This is not a parody news story. I repeat this is not a parody! It’s real.
The duo known as The War Raiders were repackaged on this past Monday’s Raw. Instead of being called Hanson and Rowe, they were called Ivar and Erik, but that’s not all. In addition to those new names, the team was given the name of “The Viking Experience.” As soon as it was announced, WWE fans were outraged because it was so stupid. I thought it was dumb when I wrote my Raw review and one of our columnists Mike Sanchez ripped on the name change as well.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer, it was a Vince McMahon decision to change the name. The team went from War Machine in their Ring of Honor days to War Raiders in NXT, so why the change? It’s possible that it was due to WWE not wanting the word “War” in the name although they still call Ember Moon the “War Goddess” as a nickname. That wasn’t cited as the reason for the change. It was noted by Meltzer that it was something WWE came up with on Monday before Raw went to air.
The big thing, that is almost laughable, is that at one point they were almost named The Berzerkers, but Vince didn’t like that and Vince decided to go with “The Viking Experience” instead.
The story was also reported by PWInsider, but their report they had it written as “The Bezerkers” that likely was missing the first R.
Since two different reliable websites reported the same thing, it is likely true that The Berzerkers name was considered.
The Viking Experience team are also the current NXT Tag Team Champions that have used the War Raiders name. They will probably lose the NXT Tag Team Titles soon and I assume they’ll use the War Raiders name in NXT for their last match, but they could be The Viking Experience there as well.
For what it’s worth, Ray Rowe (now Erik) got married to WWE Superstar Sarah Logan recently and they had a viking wedding, so it is part of their lifestyle.
As for The Berzerker’s name, it is pretty ridiculous because it brings back memories of the classic early 1990s WWF character called “The Berzerker” that yelled “huss, huss” all the time. He carried a sword, his finisher would see him toss his opponent over the top rope to the floor and he would win matches by countout! It was pretty silly. His WWF run lasted from February 1991 and the character was dropped in early 1993.
The Berzerker character was portrayed by John Nord, who was considered a good big man worker, but the gimmick was ridiculous even for that time period full of silly characters.
Here’s a match against a jobber where he won by countout.
The good thing about The Viking Experience is that Ivar and Erik are one of the best tag teams in WWE that belongs on the main roster. Their first match on Raw was an eight-man tag team match where they were put over in a big way, so it’s nice to see that WWE is going to push them.
Is it possible that WWE could change “The Viking Experience” name? Sure. They might, but I also think Vince McMahon is stubborn about this stuff and if he feels that’s the best name for them then that’s what they are going to be. I think we’ll get used to The Viking Experience name even though it’s pretty silly. As WWE fans, we have certainly gotten used to worse names over the years too.
— Erik (@Erik_WWE) April 17, 2019