more, this time, into its current incarnation. They started wearing spiked shoulder pads, clearly a nod to the Legion of Doom. They also began wearing face paint and began incorporating the Eye of Ra, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health into their gear.

Unfortunately, their ascension to the main roster encountered multiple bumps in the road, including legends burying them in the ring, JBL burying them on commentary, and Creative mishandling them, all of which leading to their current status as the jobbers of the tag team division.

It's a shame that such a promising gimmick achieved its potential in the developmental stage of NXT, but so far, has failed to catch on and duplicate its success on the main roster. 

Here's to hoping that their alliance with Stardust, known as the Cosmic Wasteland, could open the door to a decent run for Konnor and Viktor. The most dominant tag team in the history of NXT deserves better than this. 

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