Over the weekend, WWE announced that on the next episode of Monday Night Raw, The Viking Raiders will be taking on The New Day in tag team competition.
While WWE neglected to mention exactly which member between Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E will be facing Ivar and Erik, a win for The Viking Raiders could not only do wonders for their main roster careers, but it simply must happen.
Following the Superstar Shake-Up, The Viking Raiders were called up with a heap of momentum behind them following a run in NXT as NXT Tag Team Champions. In theory, that should mean that they should also arrive to immediate potential with a bright future, right? Perhaps that could have been the case if not for the name change.
When The War Raiders became The Viking Raiders, the conversation immediately swayed from how talented these guys are to how dumb and unnecessary that name change was. No one was talking about how good these guys were and whatever momentum they had on their first night on Raw was halted before they even stepped in the ring.
Their lost momentum is evident, as up until recently, they disappeared from WWE television. From May 5 until halfway into June, the vikings stuck strictly to live events and the often frowned upon Main Event. They would not return to main roster television until the Jun. 17 episode of Raw.
For two weeks straight now, Erik and Ivar have been showcased in dominant performances over enhancement talent and then the undercard-stricken Gallows and Anderson. It’s almost as if WWE noticed how much the name change overshadowed the Viking Raiders and opted to keep them off television for a month because of it. Now, they are quietly building them back up again.
Their biggest match in recent memory – and, frankly, the biggest match of their WWE careers thus far – will see them square up with five-time WWE Tag Team Champions, 1/3 of which happens to be the current WWE Champion. If WWE really wanted to give The Viking Raiders the boost necessary to allow them to live up to their potential, they must have them pin The New Day tonight.
Of course, if he’s in the match, Kofi Kingston should not take a pinfall loss and if they truly happen to be next in the line for a SmackDown Tag Title shot, an argument can be made against E or Woods taking the pin either. However, with as much of a damage and a disservice Viking Raiders have received more recently, they need the win more.
Both Xavier Woods and Big E pinned the SmackDown Tag Team Champions a couple weeks back on the Jun. 25 episode of SmackDown Live, so they will still feel like legitimate contenders in defeat. The Viking Raiders still have a long way to go before feeling like legit contenders in their own right, but a win could give them the boost necessary to speed that booking process up a notch without making their opponents look weaker as a result.
A win for The Viking Raiders tonight is essential. Hopefully, WWE understands that before Raw goes live tonight.