“Hit the music!” Ravishing Rick Rude
Everyone in my generation of wrestling fans is incredibly lucky for many reasons. We didn't have to sit through hour-long matches containing nothing but bodyslams and headlocks. We didn't have to endure monotonous interviews from “true” athletes that had the charisma of a mango. We didn't have to watch Verne Gagne do much of anything.
All of these points aside, the one thing we should be very fortunate for is the existence of entrance music in professional wrestling.
To this day, when I invite friends over to partake in the Royal Rumble Drinking Game, people will ask me if the particular Rumble we are about to do has the wrestler’s themes play as they enter the ring. Generally, everyone wants to do one that includes the songs. It just sounds better and it adds so much to the show and the characters.
Now, I don’t know if Gorgeous George gets the credit for using “Pomp and Circumstance” or if it’s Michael Hayes for “Free Bird” or even Hulk Hogan for “Eye of the Tiger” (surely, Hogan feels it’s him), but I deeply thank whoever came up with the concept because wrestling wouldn't be the same without it.
As a die-hard wrestling fan, I also feel the opposite way: music, to me, isn’t the same without wrestling. There are hundreds of instances in which I have my iPod blasting a tune and I say to myself, “Man, that would make a great theme for a wrestler.”
It is with this premise that I sat down and scoured my music collection to find 15 songs that could be used as great entrance themes for a wrestler and 5 bonus songs that are begging to be used in some sort of video package. I will keep my explanations brief so you can enjoy the music, but I will try to come up with a character-type that could use the song and also a current wrestler that would work well for it.
Pop your headphones on and enjoy.
1. “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
Everything from the intro to Joe Perry riffing like only he can to Steven Tyler sounding so much better while being more fucked up than he ever was makes this song kick ass. I can hear a Ring of Honor crowd banging on the metal banners to this jam already.
Character: I was going to just steal from “Dazed and Confused” and say a Matthew McConaughey character, but Rob Van Dam has been doing that for years. Instead, I will propose something a tad different: a throwback gimmick like Deuce and Domino, but instead of the 1950s, it’s the 1960s. It would get over with this song.
Who Could Use it Now: Let’s go with Brian Kendrick. Anything is better than what he has now.
2. “Yonkers” by Tyler, The Creator
Say what you will about the guy: Tyler, The Creator can make some dark, scary rap. The first time I heard this song, I could imagine the pop it received from the first note. The lyrics are great, the beat is sick and it’s different. Three great qualities.
Character: Imagine a jacked African-American monster with no morals, no regard for anybody and no rhyme or reason of doing anything. You think Randy Orton walks slow to the ring? This guy, to this song, would make Orton look like Usain Bolt. But, it’s a walk with a very deliberate purpose.
Who Could Use it Now: I just saved your career, Ezekiel Jackson.
3. “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry
Divas/Knockouts deserve some love, too, and this song can be ripped straight from the strip club and used to perfection. I know Swoggle Squad member Rich Camillucci knows what I’m talking about.
Character: Take a smoking hot chick that looks fairly promiscuous (Maryse fits the bill), but give her Daffney’s frame of mind. She could give you the time of your life…but she could also end your life.
Who Could Use it Now: By the name of the song alone, we have to go to TNA. Madison Rayne, give it a shot.
4. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Now, not all of these are going to be 100% serious, but something about this classic just makes me want to boo somebody as I hear it. The first few notes set a tone and the chorus is over-the-top enough to make something work.
Character: How about the cockiest dude ever? He walks like his shit doesn’t stink, but we always smell it by the end of the night. Think of the douchebag in high school that thought he was getting laid by every girl at the prom, only to end up crying in his Volvo on his way back home.
Who Could Use it Now: As good as his theme is now, it’s getting him nowhere: Alex Riley.
5. “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top
Considering ZZ Top are huge WWE fans, this one isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The lyrics describe a wrestling gimmick, no doubt. Mix in some sick guitar work and my feet are tapping as I look to an imaginary entrance ramp right now.
Character: Uh…how about a sharp dressed man? Jokes aside, in order for it to work, this has to be the slyest wrestler and the slyest outfit ever. He would have to make Ric Flair look like a NFL player in Zubaz.
Who Could Use it Now: It’s a decent variation of a classic gimmick one third-generation star is familiar with: Ted DiBiase.
6. “Freaks and Geeks” by Childish Gambino
Maybe I am biased because I am writing this article while I wear a Childish Gambino shirt, but every time I hear this song, it just hypes me up. It makes me feel like I can do anything and a wrestling audience cheering on their favorite Superstar would express that every time he came to the ring.
Character: Just watching Gambino in the video bounce around with such charisma and swag harkens back to the days of uber-babyfaces. It is hard to pull off with such jilted crowds, but an uber-face that has a hint of cool to him could be a fresh change of pace from the Superhero types we see all the time.
Who Could Use it Now: Kofi Kingston, you don’t need to be a Jamaican sympathizer anymore.
7. “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits
This already sounds like every stock WCW theme song from 1989 to 1993, but THIS has Mark Knopfler on it, for crying out loud! We can even scrap the lyrics and just go instrumental on this one. Unless you are replacing the MTV references with the wrestler’s name, it makes no sense anyway.
Character: I also say an old school big man coming out to this show. He lumbers down to the ring with confidence that isn’t unwarranted because he’s HUGE.
Who Could Use it Now: Sigh…go ahead, Crimson.
