Viktor On A Possible WWE Return, If He Still Talks To Konnor, Being The Longest Reigning NXT Tag Team Champions, Cody Rhodes

By Phil Johnson [E-Mail | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website | YouTube]

One-half of the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions of all time (alongside his The Ascension partner Konnor), Viktor, recently joined for an exclusive in-depth interview.  During the discussion, Viktor opened up about if he’d be interested in a potential WWE return, The Ascension being the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions of all time, working with Cody Rhodes, and more.  You can read the entire interview by clicking here.

You can watch the complete interview below:

Here are some highlights:

If He keeps in touch with Konnor and a potential WWE return:

“We don’t keep in touch at all as of late.  We haven’t spoken to each other in quite a while.  There’s no bad blood there by any means.  I think, when we got released we had a bunch of conversations about what we wanted to do, and I think it was kind of like, I looked at it this way.  You know, it seemed to me where I was like, well, we’ve still got opportunity and there’s things going.  So we both were like, ‘Yeah, you know, I think there’s still something left to do.’  COVID hit, and just nothing.  Nothing seemed to work out for us.  So it’s like, you know, just constant stumbling blocks that we couldn’t seem to overcome.  And I think I just kind of got really burnt out.  Like, I think the first little while we enjoyed what we did.  And then after a while there was so much hassle with things that I think it just started to take its toll on us.  And I know, he just kind of went to do his separate thing.  And I kind of didn’t want to do anything for a while.  Like, I was like, you know, I just need to chill, I was really bitter.  Bitter is the best way to put it, kind of, but I was just burned out, super burned out.  Like when I think about all the teachers that I’ve seen and worked with who have sat and watched with and worked with a million different wrestlers and all the hours of wrestling that they’ve ever seen when it’s like, just in my time, I know how much I’ve seen.  And it’s just like, wow, I just needed to take a really big break.

“Only even recently have I been able to even start watching certain wrestling again.  But I mean, I’ve thought about that [returning to WWE] before I used to say no.  I don’t have any desire to go back to WWE.  I mean, the money would always be great.  But I think of what cost that comes with.  It’s one of those things like I saw that the Headbangers recently got a Legends deal, or that something along those lines is what they signed.  And I was like, that’s really awesome.  I was really happy for them.  I don’t ever expect Konnor and me to get something like that from WWE, because we’re just forgotten about.

“After our NXT run, they did everything to make people forget that we were the longest-reigning NXT champions.  And so I think they just want to leave it that way.  But would I ever go back for a singles run or something like that?  I don’t know.  I mean, I don’t really have any desire to go back there and work under those circumstances, is the best way I can put it.  I think, especially now, I mean, I think if it was just, you know, Paul, Triple H running the company, maybe.  I always really liked Paul and Stephanie.  I mean, I don’t really personally have anything against Vince, that he would have done to me or something like that.  But there’s just something about it.  I got turned off by a lot that happened with Brody’s death, and how it was handled by certain people within that company.  It just really showed me that like, they don’t give a sh*t.  Like no matter what.  And that’s not saying everybody there doesn’t give a sh*t about it.  It’s a very small minority.  It just turned me off too much.”

Being one-half of the longest reigning NXT Tag Team Champions of all time (alongside his The Ascension partner Konnor):

“I’ve kind of gone over this a few times because I think there was a point where like, I stopped caring because they weren’t allowed to even bring it up when we weren’t around anymore.  And that was one of those things, it really got to me because the commentators were always looking.  They knew what we’re capable of, you know what I mean?  Obviously, of all the people that we worked with all the time knew what we’re capable of.  And so I think that was still a way that they wanted us to remind people that we weren’t what was being portrayed of us at that moment.  You know, what I mean, kind of give us a little bit of hope.  And I can remember, I’m pretty sure it was Tom, that came and was like, ‘Hey, I just got told that we’re no longer ever allowed to mention this again. ‘  And I was like, ‘Well, that took long enough.’  So like it used to kind of sting that way where I was like, ‘Well, you know, they’re just going to erase us and forget about us,’ as best as they can.

