Erik and Ivar Discuss Convincing Vince McMahon to Change Their Name

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During this week’s edition of Corey Graves’ “After the Bell” podcast, The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) commented on working as “The Viking Experience”, being re-dubbed “The Viking Raiders”, talking to Vince McMahon about the name, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

Erik on being told he was coming up to Raw: “So let’s back up just a little bit. Before the name happened, the process of us getting there on Monday is a story into itself. So, we were at the Performance Center, we were at NXT. And we had that weekend off, so I had asked Coach Bloom and the other coaches involved, ‘Hey can I go visit Sarah [Logan]’s family this weekend … And they were like, ‘Of course, yeah you’re fine.’ So I’m flying from Cincinnati on Friday morning, and I started getting messages on Facebook. Because I’m in the air, so I’m not getting text messages, I’m getting messages at that point from [Ivar], and he’s saying, ‘Are you getting these text messages?’ ‘No, I’m flying.’ He goes, ‘We’re going to Raw on Monday.’ And I said, ‘We’re going to Raw on Monday, or we’re GOING to Raw on Monday?’ He goes, ‘No no, we’re going up, buddy.’ And the first thing I asked was ‘Are you f**king with me?’ Because anybody who knows him at all knows that everything is a joke. Everything.”

Erik on trying to get to Raw: “So I land, and I meet Sarah and her parents at baggage claim. And I said, ‘Hey, I got good news and bad news. Bad news is, I got to fly home tomorrow. Good news is I’m going to Raw on Monday.’ Because I didn’t have my wrestling gear with me, I was just going for a family vacation. So I flew back to Orlando on Saturday, Ivar and I flew out on Sunday to get there for Monday, and our plane got delayed. And our plane got delayed, and our plane got delayed, and our plane got delayed. And we got stuck overnight in Raleigh. We had to get our bags off the plane because that had all of everything that we have, that we need to wrestle in. Then WWE is scrambling to find us flights to get us into Montreal on time. And they can’t find the same flight, two tickets on the same flight. So they route me through JFK, and him through La Guardia … my flight went through, and I landed at like 2.30 PM. Ivar got stuck in La Guardia, so then he got stuck and he doesn’t land until 4.30, almost 5 PM. We’re supposed to be at TV at 2 PM. I landed after call time, he landed three or four hours after call time. So both he and I are stressing, and I’m standing backstage when he texts me that he lands. And I talk to one of the production guys and he went ‘Oh good, Vince [McMahon] was holding the writing meeting to wait, to know you were going to be here. Because you’re debuting, but he’s re-writing the show in case we weren’t there. But Ivar’s on the ground.’ ‘Yeah, Ivar’s on the ground.’ ‘Okay, cool, we can go forward with the script.’ So it’s like 5:00. So the show goes on in three hours, and they were re-writing the show because he wasn’t sure if we were there or not.”

Erik on learning they were going to be named The Viking Experience: “So then we’re ringside. And Ivar comes out, and graphics come on the screen. And it’s got like, a little cartoon Viking guy, and it says Viking Experience. Or, first it said Berzerkers, right? And then it went to Viking Experience. We’re watching the screen change, and we looked at Hunter, at Triple H, and we’re like, ‘Is that real or are they messing with us?’ He just shook his head. And I was like, ‘That’s real! That’s gonna be our name?’ He’s like, ‘You’re going to have to talk to Vince.’ So we went and talked to Vince.”


Ivar on trying to convince Vince to change the name: “At this point, because it’s so late in the day, we’re not even going to approach the subject of Ivar and Erik. We need to tackle the Viking Experience thing, because that was — [laughs] that was not okay … We knew at this point we weren’t going to be Hanson and Rowe. We knew there was some more Viking-esque names that we were going to have. But we weren’t going to tackle that. The primary focus was this Viking Experience thing. And so we were able to catch Vince as he was going somewhere else. It wasn’t even in his office, it was kind of in a hallway by the big production meeting area. And we got him, we were able to talk to him, and we were able to plead our case about the name. It sounds like a Disney ride. And then we started shooting off other options, that was about — we had at least 10 names that we were giving him. And the last one we gave him was Viking Raiders. And he kind of paused on that one. And he was like, ‘All right, well, this is how we’re going to introduce you, as the Viking Experience. And if we’re not feeling that going forward than maybe we can change it to something else.”


On Vince’s reasoning from the gimmick and name: “But he also put over how much he loves the TV show Vikings. And he loves Vikings in general, and started talking to us about our gear, our entrance gear and our armor and all sorts of things like that, and Viking details from Viking history. And so we felt confident that he liked us, he told us he liked our work. We were happy to maybe, possibly in the weeks to come get that tag team name changed.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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