With the news that WWE wrestler Fandango’s entrance theme has become a global phenomenon over the last week, charting in countries from Australia to the UK ever since the raucous WWE Raw crowd started humming along in unison with it, it got me thinking about how few of the classic wrestling themes are commercially available.
I mean, if Fandango’s theme can chart, why not release The Mountie’s theme? I’d buy that.
And then that got me thinking about the best wrestling entrance themes of all time. There have been so many, even though it’s fair to say that the quality ones are fewer and farther between these days.
A wrestler’s theme should have character; it should fit the wrestler associated with it. Back in the day there were loads.
So I set about compiling a top 10, then a top 20 and finally I settled upon – fittingly – a top 40, since that’s the chart that Fandango’s theme has entered.
These are in alphabetical order rather than in order of preference. They are of course all my opinion, and I’m fairly sure that some omissions will lead to plenty of disagreement on twitter.
The Big Bossman
His 1990-93 theme was a good one, but in terms of fitting his 98-2002 heel character, The Big Bossman’s Attitude Era theme was better.
Big John Studd
This theme would later go on to be edited into “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s one, but the slower, more deliberate pace of this makes it a better theme as far as I’m concerned
You’ve got to love a bit of Y2J.
The big man had a number of themes in WWE, most of which were rubbish, but people of my generation will remember his Kona Crush theme with some fondness. What a guitar riff (is that the right term?) to start.
Dan Severn didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his limp 98/99 run in WWE, but his theme song had a certain bad-ass nature to it.
Fun fact; the odds of this theme being released as Dan Severn’s theme are infinitesimal, but it was actually used in the WWF Attitude video game as Steve Williams’ theme. That’s how it’s available in good quality.
Here’s a theme with character. I actually like the 1991 Crush & Smash theme too, but this is a proper song performed by Rick Derringer, made especially for Ax & Smash. And it’s a corker.
Sadly if you watch the WWE Anthology releases of PPVs from back in the day, they’ve replaced this theme to avoid paying Derringer any royalties.
Another ‘proper’ song, this time done by Motorhead.
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers’ theme was designed to be annoying. The team were falsely pretending to be ‘All American Boys’. But it’s a corny classic.
Gangrel’s entire entrance, from his rising up through the floor through to spitting blood was genius. But it wouldn’t be half as good were it not for his theme. People will long memories will remember the crowd at the 1999 Royal Rumble swaying along to his music.
The Great Sasuke
My first venture away from WWE and it’s a good one. Although this theme was played two or three times in 1997 when Sasuke came over from Japan, it’s a Michinoku Pro effort, and the hands down winner of the award for Piece of Music I’d Most Like To Play On Guitar Hero
Talk about themes custom made for the wrestler; Hercules’s theme is one of the very best. The sound of the drums and horns were made to match the main named after the great mythological strongman,
If only it existed in better quality
Jushin “Thunder” Liger
We’re going back to Japan again for the theme of one of the most recognisable wrestlers of all time, Jushin Liger.
A proper Japanese pop song just for him; you’ll be singing along with the girl.
Another masked man with a wig, it’s Kane.
It’s easy to disregard his theme considering you’ve heard it almost every week for 15 years, but it’s still a very atmospheric and suitable piece.
My favourite version is his 2nd version. I understand we’re up to number 15 now.
I’ll admit it; when I was a teenager I’d listen to this to pump me up before my Higher exams at school.
You can’t not love The World’s Most Dangerous Man!
Kenzo Suzuki & Renee Dupree
On it’s own, the La Resistance theme is a catchy piece of stock music. The mashup with Kenzo Suzuki’s Oriential sounding theme makes it class.
You’ll never be able to hear your ‘New Email’ sound in Outlook the same ever again.
Would it be churlish of me to say that this is actually The Patriot’s theme? He used it first.
Quality tune though.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
While not a piece of music made for the wrestler in question, Pomp & Circumstance just suited The Macho Man. Watch his entrance at Wrestlemania’s 6 or 7 as he comes to the ring on his throne and I challenge you not to be impressed.
The best bit of course is the end of the theme.
Such a pity he died before he could make up with Vince McMahon
The last trip to the Orient for Part One, Misawa’s theme was the sort that got the crowd going. Whenever it hit, they’d erupt in unison with chants “Mee-saaa-waa”.
Another theme from the late 80s/early 90s.
It was certainly a thrill of mine – and everyone else in the Glasgow S.E.C.C. – to hear it played live one last time in 2002.
New World Order/Kevin Nash
It’s the first WCW theme to make the list, and it’s so good and so effective that it got used as late as 2011 in WWE for Kevin Nash.
And when his music hit for the first time when he made his return, the whole crowd instantly knew who it was. That’s the importance of a good wrestling theme.
I once read someone say they used it to come down the aisle at their own wedding. Fantastic.
So we’re half way there, and since this is in alphabetical order, you’ll probably notice a few big name themes are missing.
The likes of Hulk Hogan, Brock Lesnar, Degeneration X, Edge, Bret Hart and of course Hillbilly Jim all have great themes, but they just didn’t make the cut.
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