Six years ago, Erik and Ivar met each other for the first time through Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament. From there, the two would join forces, and become one of the most unusual tag teams that WWE has had in a long time. In their interview on WWE’s The Bump, Ivar recalled their first encounter, and how he knew they had great chemistry to form some sort of alliance in the future.
“This is my favorite story,” Ivar chuckled. “Erik and I have been in the business, like, 10 years before we met. There was a tournament – it was sort of like a top prospect. We ended up meeting in that finals tournament, for the first time ever. Well, I beat him! From there, we just joined forces.”
Last week, Erik celebrated his 36th birthday, by posting a comeback story on how he turned his life around for the better. Kayla Braxton asked Erik if he could expand on his initial post.
“I came up in a pretty rough background,” Erik began. “I had a very different outlook on life when I was younger. I was involved in some stuff – like I said, some pretty rough stuff growing up.
I was in a motorcycle wreck that almost killed me. Every medical professional that I talked to said that I should be dead. I went under the operation knife on my 30th birthday. They had to put 16 screws and two titanium plates in my arm. I was told that I may never wrestle again. Six months later, I was teaming up with Ivar, and we were unstoppable. We’ve taken over the world since then.”
Next, they asked Ivar about his rise in pro wrestling, and what it was like to train at The New England Pro Wrestling Academy, where other notable alumni including Sasha Banks, Kofi Kingston, Oney Lorcan and Tommaso Ciampa came from.
“I started training in 2001,” Ivar announced. “I ended up at [Killer] Kowalski [wrestling school] and did some work with him after that. It was me, Tommaso Ciampa, a guy in Ring of Honor by the name of Brian Malones, and of course, Kofi was there too. We were all so motivated, and our goal was to make it to WWE. We all took different paths, but we made it in different parts of this industry.
“It’s cool to be here in WWE with people like Sasha Banks, Oney [Lorcan], Tommaso and Kofi… I’m glad that I got to be part of that journey with them.”
Earlier this year, The Viking Raiders and The Street Profits found themselves in an, “Anything You Can Do, We Can Do Better” stipulation, where every week, both teams competed in various activities outside of the ring. When asked which were their favorite competitions, Erik and Ivar had widely different answers.
“My favorite event was the axe throwing,” Erik replied.
Ivar answered right after.
“I was going to say track and field, but then I remembered for some reason, I get all the running events,” Ivar concluded.
You can watch The Viking Raider’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.