The Superstar Shake Up is one of my favorite Post-Wrestlemania events.
New faces. Fresh rivalries are coming.
But my favorite part of the Superstar Shake Up is potential NXT call-ups.
I was over the moon to see Hanson and Rowe of War Raiders arrive on the scene. But my excitement came to a screeching halt when they were announced as “The Viking Experience.”
HOLY CRAP! That’s a terrible name. Right on cue, wrestling Twitter lost their collective minds, and I admit I was part of it.
Why couldn’t it have been “Viking Raiders” or “Viking Machine?” “The Viking Experience” makes it sound like an IMAX show at the Museum of Science.
The name itself isn’t the worst part. It’s really bad, but we know Hanson and Rowe have the talent to rise above a stupid name.
The part that really bothers me is the name War Raiders has been established for over a year on NXT – arguably WWE’s best show. They are even the Tag Team Champions under the War Raiders moniker. Are we supposed to just ignore and forget that? Why weren’t they given a different name from the get-go if “War” isn’t going to be acceptable on the main roster.
But should we really be surprised?
Let’s just rattle off a few times that the main roster has done something stupid and ruined a solid NXT act.
- The Ascension was the most dominant tag team in NXT for a long time. They got called up and were almost immediately buried.
- Bayley was supposed to be the next big thing in the Women’s Division when she eventually joined her fellow Horsewomen on the main roster. Her arrival brought a ton of excitement, but it didn’t last long. Overproduced promos and bad timing were the downfall of her early Championship run.
- Sanity was called up without Nikki Cross and have done absolutely nothing. Now it looks like Eric Young is set to go it alone on RAW.
- Tye Dillinger was one of the most OVER talents in NXT. He arrived on the main roster at No. 10 in the Royal Rumble to a ridiculous pop. But he was never really giving a fair chance to take off.
- American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) were one of the hottest, most talented teams in NXT. They were a shining beacon of hope for a struggling tag team division. They were called up and 2016 and won the Smackdown Tag Team Titles relatively quickly. After winning the titles, they were barely used on TV and the titles were MIA.
Those examples just scratch the surface of some of the times NXT talents were mishandled on the main roster. Depending on how critical you want to be, you will probably add Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor and Bobby Roode to that list.
Only time will tell if Hanson and Rowe (I refuse to call them Erik and Ivar) will overcome “The Viking Experience” and find success on the main roster. But it’s definitely not a good sign for the main roster that people are begging for the Undisputed Era to stay in NXT.