burgi braeden victor ashland
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

“I wouldn’t want to mess with him!” 

When The Young and the Restless introduced Ashland Locke, we practically licked our lips in anticipation. Surely the new mogul on the block would wind up butting heads with Genoa City’s main power broker, Victor Newman, right? Yet for the most part, things remained almost ridiculously civil between the men.

But all that’s about to change, and we’re here for it.

“Victor has been operating in a wait-and-see mode in regards to Ashland,” headwriter Josh Griffith recently told Soap Opera Digest. Recent events, however, have put the Newman patriarch on high alert. And as it happens, he has a new weapon in his arsenal after hiring Michael. “Victor believes his concerns about Ashland are valid and decides to launch an investigation. Michael is someone that Victor has always trusted, and Victor knows that Michael isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Ashland and Victoria plot in Newman office Y&R

Above:Burgi says that Ashland “has never known a woman like Victoria.”

Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

More: The characters who could derail Ashland and Victoria upside down

The question now is exactly what Michael might dig up when he begins digging around in Ashland’s past. “It’s safe to say that a man who has reached Ashland’s level of success has more than a few secrets,” says his current portrayer, Richard Burgi. (Guiding Light vet Robert Newman will step into the part sometime next month.) “Some of those secrets came to light in Italy, but it would probably be foolish to think that everything [came] to light at that point.”

Although many fans feel that Ashton has never really lived up to the reputation which preceded him, Burgi says that Locke is, in many ways, similar to Victor. “Both of them can be charming and funny and light. But each of them also has a darker side. Those who observe it are smart enough to tell themselves, ‘I wouldn’t want to mess with him.'”

That duality, the actor believes, exists in all of us. “Who doesn’t have a savage side?” he muses. “We don’t always allow others to see it, so it becomes something of a secret weapon at our disposal. With Ashland, his arsenal includes chicanery, underhandedness and, if necessary, brute force.”

Sounds an awful lot like someone else on the canvas, doesn’t it? “Oh, I believe Victor and Ashland are well matched as rivals,” concludes Burgi. “Which is what makes any future clash between them so unpredictable.”

Now that it appears the two powerhouses are, indeed, on a collision course, who do you think will come out on top? Could Ashland do what no other has managed and actually one-up Victor? And will Victoria’s loyalty ultimately be with her husband or father? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, then check out the gallery below in which we revisit Victor’s past rivalries and romances.