A new call-up to the Monday Night Raw roster for WWE came with a strange homage to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as a debuting tag team's viking-inspired entrance also featured graphics of the game's basic Iron Shield equipment. The debuting team, originally known as the War Raiders but now amusingly called The Viking Experience, are known for ritualistic entrances and Norse mythology-inspired gear.
WWE has been making headlines recently for making some questionable decisions regarding talent. The most recent batch of NXT call-ups have been treated strangely, with some of them failing to wrestle matches but instead wandering the entrance ramp or appearing during backstage segments. Recently, a red-hot talent in Andrade "Cien" Almas saw his name changed to just Andrade. With that said, though, WWE has rarely tied its characters in to video game properties so subtly, leading many to believe that in the scramble to produce graphics for the new Viking Experience someone accidentally grabbed an asset for one of Skyrim's most plain pieces of equipment.
The Viking Experience debuted last night with new names—previously Hanson and Rowe, now Ivar and Erik—and a brand new graphic to match. Their entrance package included a graphic displayed on either side of the ramp that showcased a Nordic shield with a spear and horns flanking it, and eagle-eyed fans noticed that the shield looked strangely familiar. As it turns out, that's because it was grabbed from Skyrim, leading fans familiar with both the WWE product and The Elder Scrolls series to roast the company on Twitter, with one user suggesting that WWE "should be embarassed":
It's not like the shield is inspired by Skyrim. It literally is the same shield. WWE didn't even choose one of the game's many cool equipment styles, either, which leads one to wonder how high the ceiling is for The Viking Experience if the person in charge of their graphics thinks they're not ready to slay any dragons. There's a lot of potential for crossover here if WWE chooses to embrace what fans have now noticed, though—a Falcon Arrow to the knee, for instance, or changing Seth Rollins' name to the Dragon Slayer now that he's slain the Beast, Brock Lesnar.
Obviously, this is just fans having a bit of fun with the fact that WWE has repackaged a beloved team in the War Raiders into something much more questionable in The Viking Experience, complete with an obviously quickly photoshopped entrance graphic. That being said, though, it's a bit concerning that this sort of thing is happening with a company as profitable and large as the WWE. The Viking Experience is a big deal—they're the current NXT tag champions and they've been putting on stellar matches—so to have their main roster debut be marred by what's become a joke is not ideal for a company that's already struggling to make stars as it clings to aging talent.