On December 8, 2019, Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension were released by WWE after being off television for eight months. The duo picked up steam in the early days of the current incarnation of NXT but floundered on the main roster for a variety of reasons.
Speaking to Lewis Nicholls on the Lewis Nicholls Show, Viktor recalled the feeling he got when his time in WWE had come to an end.
"Huge relief," he said. "The situation we were in wasn't fun. Mentally, I was burned out and not happy anywhere in life. It was a lot of stuff that stemmed from how I dealt with everything. WWE was my dream. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I took it to heart because I saw a lot of good people that I spent a lot of time with just go through a lot of stuff. To me, it's hard to complain when I see a lot of other people who are justified to complain who aren't (complaining) or are able to do it in better ways."
Viktor continued, giving an example of how even top guys have to fight to get what they're looking for but try not to complain.
"It was supposed to be [Jon] Moxley and [King] Corbin at a pay-per-view or the last TV before the pay-per-view. Something happened to where their match got cut and a writer told Mox and he goes, 'What the fuck...' then I see him look around the locker room and there's a bunch of 205 Live guys and other guys who are struggling and he goes [under his beath], 'fuck it.' It's hard. Everybody there is fighting and it just never stops. It's a hard thing to deal with," he said.
Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose in WWE) has been very outspoken about his unhappiness during his final months in WWE, telling stories of his clashes with Vince McMahon and writers over ideas that were and weren't used during his time in the company.
Konnor & Viktor made a couple of appearances on the Independent scene before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and canceled upcoming appearances. Viktor went on to reveal that the duo will likely now use the name The Awakening in their post-WWE career.
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