Let the Music do the Talking
March 23, 2006 by Alejandro Bravo
The music, like the ring attire and the storylines, gives credibility to the wrestler's character. That's what the people will remember, as well as the talent - or the lack of it - of the person. There was a time when the entrance music was an important thing to a
wrestler. The entrance music was the real deal in the eighties and nineties. Each wrestler had his or hers particular song, and fans got excited only by hearing the first notes. Those songs weren´t simple entrance songs, they were anthems.
Today, many wrestlers don´t have valets, enter the ring without any attire and sadly, their entrance music is anonymous and simple. No more trademark tunes. As a music and wrestling fan, I'll pay tribute to those songs that were as great. Ok, they were no "Stairway To Heaven" or "Rock´n´roll all nite", but they made me believe in the magic of wrestling:
Ted Dibiase: The ultimate arrogant heel song, with its obnoxious chorus of "money, money, money" while he spited his famous quote "everybody's got a price" to end with his famous laugh. He was the character we loved to hate, and his entrance music fueled that feeling. Remember how he offered money to the public for doing stupid things" JBL is million miles away of being hated like the Million Dollar Man was. Despite these
antics, DiBiase was a true in-ring psychologist and a very technical wrestler, and his career was rejuvenated when he joined Mike Rotunda and formed Money, Inc. They are worthy of the Hall of Fame, just like Demolition, I tell you. I only hope they´ll get inducted someday.
Repo Man: To tell you the truth, Repo Man was more a comic relief than a serious threat to Bret Hart or the Ultimate Warrior. Everything of his character was wrong: his looks, his ring attire and his music. But like Ed Wood´s films, he was so bad that it was actually good. I recently read a Barry Darsow interview where he says that he enjoyed doing Repo
Man, so more power to him. His theme, played in a very cheap sinthetizer with a deep voice saying "Repo Man" over and over again, was real fun.
Demolition: One of the best tag- teams in history. Big, nasty and mean, their heavy metal music was their presentation card. I believed it was performed by Rick Derringer, and it´s one of those riffs that never go away form your head. Hard to believe what happened to their members: Axe doing indies, Smash doing Repo Man (!!!!) and Crush... well, being
Hawaiian Crush and dressed like a big soda.
The Mountie: Former WWF IC champ Jacques Rougeau was a hell of a wrestler, specially in tag teams. I never had the chance to watch the Rougeau Brothers in action, but I remember well The Quebecers, a pretty good tag team, with their high flying finisher. The Mountie song had that kind of sound that you couldn´t get out of your head for weeks: "I´m the Mountie, I´m handsome, I´m brave and I´m strong..." Like Repo Man´s song, this was real fun.
Shawn Michaels: What can I say of his now-legendary tune, "sexy boy"" he has been using it since he smashed Jannetty trough a window, and the first version of the song was sang by a girl (sensational Sherri perhaps"). His theme has defined his character, whether face or heel, and its all magic. I admit it; it has a stupid lyric, but so does Tutti Frutti
and Johnnie B. Goode and many rock´n´roll classic gems.
Ric Flair: His entrance music was tailor-made for him, don't you think" Classic, simple and arrogant, like Flair. "Also sprach Zaratusthra" did a huge contribution in Flair's "kiss-stealing, wheeling, dealing, jet-flying, limousine-riding son of a gun" character. Like the Rolling Stones, he has been around too long. And I can only say: thank you.
Randy Savage: Like Flair, he used classical music to enhance his character. His theme, "Pomp and Circumstance" I believe it is called, was perfect to create the image of the "beyond good and evil" Macho Man.
Curt Henning: A grandiloquent piece to a wrestler who was far from the average level. Mr. Perfect will be remembered by 2 things: His talent and charisma inside and outside the ring, and by his music, a perfect fit for him. His theme gave you the feeling that a great thing was about to happen. And it always did.
LOD: To tell you the truth, I don't remember much of their song... except for the classic scream. "What a Rush!!!!!!!" that started it. And boy, the crowd went wild with that simple phrase! And they had the image and the moves that went along with their heavy metal song. Like LOD, many other wrestlers have used a catch phrase or a distinctive sound as an intro to their songs: Bret Hart, Booker T, The Rock, Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, New Age Outlaws, Tatanka... and the crowd just love it do death.
Undertaker: Well, he has changed his theme as well has changed his character. But everybody will remember the graveyard symphony he used early in his career. Those bell sounds still makes me shiver. It really made you believe that he was the Phenom, the undying specter that lurks in the darkness searching four your soul. Now he is more human, and even bleeds once in a while, but back in '91 he was terrifying everybody in
the WWF. Remember how he used to land on his feet" Or when he suddenly got up after you though he was KO" Or when he used to put his victims in those body bags" Spooky.
Hulk Hogan: I never was a Hogan´s fan, even though I used to watch his
Rock´n´wreslting cartoon show. Hell, I even saw the Super Mario Brothers show with Lou Albano doing Mario!!!. Hogan´s song, Real American, was a happy tune that portrayed Hogan as the American Idol of his time. Not a favorite of mine, but this song as well as his "say your prays and take your vitamins" catchphrase, his yellow and red attire and his ultimate good-guy attitude made WWF quite popular en the 80´s.
