The stable was originally introduced in FCW as the brainchild of Ricardo Rodriguez, the personal ring announcer of Alberto Del Rio. The stable consisted of Conor O'Brian, a former rookie on the NXT competition and protege of Del Rio; Kenneth Cameron, a British professional wrestler more known today as the ex-husband of WWE Diva Charlotte and for his stint in TNA as Bram; Tito Colon, later known as former WWE Tag Team Champion Epico and Fernando of Los Matadores; and Raquel Diaz, the daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero.
Video packages introduced The Ascension with a dark gimmick similar to The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. Unfortunately, the group was short-lived, as O'Brian was injured, Colon was called up to team with his cousin on the main roster, Diaz became Queen of FCW, and Rodriguez was preoccupied with his association with Del Rio. Cameron would maintain the Ascension gimmick by himself heading into 2012, until O'Brian returned to reform the union as a tag team just in time for the transition from FCW to NXT. Despite quickly gaining momentum on the remodeled developmental brand, the team's run was abruptly interrupted as Kenneth got in trouble with the law and soon found himself back in the indies.
Like Kenneth before him, Conor continued on with the Ascension gimmick as he ran solo until fellow developmental star Rick Victor, long inactive due to injuries of his own, resurfaced and joined with Conor as his partner in 2013. The Ascension quickly captured the NXT tag team championships and had the longest reign in the title's history to date, having their ring names shortened and tweaked to Konnor and Viktor respectively. They were quickly promoted to the main roster afterwards, grabbing a new gimmick calling back on the Mad Max-inspired teams of the 1980s like the Road Warriors and Demolition.
"Fall of Tropes":
- Arch-Enemy: The Usos, for the Connor and Kenneth incarnation.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Apparently, The Wasteland is a good place to build an immunity to poisonous gases, which is how they survived almost being gassed to death while being held hostage.
- Badass Beards of Evil: Viktor's stands out a bit more, though.
- Blasphemous Boast / Cheap Heat: Their claims to be the only good tag team ever, even disrespecting great teams of the past including teams with deceased members, definitely count as this.
- Boring, but Practical: Their offensive style. They just punch, kick, stomp, slam, smack you around until you either can't take any more, or you turn the tables.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They may be low on the Main Roster totem pole and otherwise quite weird, they are still in the records for longest reigning and most dangerous tag-team in NXT history, and when pushed can be quite the formidable team. It just hasn't translated well in the Main Roster.
- Butt-Monkey: They are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole when it comes to the main roster. So much so that when Viktor joined a jobber stable (the Social Outcasts, taking the place of the suspended Adam Rose) in the wake of Konnor's Wellness Vacation, it was considered a promotion.
- "We are The Ascension! Welcome to the wasteland."
- "We… will… rise."
- Characterization Marches On:
- The Ascension stable underwent this about a month or two into the team's formation at FCW. Originally they were clients of Ricardo Rodriguez's father's talent agency (Ricardo would claim that Alberto Del Rio was this as well), before ditching Rodriguez and being repackaged into pseudo-demonic feral warriors.
- The members themselves all changed in the process of joining the group. Konnor was better known from his time as a protege of Alberto Del Rio in the NXT competition as a guy with a rather comical affinity for rats based on his face looking similar to them. Raquel, both before and after her brief Ascension stint, was best known as Eddie and Vickie Guerrero's ambitious and/or vain daughter. Tito was a Masked Luchador under the Epico name, and Kenneth was a generic fresh-faced Brit. Viktor was a slightly arrogant and calculating guy best known as the last graduate of Stu Hart's Dungeon, though his darkness was growing incrementally before he even linked up with Konnor.
- Shortly after winning the NXT tag team titles, Konnor and Viktor would explain in a WWE.com article interview that they're not demons or supernatural creatures, just guys with a certain philosophical understanding of what it takes to dominate in the ring. Their gimmick wound up transitioning from Underworld meets Ministry of Darkness to Mad Max meets The Illuminati.
- Nowadays, they've become a sort of parody of themselves: Their dark image is more The Comically Serious and they're more like Harmless Villain or Minion with an F in Evil, as well as playing The Straight Man to the somehow odder Breezango.
- Dark Is Evil Expy: They've been said to resemble a self-formed Ministry of Darkness with screaming. They openly admit they're not demons, though. Nowadays, they've become one of The Road Warriors, for better or worse.
- Dark Is Not Evil: More recently.
- Evil Duo: Konnor and Viktor, hands down. Preceded by Conor and Kenneth before them.
- Evil Laugh: Konnor used to have this.
- Four Is Death: Once upon a time the Ascension was a stable with Conor O'Brian, Kenneth Cameron (now Bram in TNA), Tito Colon (now Epico or Fernando of Los Matadores), and Raquel Diaz (also known as Eddie and Vickie's daughter Shaul Guerrero). Then injuries and call-ups happened and the Ascension materialized as a tag team, first with Conor and Kenneth, then with Konnor and Viktor. This is the iteration you now see on TV.
- The Illuminati:
- The initial gimmick of the Ascension as talents supported by Ricardo Rodriguez' talent agency was meant to have some allusion to this.
- The symbolism is all over Konnor and Viktor's titantron video to the point where half the comments you see online about the main roster Ascension will be regarding this. The other half will be about them being Road Warrior Captains Ersatz. With their pathetic main roster win-loss record and brief role as cronies to a Mr. Sinister Expy they're almost a parody of enforcers to such a group.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: They did not get the hint.
- Non-Indicative Name: The Ascension was a far more fitting name for them on NXT than on the main roster, where all they've done since being a month in was descend down the pecking order post-haste.
- Power Trio:
- The original Ascension lineup was essentially this (Connor, Tito, Kenneth) flanked by a manager (Ricardo) and a valet (Raquel).
- Konnor and Viktor were briefly led by Stardust as one of these, known as either the Cosmic Wasteland or the Astral Alliance.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Their attire since hitting the main roster.
- Red Baron: The Ascension name has been this for Konnor (as well as former teammate Kenneth Cameron) in the past. Nowadays Konnor is described as the "Bludgeon" and Viktor as the "Scalpel" of the team.
- Screaming Warriors
- Shout-Out: Viktor's part in the "Fall of Man" Finishing Move used to be called the Psycho Crusher. He still refers to it as such unofficially.
- The Straight Man: Unbelievably, they are this to Breezango, despite being quite odd themselves.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Konnor and Viktor. They weren't always this way; it was a recent development after they got the NXT tag titles.