I recently had the opportunity to speak with Viktor, from WWE tag team The Ascension. Twin Peaks fans may be familiar with the Fashion Files, a skit which parodied Twin Peaks on WWE Smackdown in which Viktor was featured. I reached out to him to see if he would be interested in discussing the skits and Twin Peaks and we wound up talking about quite a bit. Hope you enjoy the interview!
Getting into Twin Peaks: Actually, it was the Fashion Files segment that got me into it really. It was something that, honestly, I’ve had friends tell me for years that I should watch. I was trying to remember the first person that told me about the show. When it first came out, I was just a kid. I wasn’t really aware of it at all, but then as I grew up, I can remember a friend of mine telling me when I was like 20. He was like, “You should really watch this, you’ll like it.” I was like, “Okay.” It was always on my mental list, and when we actually did that Fashion Files, I still had never seen it. I’d had another friend recently, telling me, “Hey, you need to watch this, because The Return is coming out now. I know you’ll love it, so go watch it.” I was like, “Okay.” It was still like the number one thing on my list to watch, and then once we did that segment, all of us were like what? None of us had ever seen anything from it before. Our writers are the ones who came up with that, and they’re huge fans and they’ve loved it forever. It was more or less one of the writers, Stevie G, had told me, “It was my dream to be able to pay tribute to Twin Peaks through something.” He goes, “This was like the perfect medium for it.”
Watching the show for the first time: I watched it really quick, because once the writers showed us, “Hey, this is what we’re taking this from,” and they showed us some clips on YouTube, just normally stuff from the Red Room with the Arm, and the scenes with BOB and stuff. I was like, “Holy crap, I’ve gotta go watch this now.” None of us knew if our fans would get it. You know what I mean? We didn’t understand it. If we don’t get it, we’re a little worried that maybe the fans don’t get it. As it turned out the next day, when I landed, all of our social media had blown up. We’re like, “Whoa, this hit mainstream media,” which doesn’t always happen without the help of celebrities and stuff like that, for us. It’s really cool, and I was like, “Alright, I’m going home and I’m watching it.” Basically, I just tore through everything. Initially, when I watched the first two seasons, I was in love with it. I don’t know lately, I’ve started to really appreciate, I guess, older movies and television again. I’m not sure if that’s just from getting older or what. It’s just weird because it was something I felt like I’d kinda been looking for. It was being older and just the way it is, so different, I couldn’t stop watching it. It was the first thing in a long time, that I sat down to watch, where I wasn’t within 10 minutes of it picking up my iPad to do something else, because I’m just drawn into everything. I just loved it immediately.
Season 3: I liked it. Immediately, that was what I said, I was like, “Oh, this is like the Lynch that I’m used to.” I remember when me and my buddy first watched Lost Highway. Within five minutes, we were like, “Did that just happen because this is so weird.” It made my brain do something I didn’t expect it to. Twin Peaks kinda has that same effect, I think both ways. The initial series, it’s like so innocent, and fun, yet incredibly dark. You know? The new series is just kind of like really dark, and then has its fun stuff, quirky twists to it.
The Fashion Files: It had been so weird already for us just being in it. It was kind of a different direction, but it was one that we were totally welcome to, and we were loving being able to do it. It wasn’t like we didn’t like it, we just didn’t understand it. I always try to like watch things somewhere where I can hear the crowd’s reactions that’s going on. Based on the live audience, even then it wasn’t like one of those things where I guess, filled with laughs or whatever. It was one of those things where I was like, “I don’t know what’s gonna happen.” None of us really knew what was gonna happen. When I landed at home the next day, and my phone was going crazy with all this stuff, was just like holy cow, this is so awesome. We just couldn’t believe it. It was more unbelievable than anything. It definitely helped us, because we continued on with “Fashion Files.” I know the week afterwards, I think we still kinda parodied more within the third season. We did a couple more, and I think in a way, it let them really see how well we all worked together in this. It gave us personality that people have never seen before. That was the biggest thing for us, and that’s really what we had been wanting to do for the longest time. I think we were pigeon holed prior to this. This opened up a door creatively, and with our creative department, to be like, “Oh wow, we kinda see these guys in a light that we can now work with.” At least it inspires creativity, and how to use us as well. I would continuously laugh at Tyler Breeze being dressed up as a girl. Just the relevance of knowing that our writers are such Twin Peaks fans, and that there was the resemblance with him and Laura Dern played out in that. He looks similar in some of the outfits. I kept telling him, I was like, “Dude, you should really watch this.” I don’t think he did. I think Konnor watched most of the first season, but I don’t know if he got any further. During that time, he was having a kid as well. I think that kinda went that way. He goes, “Dude, I watched a bit of it, I liked it,” he goes, “I’m just kinda busy.”
Wrestling & David Lynch fan crossover: Before, I was always aware of David Lynch, but I wasn’t quite like, I guess I would say, obsessed as I would be now. Not obsessed but I was just so fascinated when I watched Twin Peaks. I circled back through everything, and watching interviews and stuff, now I’m not surprised at all. There’s a lot of weird stuff that happens within wrestling, and one of those things where a lot of the times we can’t explain why things happen the way that they do, or you know what I mean? It makes perfect sense to me now. Wrestling, when things are done well, and things are done right, we’re all trying to take you on a journey. Lynch’s stuff is doing too, especially with him, it’s more about the journey than the destination.
