On 16th April, news was broken that WWE’s Adam Rose and Konnor (of The Ascension) had been suspended following a violation of WWE’s wellness policy.
The two men will not be seen on WWE TV for the next 60 days thanks to WWE’s strict, but completely essential, policy regarding banned substances.
The two men are both part of teams/stables in WWE currently – Rose as a member of The Social Outcasts and Konnor, as mentioned before, is one half of The Ascension.
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Whilst The Social Outcasts’ usual goofy routine will work perfectly fine with just three men, it’s Viktor, the other half of The Ascension, who, on the face of it, stands to lose the most following his partner’s suspension.
However, this may not be the case, in fact, it could turn into the start of something great.
If you look back at his history, back before Raw and Smackdown, back before The Ascension even existed, back before NXT even existed, Viktor, whose real name is Eric Thompson, had a pretty accomplished career.
Before NXT, WWE used a developmental system called FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) to produce its stars of tomorrow.
The system was the same – there were storylines and feuds and championships were fought for – but without the TV coverage that has helped make NXT as popular as it is today.
As unseen as they were, Viktor’s list of accomplishments in FCW is extremely impressive. He held the FCW Tag Team Championships for 17 days before FCW was rebranded as NXT (who knows how long the reign would have continued had it not been) with partner, Brad Maddox, and was a two-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion.
When you look at other wrestlers who were FCW Champion – Jack Swagger, Sheamus, Seth Rollins and many other top WWE stars – you can tell that Viktor had a pretty good singles run before he even joined NXT.
Going back even further to WWE’s developmental system before FCW, to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and, once again, you find Viktor’s name.
Competing under the name Apoc, Viktor claimed the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship with his partner, Vaughn Lilas, and was a two-time OVW Heavyweight Champion, the same title held by Batista, CM Punk and John Cena to name but a few.
Not only has Viktor held championships in the last three incarnations of WWE’s developmental system, but he’s held the top singles prize in two of them. If this doesn’t solidify him as a top singles competitor, I don’t know what does.
At 35 years of age, Viktor still has good years in him for WWE (AJ Styles is 38 for example) and one of WWE’s biggest problems is the failure to create new stars.
With Konnor suspended, the time has never been more right for Viktor to break out on his own. With some clever booking, a great opponent to work against and a complete character re-brand (The Ascension have been jobbers ever since they moved to the main roster), Viktor could be re-launched as a new, rising star in WWE.
When you consider the wrestlers with similar credentials to Viktor and how successful they’ve become, it’s easy to see how Eric Thompson could follow the same path.
Suspensions are always a messy business in WWE, but it doesn’t mean that all the news surrounding them has to be bad. Konnor’s loss is Viktor’s gain; let’s just hope WWE make the most out of this situation and don’t leave one man to suffer as a result of the actions of his partner.