Konnor Recalls Being Pitched The Idea of The Ascension, How It Evolved

In an interview with Wrestling Inc, Big Kon (formerly Konnor of WWE) spoke about being pitched The Ascension and how the group changed from its original incarnation. Here are highlights:

On the start of the group: “It all started when it would’ve been NXT season five, the original NXT version, where I got voted off, and no one likes be rejected. So I was pissed. And I was hurt. So I get a text message from Bill DeMott who says, ‘Listen, we got some ideas for you, so report to practice on Wednesday please.’ And I was like, ‘Yes, sir.’ So I show up, and he goes on about the idea they were looking to do, and this is what they’re thinking. So then I saw it was Shaul [Guerrero], it was Epico, it was Tom Latimer (Bram), it was Ricardo Rodriguez, and it was me. And I’m looking at the five of us and I’m thinking this doesn’t make any sense at all. Like to me, I’m shooting straight right now, it looked to me like this is just five rejects that no one knows what to do with. And I was like, “this just doesn’t make sense’. And Bill was like, ‘Just trust me, trust it, Dream sees something.’ And of course then Ricardo, Ricardo Rodriguez was the one that actually came up with this. The actual idea of this was going to be based off of the five chakras. And this was the direction he wanted to go with it. He tried to explain everything to me because I think he knew that I was a little upset at that time from the night before, he was trying to calm me down, because you know, your mind is just all over the place at this point.”

On Dusty Rhodes’ idea for the group: “So we walk into the office and he asks what we see here. And I go, ‘I don’t know.’ I said some pretty harsh things. And Dream looks at me and goes, ‘No baby. I see a bunch of VAMPIRES’. So the thing is, at this time True Blood was the hot thing. And I know because Shaul was smartening us all up to it because we didn’t know what was going on. And we were like, ‘Okay, cool. You know what, if it works it works.’ And all of a sudden Dream looks at me and goes, ‘Ricardo ain’t no vampire. He’s f–king fired. He’s out.’ And I literally looked at him and I go, ‘No, no Dream! He told us to do this!’ And he’s like, ‘He ain’t no vampire. You want me to tell him or are you going to tell him?’ I go, ‘I ain’t telling him. You’re nuts.’ Basically that’s how The Ascension became that goth, kind of vampire-esque look. And as time went on it kind of evolved into something a little bit more unique.”

On how the group changed: “Then Shaul went her own way at that time, and Epico ended up going up to the main roster to be with Primo. And then I broke my back that year. So I was out for almost nine months. So it was just Tom Latimer, Kenneth Cameron at that time, holding the fort down. And so they gave him this whole gargoyle look. But then as time went on, I came back, we did our little faction. It was a rough night I guess for him. He ended up getting his walking papers. Then, Hunter pulled me aside and goes, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about Viktor. Because Viktor looks like he could be a part of what that is, that brand.’ And I agreed,” Big Kon said. “So then we brought Viktor in, and it kind of evolved into this kind of grittier, metal version. They wanted to give us more edge. Those were Hunter’s exact words, ‘We want to give you guys more edge.’ They gave us new theme music, we just kind of started putting our stuff together from there.”

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