Those that have read an article or two of mine might be able to locate a trend: I’m a pretty big fan of The Ascension. The duo from the Wasteland seem to have been on a constant losing streak since being called up from their pretty impressive tenure in NXT. Konnor and Viktor still hold the record for longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions – although if things carry on the way they seem to be going, that record will likely be topped by The Undisputed Era – but unfortunately, things just didn’t seem to work out for them on the main roster.
The Ascension originally began making waves by defeating countless jobbers on a weekly basis, pretty standard booking for Vince’s latest playthings, but things hit a snag when they were set to face The New Age Outlaws at Royal Rumble 2015. Their momentum was already on a down-slide after being consistently degraded on commentary and taking a pretty one-sided beating from the likes of the NWO, D-X and The APA.
Despite securing a victory (their only PPV victory to date) against Billy Gunn and Road Dogg at the Rumble, they never truly recovered from the outright burial that took place on the prior episode of Raw. Soon enough, The Ascension were found lost in the mix, on the losing end of most tag matches for the best part of the year, before being relegated to the occasional appearance on Superstars and Main Event.
The two eventually resurfaced as part of Stardust’s faction, The Cosmic Wasteland. Although that was an extremely short-lived stable which was really truly doomed from the beginning, the trio managed to win an encounter against Neville and The Lucha Dragons, yet that did nothing for their status or presence on the roster.
Since the brand extension, The Ascension have very rarely been featured outside of live events. They had a brief run with Breezango as part of The Fashion Files, which admittedly managed to bring them off the benches for a couple of televised matches. Similar to their run with Stardust, however, it ultimately failed and they faded back into irrelevance.
However, things seem to have taken a turn in recent weeks.
The Ascension have been involved in a minor feud with the team of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable – two established stars on the main roster. Naturally, you’d assume that the babyface team of Roode and Gable would be picking up wins left, right and centre against our two Wasteland dwellers, you’d be wrong. In a surprising twist, Konnor has managed to pin both Gable and Roode, picking up his (and Viktor’s) first wins on Raw in well over three years.
Before I get too ahead of myself, I am willing to admit and accept that this is purely a vehicle to give Roode and Gable a big win, but for once it’s exciting to see The Ascension be given a couple of wins to help build up some credibility. Enhancement talent only really work when they have a modicum of threat, and prior to these two wins, The Ascension had none.
The question at hand is whether or not this is going to evolve into a reboot for The Ascension. Could this be the second coming for their team? Might we finally be able to see them meet the standard they were competing at on NXT?
Bobby Roode is someone that a lot of fans have been expecting to turn heel for some time – Gable, being a natural babyface, would be an ideal person for him to do so with. Should The Ascension manage to capture one more win over their rivals, then it may push Roode over the edge against Chad, leaving Konnor and Viktor with some momentum to work with.
The Raw tag team division is slowly shaping up to be quite stacked; The Revival, AOP and The B-Team are all viable contenders for the championships, adding in The Ascension could definitely help keep things fresh. The Ascension have proven that they can hang as dominant heel champions, so why not let them run with a similar opportunity on Raw?
Of course, there’s going to need to be a lot of work put in to make them seem worthy of the top position, but the gimmick works. They have the look, they just need to gain some steam. Allow them to slowly rack up the wins and get over organically, rather than shoving them down everybody’s throats like they attempted to during their initial run post call-up.
It’s a shame to see anyone get lost in the shuffle, especially after having such a strong run in developmental. The Ascension have always been referred to as one of the biggest failures, but I for one think that there’s enough left to salvage. Should they follow through with these huge upset victories over former champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, then there’s nothing holding them back from feuding with some of the other talent on Raw. Konnor and Viktor have been able to adapt to many different styles and audiences, which to me suggests that they are one of the most valuable teams left untapped.
Give them the ball, let them run, allow this to naturally become one of the success stories of the year.
Yes, I’m fully prepared for this opportunity to be snatched away from me within a week, but I’ll sit here with my Ascension tee and hope that they’re on the road to recovery as stars of the tag division.
What do you make of their recent winning streak? Do you think there’s anything left to salvage? Let us know in the comments.