The Ascension was released late last year from WWE and that’s something that Bull James aka Bull Dempsey can relate to. He was released from NXT in 2016 and has worked with The Ascension from time-to-time on the indies since then.
James discussed what he thought of their gimmick and them infamously dissing the Legion of Doom in their debut when he joined The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
“I don’t know what happened with all of that as it kind of ruined them. The Ascension in NXT was one of my favorite things. They were cool, people got behind them and they were bad asses,” James said while also noting that he’ll be wrestling them twice next week.
“They were killers and the presentation, the entrance ? that stuff was cool. Even the stuff that people didn’t get to see, I got to see in promo class. Two really creative guys and to see it fall flat was a disservice to them for how hard they worked to get to that point.”
As James mentioned, The Ascension was over in NXT but struggled to find footing once joining the main roster. He was asked why it’s so difficult for NXT talent to transition to Raw or SmackDown.
“The mainstream WWE Raw and SmackDown audience ? maybe now they’re more NXT fans ? but there’s a drop off just in ratings alone. That full-blown Raw and Smackdown fanbase don’t get to see the entire story of that character that gets told on NXT. They just get to see the finished product,” James said before bringing up Adam Rose as someone who reinvented himself in NXT and the fans were able to go along for the ride.
“You can see somebody little start from nothing and go from that to getting a push. You’re board from day one and can say, ‘I saw them when.’ That’s the biggest disconnect from top to bottom.”
NXT is in a new era now that they’re being broadcasted on USA. James was asked if that will help talent more easily move to the main roster.
“Without a doubt ? you can’t beat television penetration. That puts you in front of people’s faces guaranteed. They don’t have to sign up for a network or find a streaming service anywhere. You’re on that television screen and there’s no better advertisement for yourself,” stated James.
From Adam Rose to The Ascension, many Superstars have done well at NXT and then struggled upon debuting on the main roster. James talked about how it feels from talent’s standpoint to see this happening.
“From a creative standpoint, I can tell you it can be stifling. You have this push going on in NXT and there’s this excitement. Then it doesn’t go the way you wanted to and it’s disappointing. From the personal side of it, I’m just happy that my friends are getting called up and making more money,” admitted James.
“I feel like anyone in entertainment will have a role here or there that doesn’t work out or the vision gets lost along the way. It happens. But if you can recover from it and knock it out the park the next time around, there’s gonna be home runs and there’s gonna be strikeouts. Timing mixed with luck and opportunity and the right people pushing for you and writing for you ? it’s a crapshoot.”
Bull will be participating in 80s Wrestling Con on April 18th in Freehold, NJ. For more info please visit 80sWrestlingCon.com. James’ full interview with Wrestling Inc. aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: