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The Viking Raiders almost had an NSFW gimmick? Looking into WWE’S creative decisions on the tag team’s inception

ByRD Media

Feb 24, 2023

WWE SmackDown stars Erik and Ivar, better known as The Viking Raiders, weren’t originally ideated to be serious warriors in the promotion. The face-painted, shield-bearing superstars would have been the polar opposite of their current characters if the promotion’s NFSW plans were carried out.

Debuting under the name War Raiders in NXT, Erik and Ivar stood out from the rest due to their gimmicks. Their Viking-like gimmick became a huge hit at a time when the infamous tribe had gained legendary status in spheres such as movies and gaming. They soon won the NXT Tag Team Championship and carried that dominance onto the main roster.

Surprisingly, The Viking Raiders were initially pitched for their own version of OnlyFans in WWE. Former creative writer Chris Dunn, who worked for WWE between 2016-2021, told the Public Enemies Podcast that the idea came up when they “accidentally made Ivar a ladies’ man character.”

Erik and Ivar have portrayed fearsome characters throughout their wrestling careers. Yet, it was decided that The Viking Raiders would stick to comedic skits and launch their own dating website called ‘Vikings Only.’ The website was in the script for seven to eight weeks and even witnessed a change in its name.

As crazy as the original plans were, they ended abruptly due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Transforming serious personas into goofy characters was a task made tougher by the psychological effects of the pandemic.


What are The Viking Raiders up to now in WWE?

Erik and Ivar have been dishing out punishment on the SmackDown Tag Team division recently. The Viking Raiders boast wins over top babyface teams such as The New Day and The Street Profits. The return of Valhalla (Sarah Logan) as manager last year has added fuel to their fiery run.

The Viking Raiders are currently feuding with Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. The Banger Bros avenged their previous defeat at the hands of Erik and Ivar on the recent Friday Night SmackDown.

Their rivalry is not expected to culminate anytime soon. Both teams have done a magnificent job of putting each other over.

 

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The Raiders have fought The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team Championship multiple times and lost on each occasion. They succumbed to defeat at the hands of Drew McIntyre and Sheamus on the latest episode of SmackDown.

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