It is the time of the year when WWE likes to move things around and have its stars try out new names and gimmicks. The WWE Superstar Shake-Up began on Monday night, and there were a lot of moves. Even more moves were made on Tuesday’s SmackDown Live. While all of this is going on, though, there is plenty happening in NXT as well — with one tag team getting a new name, and another superstar undergoing an entire overhaul.
As recapped by the official WWE website, the NXT Tag Team Champion War Raiders made their main roster debut, partnering with The Revival. Together, those four men beat the team of Aleister Black and Ricochet — who partnered with the Raw Tag Team Champions, the Edgeheads.
While it was a great debut, it wasn’t actually one for Hanson and Rowe as the War Raiders. No, the duo is now known as Ivar and Erik — and they represent a brand new tag team on Monday Night Raw by the name of The Viking Experience.
After their successful debut on Raw, a number of wrestling personalities took to social media to comment on their match. Not only that, many of those wrestling personalities were not overly fond of the new name for the War Raiders, saying as much in no uncertain terms.
While I don’t like The Viking Experience either, I doubt it really matters that much. Talent will get over a name. I thought The Undertaker was a stupid name when I heard it. Worked out okay for him in the end. #RAW
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) April 16, 2019
Athletic, aggressive big men are often times “Money” in pro wrestling and have been for decades. #Raw
I’m a fan of #VikingExperience (maybe the name will grow on me) by any moniker. ????
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 16, 2019
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) April 16, 2019
Not everyone was critical of their new name — many fans were already on board with The Viking Experience.
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) April 16, 2019
Beautifully said Mick! https://t.co/fgHxM0zuNJ
— Brian G. James (@WWERoadDogg) April 16, 2019
As the War Raiders have joined the WWE main roster — and are now known as The Viking Experience — there is a new NXT superstar on the horizon. Punishment Martinez has only been a member of the company for a short period of time, but things are already changing for him in a big way.
Coming over from Ring of Honor, Punishment Martinez recently joined NXT. He has been wrestling under his former ring name on the yellow and black brand. Now, though, WWE has decided to freshen things up a bit, offering up a new name and gimmick for the big man.
What do you think of his new name?
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) April 15, 2019
In an interview with the Sports Business Journal, Punishment revealed that he has been rebranded — now given the new ring name of “Damien Priest.” He goes on to say that his new gimmick will be a very dark character, complete with new ring gear, entrance music, and persona.
“I’ve always been into the weird, the odd, the dark, so that’s the character I’ve always represented.”
A lot of changes are happening around WWE as of late, but that’s not always a bad thing.