Theories: Nobody really has the same one. It’s kinda funny when you’re talking about it, because everybody kinda seems to take something differently. I don’t know if anybody wants to accept the dream theory, they do and they don’t. You know what I mean? I really like the theory that he’s trapped within a dream, but it’s his [Cooper’s] dream. On my flights lately, I’ve started going back and like watching the first season over again. I almost think as I’m watching it, that it’s just Audrey’s dream as well. These are just possibilities. I have a hard time overthinking it while I’m watching it, because I enjoy it so much. Especially the original, there’s so much stuff in there that I laugh out loud to, all the time. I think the first time I watched was yeah, it was the very last two episodes of the second season, I was in a hotel room by myself just watching it in the dark on an iPad. Some of it was so creepy. When Laura just screams out of nowhere, what the hell? This is dark stuff. It was so good, you know? There’s not a lot of TV shows that really draws you in the way. When I watched the third season, I was just kinda, “Okay, I’m not gonna overanalyze anything.” That would just make me crazy anyway. I was like, “I’ll just try to follow along with what I catch and take it for what it is.” When I read an article afterwards, I’m like, “Man, I wasn’t thinking about half of that stuff,” but then I put it together and now I am thinking about it. I went back and I got to talk to our writers about everyone has their own theories, and twists and turns to how they think things are, how they felt it was. Even now, if I ever see something or read an interview, I’ll always go to our writers, because they’re always into it too.
Lasting Impact: That was something that really blew me away. I know inspired me to look into more stuff about Twin Peaks. I know I’m watching it now, but I was like wow. When Laura says to Cooper, ” I’ll see you in 25 years” it’s like wait a minute – was it really planned for it to be like that? We’ll do what we can now, and 25 years, all come back to it. There’s no way that that’s even humanly possible, because 25 years ago, nobody could’ve guessed what was going to happen, you know what I mean? From the state of television today to all the different platforms that they have. When I found out where it was all filmed around, like the original stuff … We go up there (where Twin Peaks was filmed in Washington State) every now and then. I was like hopefully if I get time, I’ll go and see what I can see, if I can check it out or whatnot. For me, I usually don’t go out and see a lot when we’re on the road. We usually don’t have much time. Even that day, I was really pressed to go and see what I can see when I’m there.
Lynch Films: Lost Highway is definitely my favorite, so far. I haven’t watched Eraserhead yet. There was like a new Blu-ray that came out, that had a bunch of his short films, and other stuff on it. I just saw it the other week. “Oh, it’s on sale, and it’s Blu-ray,” I was like, “Okay, I’ll get it. I should watch that one on my TV anyway at home.” So I got that. I haven’t seen Inland Empire yet. I haven’t seen Elephant Man or Wild at Heart either. I really like Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. I went back and watched those two recently because I hadn’t watched them since they both first came out. I really like Blue Velvet. That was one that when people told me, “Yeah, it’s not gonna be what you expect.” I go, “Well, you can’t really know what to expect with Lynch.” Eraserhead I saw, what was it I was watching? Something just made like reference to it, and it showed like 10 seconds of like the dinner scene. I was like whoa, all right, that’s gonna be something. I’ve just been kinda waiting until I’m in the right, frame of mind. Recently I was listening to Henry Rollins talking about when he was in Lost Highway on his podcast, working with David Lynch. I’ve been a fan of his forever. He said that when he was a kid, and he went and saw Eraserhead in the theater, he goes, “It was horrifying. It was an awesome movie,” he goes, “But it was horrifying.” For him, it really hit close to him, just like the certain uncomfortableness and whatnot. He goes, “Especially that dinner scene.” Everything references back to that, so I know I’m gonna to need to really have myself ready. It’s one of those things I really want to sit down and watch it, because I know, like Lynch has said, it’s his favorite one that he’s ever done. I think once I started just reading more about him, or watching his interviews, I wouldn’t really like to overthink anything when I watched it. Previously, I remember when I was a kid and I saw Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, and they made my brain shut down. In that scene in Mulholland Drive when the box opens, and the little people run out. I remember turning off the movie, because I was like, I lost it, I just couldn’t deal. I remember thinking I was following along, and then when that happened, it just made my brain explode in the moment. I was like, “I have no idea.” In his book, Catching the Big Fish, it’s one specific page that just says, Mulholland Drive, and it says, “The box and the key.” I have no idea what that means, and I jumped for joy. I was like, “Man, this is like 15 years later, I’m reading this, and it makes me so happy to know that he didn’t know either.” It was just there. I was like okay, never thinking about anything again when I watch this stuff.
The Royal Rumble: It’s the Royal Rumble, one of our can’t miss events, by far. I never miss it, I hope I’m in it because to me, it’s one of the legendary greats within our company. It’s one of those ones that just when I do miss it, it hurts. Because you want to be in it so bad, no matter what. It’s the Royal Rumble. When we debuted in our first Pay-Per-View match at the Royal Rumble against The New Age Outlaws, that’s one of my favorite things ever. It was at the Royal Rumble. I know this one, man with all the talents that we’ve got, it’ll be a great show no matter what. I couldn’t say nothing but good things about all of our people that we’ve got, and how bad they want to go. I’m not the only one that says, “I hope I’m in it,” just because of that reason. Everybody wants to be in the Rumble, it’s awesome.
Dream WrestleMania Opponents: On roster? Oh man. Immediately, I want to say The Uso’s because ever since I’ve known those guys, I’ve just wanted to see them get their moment on WrestleMania. I would love to be the ones facing them for that. If I could pick from Raw, that’s a tough one. I like The Bar, facing the Hardy Boyz would be awesome. Everybody that they got, and put over there, the Revival being back, we only got to work with them once at NXT, and we didn’t get enough time was our main thing. They’re so good to work with. Great guys. I would pick any of those ones. If I was gonna say anybody from the past, definitely it would be Road Warriors or Demolition. Man, I don’t know. There’s so many awesome tag teams that I love for so many different reasons. The British Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation, Free Birds. I could go on forever about that.
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