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The Ascension started out with Conor O'Brian and Kenneth Cameron. On June 6, 2012, The Ascension made their debut for Season 6 of WWE NXT, defeating Mike Dalton and CJ Parker with their double team finisher, Downcast. They would later enter a rivalry with the Usos, with the Ascension getting the better end of most of the encounters between the two teams. The Ascension also defeated another main roster team in Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel on the October 3, 2012 episode of NXT. However, Cameron was released on November 30, 2012 after being arrested.

From there O'Brian worked as a singles wrestler keeping the Ascension gimmick on his own. This lasted until May 2013, when he began teaming with Rick Victor at house shows following Victor's return from an injury. Following O'Brian's victory over Alex Riley on the June 5, 2013 edition of NXT, Victor appeared on the ramp, getting O'Brian's attention. Victor would officially accompany O'Brian to the ring as his partner in The Ascension on the July 3 edition of NXT as O'Brian defeated Andy Baker. After winning a gauntlet match to determine the number one contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship, the Ascension defeated the team of Adrian Neville and Corey Graves on the October 2 edition of NXT to capture the titles. On the 8th of November the two were renamed, Connor O'Brian renamed to Konnor and Rick Victor renamed to Viktor.

For the majority of their title reign; The Ascension would battle and dismantle local wrestlers in mere minutes with very little to no offense from their opponents. Their first major title defense was against Too Cool at NXT's first live event; NXT Arrival where they emerged victorious. The Ascension began demanding competition in the weeks following, moving up from local wrestlers to random combinations of teams made up from contracted wrestlers. While still disabling and annihilating their opponents week after week, they were confronted by a team of masked wrestlers; El Local and Kalisto who challenged them for their tag team titles at the second live event, NXT Takeover. Though they put up the best challenge to date, after hitting Fall of Man on Local-- The Ascension successfully defended their gold.

The Ascension made their main roster debut on the September 9, 2014 edition of WWE Main Event, defeating Los Matadores in a match to promote their title defense against the team of Kalisto and Sin Cara at the NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way event. At the event, The Ascension lost the titles to Kalisto and Sin Cara, ending their reign a day short of a full year. That same night they were in an altercation with William Regal and the debuting Hideo Itami. After feuding with and assaulting Itami for several weeks, a second international wrestler, Finn Balor, joined Itami in his fight against both Konnor and Viktor. This led to a match on December 11 at NXT Takeover: R Evolution, where The Ascension were defeated by Itami and Balor.

The following night on SmackDown, vignettes began to air promoting The Ascension's call-up to the main roster. They eventually made their official main roster debut on the December 29, 2014 episode of Raw, defeating The Miz and Damien Mizdow.

On the January 2nd and 9th episodes of SmackDown and the January 5th episode of Raw, The Ascension easily defeated local preliminary wrestlers in less than a minute, and also cementing their heel status after comparing themselves to legendary WWE tag teams including The Road Warriors and Demolition.

On January 19th edition of Raw, dubbed as Raw Reunion, The Ascension confronted the reuniting New World Order members Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac, and were about to attack them before they were interrupted by The APA and The New Age Outlaws, setting up a tag team match between the Ascension and the Outlaws at the Royal Rumble pay per view. Which The Ascension would go on to continue their undefeated streak by defeating the New Age Outlaws at the Royal Rumble pay per view, after double-teaming the Fall Of Man over Billy Gunn. On February 12th taping of Smackdown, they were a part of a tag team turmoil match against Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, and they lost via disqualification. On the February 16 2015 edition of RAW, The Ascension would attack Darren Young, when Titus O'Neil made the save, reuniting The Prime Time Players. A week later on RAW, The Ascension would lose to The Prime Time Players, marking their first loss in the WWE. At WrestleMania 31, The Ascension made their Wrestlemania debut in the André the Giant Memorial battle royal, where both failed to win the match. They did however win at Payback (2015) pre-show against Damien Sandow and Curtis Axel. On the May 21 episode of SmackDown, Ascension competed in a fatal four way tag match against the teams of Cesaro & Kidd, Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons where the match was won by Lucha Dragons. It was announced the Ascension would take part in a six team elimination chamber match for the Tag Titles. At Elimination Chamber on May 31st, they eliminated the Los Matadores and Lucha Dragons until they were eliminated by The Prime Time Players, ultimately losing the match. On the July 9 episode of SmackDown, The Ascension interrupted Randy Orton, before Orton attacked them. The Ascension would appear on mostly on Superstars and Main Event losing to the likes of The Lucha Dragons and The Prime Time Players. They finally picked up a win over Jack Swagger and Fandango on the August 14 episode of Superstars. On an August 27th edition of Smackdown The Ascension faced The Dudley Boyz but would go on to lose the match. Afterwards, The Dudleys would put Viktor through a table.

On the Smackdown broadcast on September 3, 2015, The Ascension attacked Neville as he was making his way to the ring against Stardust, aligning themselves with him in the process and thus forming a group known as Cosmic Wasteland. At Night of Champions, Stardust and The Ascension defeated Neville and The Lucha Dragons in a Six-Man Tag Team Match in the pre-show. On the Survivor Series Kickoff, The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust, Konnor, and Viktor), The Miz, and Bo Dallas were defeated by The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley), Neville, and Titus O'Neil and the returning Goldust in a Five-on-five traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match. The Ascension returned to NXT on November 25, losing to Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. On April 16, 2016, Konnor was suspended from his WWE contract after failing the WWE Wellness Program for the second time. Following his suspension, Viktor began teaming with The Social Outcasts at house shows, filling in for Adam Rose who was also suspended with Konnor.