So Part One of my Top 40 Greatest Wrestling Themes of All Time has caused a bit of a stir.
I’ve had people lambasting the choices because they didn’t include Hulk Hogan’s ‘Real American’ theme, I’ve had people say that I’ve not chosen the right Big Bossman theme, for some reason there’s been a fair amount of support for the rather pedestrian ‘Armstrong Brothers’ theme from WCW and a regular reader of the blog is also upset that Big Daddy’s theme didn’t make the list. Not Big Daddy Cool, but Shirley Crabtree.
One person even said “You really ought to have called your list ‘My Top 40 Favourite Wrestling Themes Of All Time’ if that’s how you were going to go about it.”
Music is subjective, people; of course it’s my Top 40 Favourite themes. This is an opinion piece.
Anyway, the feedback I’ve got from it made me look at the second half of my list in greater detail. Were there any obvious ones that I’d missed compared to what I wanted to include?
Well, as it happens, yes there were.
Originally, the second half of this list included the music of Repo Man, The Ringmaster and The Texas Tornado, but I’ve axed them, and with it, it has meant that my alphabetical order has been slightly affected.
But that’s life I suppose. Once the dust has settled I’ll go back and rearrange them.
Hulk Hogan’s 2nd Theme
All this talk about Real American has made me remember Hulk Hogan’s other theme – the one that was actually written for him. How could I forget it? Well weirdly, after the Hulkster stopped using it, Bonnie Tyler took the instrumentals and turned it into a proper song – Ravishing – the opening number of her top-selling 1986 album ‘Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire’
So I associate it more with that now.
Paul Orndorff’s “Mr Wonderful” Theme
There aren’t too many WCW themes on this list because they are of a generally lower quality, but last year I stumbled across a Youtube video of a Paul Orndorff match shortly before he was forced to retire in the mid 1990s.
His Mr Wonderful theme is one of the cheesiest-yet-most-amazing themes you’ll ever hear. The instrumental version was later used by The Maestro and was featured in the Legends of Wrestling Xbox game. Even without the words it’s pretty good, but with Jimmy Hart tweeting that some WCW themes might be getting released on iTunes, we can but hope that this is among them
The Powers of Pain
When the Warlord and Barbarian turned heel at Survivor Series 1988, they stopped using this theme altogether, presumably because it was too awesome not to cheer.
You know what, I’m not the sort of person to cut off my nose to spite my face. People are right; Real American – used by a number of wrestlers from the US Express to Hulk Hogan to Patterson & Briscoe – should be on the list ahead of Repo Man.
Ric Flair’s WWF Theme
And no, this isn’t the theme most associate with The Nature Boy – Also Sprach Zarathustra – but rather his far superior WWF Theme from 1991-93.
To me it suited the Flair character of the time far more.
Ravishing Rick Rude
When it was announced that Rick Rude would be in one of the WWE Smackdown games a few years ago, I was looking forward to hearing a proper quality version of his theme. Sadly, quality control at either WWE or THQ just don’t have a clue, because they included his utterly inferior 1st theme; the one that sounded like it was performed on a child’s toy keyboard.
I mean, who wants to hear that when there’s this one instead…
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Why don’t WWE believe in the mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”
Roddy Piper has had a few themes since he first reappeared at Wrestlemania 19, but none have come anywhere close to being as good as the one he used between 1989 and 1996.
My favourite piece of bagpipe music.
There have been lots of ‘proper’ songs used by wrestlers that weren’t made specifically for them. Songs like Ain’t No Grave, Enter Sandman, Rollin and many more have been used to great effect in the wrestling arena in the past and would be worthy of inclusion on this list.
But I’ve tended to avoid them because of what they are.
I’m making an exception with Sanshiro Takagi’s theme because the very nature of the original song has been changed specifically for the wrestler. And if you’ve ever seen a video of this guy’s entrance, you’ll get a new-found appreciation for it.
Much like the way Roddy Piper’s theme should never have changed, when Sid reappeared in 1995, WWE should have kept him with his awesome Sid Justice theme.
A bit like Kane’s theme, you almost forget how good Steve Austin’s entrance music is because you’ve heard it so many times.
But it defined the Rattlesnake character and isn’t a bad piece of music in its own right.
Originally, I wasn’t going to include this on the list because what Santana & Martel came out to was an instrumental version of the song Girls in Cars, and all that’s available of that online is the occasional short clip of it.
But sod it, I’ve done the same thing with the Mr Wonderful theme above, so this makes the cut.
We’re back to Japan for the final time for a piece of music that I still use on my gym playlist. Want a strong tune to help you through high impact cardio? You can go for Rocky IV or Tatsumi Fujinami’s 3rd theme.
The Mountie’s 2nd Theme
I would absolutely love to hear this in anything resembling decent quality. It’s just taking the piss and suited his character – post Summerslam 91 – so much.
If Fandango can get over based on the music he has, The Mountie would be a bona fide megastar nowadays.
What you hear as The Rock’s theme was originally based on this version of The Nation’s theme from a short period in 1998. Much like Dan Severn’s entrance music, the chances of this being available in such good quality would be practically nil were it not for its inclusion in the WWF Attitude Playstation game.
Triple H’s King of King’s Theme
I’m not a fan of Time To Play The Game, and would far rather Triple H entered the arena to this superior song from the same band.
The Ultimate Warrior
Well it had to be in here didn’t it. Whether people want to admit or not, everyone loves The Ultimate Warrior, and his music plays such an important part in that.
The Undertaker has had a ridiculous amount of themes in his time. I believe he’s up to about 26 now.
And a lot of them have been good, including the aforementioned Rollin’ and Ain’t No Grave, but I only want to induct one of his, and I’ve chosen the music he entered the arena to at Wrestlemania XV when he was in full on Satanictaker mode.
Just look at the state of both him and Paul Bearer in the video below; you’ve got to love the Attitude Era.
When Vader made an appearance on Raw last year, it cleared one thing up; they just don’t make entrance themes as good as they used to.
Some people will probably say that I should be including his ‘Real Man’s Man’ theme, but let’s be honest, it’s rubbish.
His current theme, which he’s used on and off for the last 12 years, stands the test of time as one of the best.
If it was available in good quality, I’d be tempted to also include his short-lived theme from when he was the King of the Ring but alas it’s not.
The York Foundation
Rounding off the list is probably the most obscure one of the lot. Chances are that unless you got the video of WCW Starrcade 1990 you’ve never heard this.
But it works for me.
What Just Missed Out?
Clearly there are other pieces of entrance music that could have been included in the list, but narrowly missed out.
From the current WWE roster, I like the themes of Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Brock Lesnar, but that’s about it. Significant themes from the past like DX, Shawn Michaels, The Rockers, Ted Dibiase and Honky Tonk Man also miss the cut.
There are so many quality themes, or at least there used to be, so when you’re restricting yourself to 40 there will always be disappointment for some.
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