Former NXT Star Says WWE Forbid Mentioning The Hart Dungeon

Many fans remember Vik from his days in WWE as one-half of The Ascension. But they may not know that Vik was trained at the legendary Hart Family Dungeon.

Vik says there's a good reason for that. He says during his time in WWE, the company forbid its performers from mentioning the Hart Dungeon on its programming. He also admits he's still not sure exactly why.

"We used to kind of always pitch it," Vik told the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. "Like, this is one of my things, basically. Because that's a thing in wrestling. You know what I mean? That's what I came up watching. Like, everybody else that came from The Dungeon, that it was just kind of a given. You hear somebody is from Calgary and you say, 'That guy can work. That guy is gonna be a good wrestler.'

"When I got to FCW they were just like, 'Nope. We're not letting you say that anymore,'" Vik continued. "And I was like, 'Hmm. Well, thanks.' And I think even [William] Regal said it one time on NXT and they told him to quit saying it. So I really never got a definitive answer as to why. They just told me to drop it. And so I said, 'Fine'. I don't need to keep trying to jam it down your throat if you don't want to accept what I am."

The Hart Family Dungeon closed its doors in 2003, just days after the death of the family's patriarch Stu Hart. Vik believes he is one of the last graduates of The Dungeon who is still wrestling. He said being able to call himself one was helpful earlier in his career.

"It gave me a lot of credit when I would go somewhere," Vik recalled. "Even when I went over to England for the first time back in 2005-06, somewhere around there. They didn't like a lot of foreigners always coming over and taking work – is kind of how I was told even before I got there. Then once I started meeting the guys and talking to them and even a lot of the veterans that were there, I never had any issues. They were all pretty cool with me.

"I felt like it always went a long way until I got to FCW and then it was like, 'Nah. What you are doesn't matter anymore.'"

Vik joined WWE's developmental system in 2011. He witnessed the transformation of FCW into NXT, where he became a tag team champion as part of The Ascension.

WWE released Vik and his tag team partner Konnor in 2019. They remain active on the U.S. independent scene. Also, Vik recently launched a podcast, Wrestling With The Struggle.