WWE News: Tag Team Champion Opens Up About Unpopular Viking Gimmick

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Prior to joining Monday Night Raw, Erik and Ivar were known as The War Raiders in NXT. However, despite their popularity among the black-and-gold brand’s fans at the time, they were saddled with a new gimmick, The Viking Experience, when they were promoted to the main roster. These days, the duo is known as The Viking Raiders, but according to Erik, they had to convince WWE boss Vince McMahon to let them use their current moniker.

Speaking on the After the Bell podcast, by the way of WrestleTalk, Erik explained how the WWE chairman was initially hesitant to give them a new name, but he was open to the idea after hearing their ideas.

“We caught Vince as he was going somewhere else and we pleaded our case about the name. It sounded like a Disney name and there were 10 names we gave him. The last one we gave him was Viking Raiders and he kind of paused on that one. He said they would introduce us as Viking Experience and if they didn’t feel it they would rename us to something else.”

The superstar revealed how McMahon loves the TV show Vikings and the culture that inspired it, which is why he opted to give them a creative makeover. The WWE Universe might not be fans of it, but according to Erik, they took the Norse warrior gimmick as a sign that the boss was a fan of their work and chose to bide their time for a better name.

The duo was granted their wish on the subsequent episode of Monday Night Raw and the rest is history. However, what many people don’t know is that their current name wasn’t originally a main-roster idea.

“The Viking Raiders is the original name we pitched when we were coming into NXT, funny enough.”


Erik and Ivar have found success on the main roster as the current Raw Tag Team Champions. Furthermore, they have yet to be defeated in a traditional tag team match.

However, their creative direction has led to some criticism from figures within WWE. As The Inquisitr previously reported, commentator Corey Graves stated that the company isn’t taking advantage of the tag team’s in-ring talent by having them squash their opponents every week.

Most of the Viking Raiders’ opponents have been “local” jobbers or lesser teams. Their matches tend to be over quickly, and it’s arguable that they haven’t been allowed to showcase the full extent of their abilities since joining Monday Night Raw.