8. “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris
This may be my favorite idea and the cheesiest song of the bunch. There is talk of cakes and recipes and so many allegories, but GOD DAMN if the music itself isn’t fantastic. I might of listened to this song in the Atlanta airport a couple times in a row and feared that somebody would overhear it through my headset.
Character: This is where this idea gets good. Take a very flamboyant, very cocky heel and give him this song, which runs over 7 minutes. Make sure every time he comes to the ring, we hear ALL 7 MINUTES of this song. When the instrumental part kicks in, have him go back behind the curtain and reemerge when the lyrics resume. If that doesn’t get great heel heat, I don’t know what will. Just make sure he can get it done in the ring.
Who Could Use it Now: After watching him at the last FCW show I attended, I have no doubt in my mind Damien Sandow could take off with this.
9. “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I hate giving such a great song to the Divas, but why not? Everything from Petty’s excellent vocals to both guitars to the message behind the song scream woman wrestler. The first few seconds are so recognizable; it is bound to get a great reaction.
Who Could Use it Now: Kaitlyn. I was going to go with AJ, but she should just come out to video game soundtracks.
10. “Til I Collapse” by Eminem featuring Nate Dogg
When I was still in middle school and had dreams about being a wrestler, this was the song that I wanted to come out to. It has a long intro that builds anticipation from the audience, confident lyrics, a beat that can be clapped/stomped along with and it would sound great in a giant arena. Plus, Nate Dogg is the shit.
Character: This is a main event theme. This is the theme of the guy who doesn’t give up and never surrenders. Maybe it is used to rub it in the noses of the audience…
Who Could Use it Now: John Cena…when he turns heel.
11. “Crawl” by Kings of Leon
No pussyfooting around here: from second number one, this song shoots out at you. It has an edge to it. It feels raw and the drums are so bold that you can’t help but thrash your head a little bit when you hear them.
Character: The lyrics give us a vision for this one. “I want to see you crawl before I walk away.” This needs to be a destruction machine. How about this generation’s Taz? He’s not the biggest dog in the fight, but you are always shocked when he doesn’t win and his opponent isn’t carried out.
Who Could Use it Now: Brodus Clay. By the time he debuts, this song will be an Oldie.
(Editor's note: this article was written roughly three hours before the Funkasaurus debuted. Mullet refused to change his idea.)
12. “Girl, You Know It’s True” by Milli Vanilli
This song holds a special place in my heart. Podswoggle Guest Writer Andrew Zangre and I actually had a choreographed dance routine to this song in high school that proved to be quite popular with everybody but us. It is the ultimate corny late 80s/early 90s song. Tell me if you heard this at a wrestling show you wouldn’t hate whoever came down the aisle.
Character: An incredibly unlucky guy who tries to hook up with every girl in the locker room, but can’t because he is such a wimp inside. The crowd never gets behind him because he is that much of a worthless sissy. However, he is really good in the ring. Good, credible wrestler. Awful person.
Who Could Use it Now: Kazarian. Screw it.
13. “Walking Dead” by Z-Trip
An unheralded gem, Z-Trip’s excellent production mixed with Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park fame) doing his best work makes this an ominous track that would be very suitable in the realm of wrestling.
Character: God, if The Undertaker wasn’t such a fan of country or rock music, this is his. Instead, we have to figure out another dark character that feels more modern. How about a reboot of Jake Roberts’ “Trust Me” gimmick? Somebody purely evil who fools you into believing that they can help you, but at the end of the day, you are simply being led to believe that you are, you guessed it, the walking dead.
Who Could Use it Now: Let’s just start from scratch with Abyss, huh?
14. “Runaway” by Kanye West featuring Pusha-T
Already one of my ten favorite songs, everything about it is honest, beautiful, soulful and gripping. The piano part sets a tone, Kanye bares his soul and Pusha-T gives it a cool factor. It may be too awesome of a song for a wrestler, but I think I have the right angle for it.
Character: Let’s take an established character and give him a giant fall from grace. Have him doubt everything about his career, have him screw up something huge and be self-deprecating to the hilt. Once he does that, he eventually embraces it and reaches heights he had never achieved before.
Who Could Use it Now: This could be the song for a babyface version of The Miz.
15. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
Another one of my favorite songs. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything grandiose for it. It’s actually pretty simple.
Character/Who Could Use it Now: Ric Flair
Now, to wrap this up, here are 5 songs that need to find their way to the WWE editing room immediately for one of those packages they are so awesome at making.
1. “It Ends Tonight” by The All-American Rejects
How to Use it: The end of a really long feud. In WWE terms, that means a 2 month feud. In TNA terms, that means a three-week feud.
2. “The End” by Kings of Leon
How to Use it: Whatever the next “Career-Threatening” Match happens, this is the song. Maybe Triple H/Undertaker at this year’s WrestleMania?
3. “Natural Anthem” by Postal Service
How to Use it: This has always screamed “epic Pay-Per-View recap” song.
4. “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros
How to Use it: I have no idea what is being said, but slap this in front of a recap for somebody returning from a big injury and interest is sure to follow.
5. “Desire” by Zwan
How to Use it: Bring back those WWE Desire videos, but forget about Creed.
There you have it. So, WWE, if Jim Johnston ever leaves us, take a look at these musical masterpieces and you have the next wave of great wrestling theme songs.
TNA, if Dale Oliver ever tragically falls out of a burning building, consider yourself lucky.