Ivar shoots on him and Erik initially being called “The Viking Experience” on WWE’s main roster

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Ivar of The Viking Raiders commented on him and tag team partner Erik’s transition from NXT to the WWE main roster…

“We knew coming into NXT that our names had to change. Mainly because right around time that Ring of Honor names us War Machine there was an MMA fighter who got in a lot of trouble. A lot of things. We don’t want to mention it. So we had the conversation with Triple H, he said I can’t have kids Google that, right? So we’re like Alright, so then we came to a bunch of names and War Raiders is what we settled on. So we had a little bit of the element from the Indies where we were War Machine, and a little bit more Viking going forward with the Raiders, no problem, and the fans were fine with it. They were fine with it. And I think we asked if we could keep our Hanson and Rowe names because we were associated with that, with the titles in New Japan, Ring of Honor like so if people did searches they pop up, lineage. Hunter was totally cool with that.

So that’s how it started but when we got called up, yeah, that was a little rough. So the way the story goes, Vince [McMahon] loves Vikings. So he found out there’s a team in NXT that were Vikings and he’s like yes, I want them, and now he wanted Viking in our name. And they couldn’t pass anything through legal, there’s already a Vikings football team, already a Vikings TV show. So none of the names they were trying, whatever they were, they weren’t getting through. Then somebody, I won’t say who, because it was asked in the meeting, what are they? How to describe them? Then somebody describes us as like oh they’re this, they’re that, they’re like a Viking experience and it was that’s it, they’re The Viking Experience. Not one person was happy or okay with that except for the one man.

So we were stuck and then our debut, we find out last minute that were coming in. We get flight cancellations, it was in Montreal. We don’t land internationally in Montreal until, I didn’t even get into the building until almost 5 pm the day of our debut, so we couldn’t even talk to him. We get there and we just see like on the Tron Viking Experience, Oh man, what is going on? So we went to talk to him and be like, Look, we can’t be this amusement park ride name. And we talked to him and like, he respected it and we went there and we were told about the whole Viking thing. So we were told, like, if you’re gonna pitch names, just make sure it says Viking in it. So we had like, six or seven names like names that we had picked. We’d already given up on our real regular names Eric and Ivar, no problem, whatever. That wasn’t worth even trying. So we’re just trying to change because the tag team name was so bad. It was awful. Still haunts us to this day. And when we are listing off these names, we got to Viking Raiders. And he stopped to say look, this is how we’re going to introduce you to the audience, the main roster audience and if it doesn’t work, we’ll change it going forward. And literally two days later on the website, it changed.” (quote courtesy of ChrisVanVliet.com)