WWE has recently given Erik and Ivar, the Viking Raiders, a new look to go with a more vicious attitude, ushering in their era as a heel tandem.
While on “Instagram Live with WWE Deuschland”, former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston discussed the tag team he and Xavier Woods are currently feuding with — the Viking Raiders.
“They used to be these fun-loving guys,” Kingston said. “… I thought they liked having a good time but apparently, over the past month or so or whatever, they’ve become serious Vikings now. So now we’re having to deal with that. They hate fun all of a sudden, I just can’t figure out why. Like, who hates fun? … They’re not really in line with the fun-loving Viking nature that I know about, and maybe I don’t know everything about Vikings. Maybe they know more than me, but it seems like they do have a problem.”
“… Both of the Viking Raiders are incredibly talented in the ring. So, from our perspective, being able to show up at work and know that you’re going to have a good match — you know what I’m saying — have a great match, is a great thing.”
Over the years, the Viking Raiders have seen many changes to their name, as prior to WWE, the tag team of Erik and Ivar were known as War Machine. As War Machine, Hanson (Ivar) and Raymond Rowe (Erik), were able to win the ROH World Tag Team Championships and NJPW’s IWGP Tag Team Championships on two separate occasions.
After signing with WWE in 2018, the pairing saw their tag team name change, as they went from War Machine to the War Raiders. While in “NXT,” they remained undefeated their entire stint with the black and gold version of the brand. At NXT Takeover: Phoenix Erik and Ivar, then known as Hanson and Rowe, defeated the Undisputed Era to win their first set of tag gold under the WWE umbrella: the NXT Tag Team Championships.
They would go on to successfully defend the Tag Titles once at NXT Takeover: New York but would give them up thereafter due to moving up to the main roster. Upon being called up to the main roster, the duo would see yet another name change, as they went from the War Raiders to the Viking Experience, a name they only wrestled one match under.
Following their one match as the Viking Experience, they were then given the name which they use to this day — the Viking Raiders. While on the “Monday Night Raw” brand, the duo won the Raw Tag Team Championships for 98 days by defeating Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The Raiders successfully defended the Raw Tag Titles four times before losing them to Seth Rollins and Murphy.
The Viking Raiders have since moved to “Friday Night Smackdown” and have turned heel in the past few weeks after being a babyface team for their entire WWE run until now. Since turning heel, a move which hasn’t been explained storyline-wise, the Viking Raiders have been referred to multiple times as ‘The New, Vicious Viking Raiders’.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “WWE Deuschland” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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