This past Monday night, NXT’s War Raiders, made their RAW debut under a new name…The Viking Experience.
The former Hansen and Rowe—now named Ivar and Erik, respectively—competed in an eight-man tag team match, teaming with The Revival. They took on the team of Aleister Black, Ricochet, and current RAW tag team champions Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins.
But, given that popular team are just coming off the back of defending their NXT tag team championships at NXT TakeOver: New York, what prompted the sudden name change?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is probably the first one you thought of: Vince McMahon.
“That’s All There Is To It”
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, the justification doesn’t lie in WWE attempting to avoid the word ‘war’ in an attempt to placate advertisers. Instead, as to be expected, Vince McMahon simply didn’t like the name War Raiders and wanted it changed. This change would happen on the day of the show, no less.
“There’s nothing to do with ‘war,’ Vince just wanted to change the name, that’s all,” Meltzer explained. “He didn’t like ‘War Raiders’ and he wanted to change the name. That’s all there is to it. There’s no other reason. Vince just on the day of the show, on Monday, decided he didn’t like the name and told them to come up with a new one.”
And so The Viking Experience was born.
In that time, the name has been met with mixed opinions from the WWE Universe. It’s even received attention from the Jorvik Viking Center, who was more than happy to ride the sudden wave of interest in people looking for a Viking experience.