DX: A great song played by Rage against the Machine (or that's what I think, I'm not pretty shure). DX was a post nuclear version of the Four Horsemen. My favorite lineup is the first one: HBK, HHH, Chyna and Rick Rude as a consultant. They were egotistical prankers, using childish humor and other stupid things that I loved. Remember the strip poker session" Or when they declared war on WCW and rode a tank" what about the
classic Anti-spit helmet they wore with Sgt. Slaughter" The world has been a sad place to be since they split.
Of course, you had wrestlers back then that didn't need any elaborated music: The Ultimate Warrior and The Rockers used a simple heavy metal riff, Piper's tune where a bunch of bagpipes sounding pretty nice, Owen Hart used a happy guitar riff, Rick Martel used an entrance song that was as horrible as Rick Rude´s... and I can go on and on. These guys had real talent and needed no trademark song.
Well, I think it's enough good songs for today. These songs, as well as many other wrestling tunes (like Nation of Domination´s, Big Show´s and Heidenreich´s), are the soundtrack of many wrestling fans like me or you or somebody you know. I´ll go and hear "WWF: the music" Vols. 2 and 3 one more time. And that's the bottom line.
by Alejandro Bravo..
Jesse Lee wrote:
I don't see much of a problem with today's wrestling themes. You have Jericho's countdown when he was in WWE and Christian's music was one of my favorites. Shelton needs a change (he's been stopped by creative) but it's also fairly well-done. When you look at it, every wrestler has their own, specialized theme, except for maybe the "low ranked" ones. Y'know, the ones who look like everyone else.
What a theme song should have is some resemblance to the character (ex: Space Odyssey is a classic theme, just like how Flair is a classic wrestler) by attitude, gimmick, or any other way you can think of. I, personally, enjoy themese where there would be a "pop" in the music. For example; glass breaks, signaling to the crowd who's coming out and the music starts as the fans cheer or boo.
The first words of Shelton's theme, RVD's riff in music, and the bell toll are just a very few examples of what I mean.
As far as the case of good vs. bad theme music, I don't see much of a problem with anyone's theme. Anyone important that is.
Kevin Roberts wrote:
Good column. However, I have to disagree with you on the JBL comment. JBL IS hated just as much, if not more than the Million Dollar Man. I dont think there is really a such thing as a bad theme song, because the music is synonymous with the character. It doesnt always have to be a hit song, just as long as it "matches" the wrestler. Example: Rob Conway's theme music sounds funny and probably wouldnt crack the Top 40 if there were only 39 songs on earth!, but with his gimmick, it flows. But it seems as if youre going with an old-school theme here, so I'll throw in a few, besides the ones you named, that I though were pretty cool:
Papa Shango, Doink The Evil Clown, Mankind, Kane, Rock (2004), Stone Cold, Goldberg, THE NWO, Sid Vicious, Killer Kowalski (Psycho-like theme), Kamala, Sting (late 90s), Booker T, Dean Malenko (90s and 00s), RVD, Tazz, HHH (90s), Jake Roberts
Sachin D.S. wrote:
Hey that was a nice column. I enjoyed reading it. I don't think that during the Attitude Era there much problem with the entrance music. I mean who cannot recognize the famous glass shattering or the "If ya smell what the rock is cooking". Anyways good column. By the way the DX song was not by RATM (contrary to poular belief) but it was by Chris Warren and the DX band. It was made to sound like RATM to make it controversial.
Mike Gatto wrote:
I'll have to agree with you on that subject, but aren't we forgetting a small Philadelphia-based organization where entrance music used to incite just as many pops from the crowd as the wrestlers' in-ring actions did"
Who can forget the huge crowd reactions at ECW shows when we heard the opening bass riff of "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains, signifying that the Innovator of Violence was about to make an entrance" How about the shriek preceding Dr. Dre and Ice Cube's "Natural Born Killas", which meant that a man with a garbage can full of weapons and a reputation for being near-psychotically violent was on his way to the ring" Let's not leave out Rob Van Dam's entrance theme either, a little tune called "Walk" by Pantera that brought us to our feet in a split second so we could watch quite possibly the most talented wrestler of his time. Or what about the man who may have had the greatest musical entrance of all time, the Sandman" They used to play through the entire song, and the audience would get so into the act that they'd sing along with Hetfield while the Hardcore Icon smoked and drank his way to ringside.
When you're talking about fantastic entrance music and how it's all but disappeared, make sure you don't forget to give credit to the guys who were a bit more recent than DiBiase and Flair, but every bit as memorable.
Tyron Hunter wrote:
Okay decent article, but sounds like you were coming across as if there is not alot wreslters with a good theme entrance. Dude you forgot a string of wrestlers, even now in the presence. Shawn Michaels, I give you props on that one cuz I have his theme music as my ringtone. Honestly, what did you mean wrestlers now are using the same beat to come the ring to. I think partically some do, but not alot. C'mon dude where do I start; Triple H, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Kane, Rey Mysterio, Chris Masters, Carilto, Booker T, John Cena, Davira, Rob Conway, Randy Orton, and hell even the late Eddie. Some of those rejects from TNA got some decent theme entrance music; Jeff Jarrett, Big Poppa Pump, Monty Brown, Ron Killings, and Abyss. Now the rest of the roster I agree sounds somewhat alike, but you go to TNA's website to hear their stuff. Now most these wrestlers music does distinguishes them in some sort of fashion. I like that you brought up the theme music, but as far as the attire, yep most of the wrestlers have gone left field and keep it pretty simple, nothing out of the ordinary, I mean times of the wrestling industry have changed, but you still have those funny looking gimmicks that come across every other blue moon.....Paul Burchill.
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