“But after all this time, like even I think it’s been almost five years, four or five years that I’ve been away.  And nobody’s ever really come close.  I was there, I’m forgetting who it was now.  Was it Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Riley, who were maybe champions for quite a while, like, I can’t remember who the longest last reigning ones were.  And I thought they were kind of coming close.  Like, I just can’t remember who it was now.  Right now, I couldn’t even tell you who the NXT Tag Team Champions are.  And that’s not by any fault of theirs.  I’m just not really paying attention.  When you just said Gunther was a long reigning Intercontinental Champion I was like, ‘huh,’ I was kind of paying attention to him.  And the last thing I remember seeing which I couldn’t tell you what it was, was when he won the IC title.  What I mean, like, there’s guys who I do try to pay attention to, and I haven’t, I mean, lately, I’ve, I’ve gotten so away from Twitter.  And I mean, when I look out on Instagram stuff is just no longer so much wrestling.  That surprises me.

“But I mean, now it just tells me that they haven’t invested in anybody, as long as they did in us.  So there’s like that point of pride because there was a lot of work put into us, I mean, by guys like, Bill DeMott.  And Dusty Rhodes, and Byron Saxton used to sit there and do so much stuff with us.  And I mean, when we were kind of coming into our own to be what we were in NXT, Hunter worked with us a lot, which was really awesome.  Because like, I felt like we were really paying off.  Everybody’s hard work like myself, Ryan was working his balls off.  And I mean, him and Bill had, like, and old relationship from Deep South that ran deeper than the relationship I had with Bill.  So Bill was definitely a lot harder on him.  Not that they, you know, they went back and forth, which one they wanted to be hard on and what way when they did, but I think Bill just kind of knew how to get in Konnor’s head more as to how to, you know, motivate him or how he saw fit to motivate him.  And so like it was it was a really big struggle for a long time and then to finally have that pay off at the time, was so funny, because I mean, like back then we were just working so hard and always going grinding.  And so when it finally was like the payoff of like, ‘Yeah, okay, you guys are getting it’ and it stayed that way for a while like it was, you know, it was very satisfying.  And then to see that that’s still kind of like held up, even within that is cool.  I really do find a little bit of pride, I suppose and still be able to say that.”

Working with Cody Rhodes as part of Cosmic Wasteland and why it ended:

“Cosmic Wasteland, I believe fizzled out because I think that was when Cody was starting to leave.  I think he’d had enough of this sh*t.  Because we really enjoyed all working together.  We enjoyed what we’re doing together.  It was a lot of fun.  And Cody is the perfect motivator because he was always like, ‘Guys, we gotta go do thi.  We’ve got to go to the star room and do a promo for not doing a promo on TV, we’re gonna do some sh*t for social media.’  He was always on top of it.  He always had ideas.  So it was awesome.  Like it was.  We had a lot of fun doing that, even though I know he hated the Stardust gimmick, but he was awesome to be around.  It was great to work with.  It was funny because the first couple of matches of us working together, not in Cosmic Wasteland, but when it was like him and Dustin against us, me and him had next to no f**king chemistry in the ring together.  Which just seems so odd because like, I’d wanted to work with them so bad, and so like the couple things that were funky a little bit, seemed to go away after a couple matches, and we all got it.  And then we had a lot of fun doing Cosmic Wasteland.  And I really, I loved the couple years that we had together even just like touring and stuff like that.”

“I have so many good fond memories with Cody, and I was really happy, even when he did what he did, going to AEW, it’s what he needed to do.  So I was happy he did it.  But i think that is what brought an end to the Cosmic Wasteland, because I know we kept trying to do stuff, and stuff would get like, kind of sh*t canned or pushed to the side.  And I know he was super frustrated with things and I think that was when they started going through their contract negotiations.  And so I think that was more or less what brought the end of the Cosmic Wasteland, was that.”

Viktor also revealed what Shawn Michaels told Konnor about The Ascension, and what he’s been up to lately.  He also recalled his interactions with Brock Lesnar backstage, his thoughts on the current WWE and AEW products, and more.  You can check out the complete interview at this link.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this interview,
please credit with an h/t to for the transcript.

About The Author