On the rise: The Ascension crowned new NXT Tag Team Champions
“Sometimes I feel like somebody’s watching me” are song lyrics made famous by the 1984 Rockwell hit. They seem to be an accurate representation of the tendencies displayed by The Ascension’s Conor O’Brian and Rick Victor. The NXT Superstars who have lurked in the distance while surveying the competition have ironically taken a giant leap into the spotlight as the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
“This is the beginning of something that’s going to last for a long, long time,” said NXT Superstar CJ Parker after witnessing the historic title change when The Ascension defeated Adrian Neville and Corey Graves.
Who can argue his point? The Ascension has proven to be one of the most powerful NXT tag teams. To some, their dominance should have warranted a title win much sooner, while others speculate how the new champions will handle the spotlight.
Why has The Ascension finally risen? Known for being a man of few words, O’Brian shed some light on the importance of their championship win: “It’s been a long battle with a ton of setbacks. A lot of soldiers passed through our battle with just a few remaining. Only the strong survive.”
From the beginning, it has been the mystique and aura of The Ascension that has set them apart from other NXT tandems. Oftentimes, O’Brian and Victor have secured a psychological edge over their opponents long before their impactful in-ring style reared its painful head.
“The Ascension stands for physical presence, animalistic mentalities and physical carnage. When opponents see our entrance video and hear our music, they know their fate,” O’Brian told WWE.com.
“We now represent the best of tag teams on NXT,” said Victor. “There is no one like us around here and we aren’t going anywhere but up.”
No other team in WWE’s current landscape seems to garner more questions than answers. Why the darkness? The screams? The distinctive outfits? O’Brian provided a compelling explanation: “The symbol on our outfits is called the ‘Eye of Horus.’ The symbol stands for protection and the all-knowing, but most importantly, it’s tradition to us.”
The idea of tradition might be a little hard to digest for a team like The Ascension. After all, everything they’ve done up to this point seems to buck what most would call tradition. They were quick to point out that what we see on the surface might not be an accurate assessment of the two men that make up the substance.
“Conor and I do not possess so-called magical powers; we just have a strong understanding of what we have to do to be successful. I’m the scalpel and he’s the axe. I dissect and Conor crushes,” Victor revealed.
It’s a sentiment echoed by O’Brian: “We train, watch video and we sit and talk. We communicate with one another and that's what makes us such a destructive force. We understand each other.”
O’Brian and Victor have traveled different roads up to this point. Both have encountered individual career setbacks and were told they would never achieve the success they have. Oddly enough, neither man has chosen to speak about his past, choosing to focus on their united mindset for the future.
“We are hard for most to understand, but really what people don't understand they usually fear. We are that fear in more than one way,” Victor said.
But in the face of fear, is there still light? In the cryptic words of O’Brian, The Ascension may not just be the tandem that NXT has, but the duo NXT truly needs.
“The Ascension is a breathing life force that NXT has never had. We are who we are and that won't change. We don't pretend,” O’Brian said. “We strive to alter the face of this universe and bring it to a higher plane. When we rise, the universe will rise with us.”