Vik, who wrestled under the ring name Viktor in The Ascension in WWE, shares the frustration of fans over awkward transitions many talents have faced when moving from NXT to the main roster. He recalled the struggles he and his tag team partner Konnor quickly faced after their callup.

“When we first came up we were Vince’s shiny new toys and I think we were tarnished in a month,” Vik told the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. “So, it didn’t take too long. At the same time, we kept trying to prove ourselves over and over again with every opportunity that we were ever given. And it was funny because it would always feel like we would get a little traction on something or we’d kinda catch his eye again. And then he’d just forget about us the next week.”

The Ascension was repackaged after they were called up to WWE’s main roster in December 2014. They were given new gear and were instructed to start wearing facepaint. Vik questioned the role NXT played in preparing him for the main roster.

“It certainly doesn’t make any sense why you would change somebody’s look when they’ve already established themselves as characters,” Vik explained. “Like that was the thing. NXT, I felt like for a lot of us, was like our evolution. You’d start out as fresh-faced whoever on NXT and you’d evolve into who you’d become. And so that way by the time you’re on the main roster you didn’t have to redo yourself.

“But then it seemed like everybody that they brought up at that time was just like, ‘We’re gonna completely redo you – the way you look and make you something different,'” Vik continued. “And you’re like, ‘Why the f*ck did I just spend five years working my ass off, chiseling myself into what I am now?’ I just couldn’t believe it.”

Vik remembered a specific incident after Nevile – now using the name Pac in AEW – was called up from NXT. He was initially going to be outfitted with a mask for his main roster debut.

“I’ll never forget watching Neville walk into the locker room with the cape and one of the dumbest masks I’ve ever seen in my life,” Vik recalled. “We were like, ‘What the f*ck is this?’ He almost quit that day.”

The mask idea was reconsidered and never appeared on WWE television. Vik says it’s just one example of an often inexplicable creative process behind the scenes in WWE.

“It’s a very bizarre environment because nobody really has any answers for why,” Vik stated. “It’d be easy to just say, ‘Oh, it’s all Vince.’ but I’m sure it’s not all Vince. I’m sure there’s something else behind everything.”

WWE released Vik and his tag team Konnor in 2019. Vik says he takes some comfort in knowing that the frustrations they faced were not unique to them.

“We weren’t the first,” Vik said. “We weren’t the last. It’s one of those things were where at least I know it wasn’t just us. It’s just kind of the system in general. There’s something wrong with it.”

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