One thing about the crazy world of professional wrestling that I’ve always enjoyed is that most wrestlers will have a unique theme song that plays whenever they come down to the ring.
Some claim that it was Hulk Hogan who popularised this idea when he used to come down the ramp to “Eye of the Tiger” during his days in the American Wrestling Association. Others claim that it was the Von Erichs in the World Class territory who first used music, with another group swearing blind that it was Bill Watts’s Mid-South Wrestling that pioneered regular use of music for wrestlers.
Regardless of where it originated, entrance music is now part of the fabric of professional wrestling. Whereas in the past wrestlers would come out to whatever was popular in the charts, nowadays wrestlers have entrance themes created specifically for them, often with the music giving us an insight into their personality.
For instance, the frantic high tempo beat of The Ultimate Warrior’s entrance theme was a fine prelude to the frenetic “squash” matches that were a core role in establishing him as a big star upon his initial debut. The gong and funereal organ during The Undertaker’s theme music was a look into the eerie and dark trappings of the character’s melancholic nature, and when the lights dimmed in the arena, there wasn’t a warm back in the building.
One area of theme music that I especially like, however, is when a wrestler or wrestlers sing their own theme music. In some ways it makes sense, a wrestler’s entrance theme says a lot about them, so who better to say it than the wrestlers themselves?
Today I’ll be looking at my own personal ten favourite wrestling themes where a wrestler has sung the lyrics.
Number Ten – The Honky Tonk Man, “Cool, Cocky, Bad”
We start off the list with one of the more iconic entries, as the Elvis Pressley-inspired Honky Tonk Man sings about how he plays a mean guitar and wears blue suede shoes, all whilst driving around town in his pink Cadillac.
Originally earmarked to be a fan favourite, Wayne Ferris’s sound found upon entering the then World Wrestling Federation that the cynical northern fans that the WWF regularly catered to had no time for an Elvis Impersonator, even one who was supposedly good friends with the company’s most popular wrestler in Hulk Hogan.
Soon enough, Honky found his way to the dark side of the Force and became an arrogant, insincere villain who regularly touted his faux musical achievements. This excellent theme music followed not soon after, and it’s dripping with wondrous self-satisfaction. With his new found evil persona and catchy entrance track, The Honky Tonk Man went on to defeat Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship and enjoyed a record setting title reign to go alongside his “Record Selling” entrance track, of course…
Number Nine – The Public Enemy, “We Like to Party”
“Flyboy” Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge were both singles competitors who Extreme Championship Wrestling supremo Paul Heyman had seen doing battle with each other in another wrestling company. Needing fresh blood for ECW, Heyman reasoned that if they had such good chemistry as opponents, then it was only logical that they might also mesh well as a Tag Team, thus The Public Enemy were born.
Whilst battling teams like The Gangstas and The Bad Breed in ECW, The Public Enemy often used “Here Comes The HotStepper” as their entrance theme, but eventually the financial lure of World Championship Wrestling became too much and they both signed lucrative contracts to jump ship.
WCW was unwilling to shell out the money to get the rights to their ECW music, but they were prepared to let TPE perform their own song, complete with lyrics about how if there was a table in the building, then they were going to ensure someone took a trip right through it.
TPE were never as big a hit in WCW as they were in ECW. Paul Heyman had an innate ability to hide wrestlers’ weaknesses whilst also extenuating their positives. In WCW Rock and Grunge didn’t have that same level of protection, and as a result they were never able to be as popular in WCW as they were comparatively in ECW. Still, they got to record a single in some fashion, so there’s always that…
Number Eight – The Fabulous Rougeau’s, “All American Boys”
This is another tale of an act going to the WWF as good guys only to eventually find much greater fame and success after a swift turn to villainhood. Jacques and Raymond Rougeau were big stars in the Montreal wrestling territory, leading the WWF to snap them up and bring them in as a clean cut heroic tag team.
However, when The Hart Foundation team of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart decided to kick their obnoxious manager Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Hart to the curb and join the ranks of the righteous, it was decided that The Rougeaus would switch to the other side to give both The Harts someone to feud with and Jimmy a new tag team to manage.
Thus, The Rougeaus went from being sincere, clean cut nice guys to insincere nice guys who were clearly putting it all on. They even started to proclaim themselves as real “All American Boys” who just loved America and brought tiny little American Flags with them to highlight that point. The fans didn’t buy it for a second, and the team quickly became widely despised as they took on popular teams like The British Bulldogs and The Rockers.
The theme song continues the conceit of them being good American lads, as they sing about how much they like to listen to Barry Manilow and how they prefer to look preppy than have long hair. This song really is brilliant, with a catchy chorus and hilarious lyrics. Had this team been around today, they’d probably be multi-time Tag Team Champions by now!
Number Seven – Sasha Banks, “The Sky’s the Limit”
This one took me by surprise at first, as I didn’t know that Sasha provided vocals for this song, but when I had a second to think about it, it made perfect sense. Of course Sasha would sing on her own entrance track, she’s “The Boss”, and she’d want to make sure that everything associated with her had her own seal of approval.
I can only imagine that Sasha heard someone else putting vocals on this track and was all “Err, Honey, take a step back and The Boss will show you how it’s done!”
Number Six – Ricky Fuji, “Sexy Storm”
Ricky Fuji is a name that folks who didn’t watch a lot of Japanese wrestling in the 90s might not recognise. He was known mostly for his work in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, and his primary character trait was that he loved Western culture. Fuji would often come down to the ring wearing western influenced ring gear, and he would also often cut promos in English (or at least attempt to).
The peak of this gimmick was his entrance music, where he essentially tried to recreate an American hair metal style song where he provided the lyrics, thus “Sexy Storm” was born. It’s pretty funny listening to Ricky singing in broken English about how all the girls look at him when he walks down the street.
Fuji was popular enough whilst in the FMW bubble, but when he competed in multi-company events, like the Super J Cup tournaments, he was exposed as being little more than average between the ropes. This doesn’t diminish the campy charm of his entrance theme though.
Number Five – Jillian Hall, “Sliced Bread”
Jillian Hall went through a slew of gimmicks in WWE. First, she showed up as a “fixer” for MNM, then she went on to being a valet for JBL, then she had a grotesque mole on her face which The Boogeyman ripped off and ate before settling into a generic role in the lower reaches of the women’s division.
However, around the year 2007, Vince McMahon had one of his bi annual spats with Hulk Hogan over something or another and decided to stick it to The Hulkster by making fun of his daughter Brooke’s failed music career. Thus, Jillian was repackaged as a terrible singer who butchered songs and just annoyed the hell out of people.
Whereas this should have killed her off once and for all, Jillian was so good at being awful that the gimmick actually became perversely funny, and she gained a bit of momentum off it. She was still pretty much enhancement talent in the Women’s Division, but at least she was enhancement talent that people recognised.
Naturally, it only made sense that Jillian would sing her own entrance music, and she delivered a pop hit about how the boys’ faces always turned red when she was around and how she literally had to run away from all the men who wanted to be with her (methinks they might have been running in the other direction once they got within hearing distance of Jillian’s pipes).
Amazingly, Jillian not only managed to get this act over to a certain degree, but she also rode the momentum to the briefest of Women’s Title wins and even released a Christmas Album called “A Jingle with Jillian” (No, I’m honestly not making that up, this was an actual thing that happened).
Not bad considering that in lesser hands this would be a gimmick that would have died a quick death within a couple of shows.
Number Four – Tyler Breeze, “MMMMMM Gorgeous”
Tyler Breeze’s Zoolander-inspired model gimmick was one of the more intriguing to show up in NXT over the past couple of years. Combining his preening and pouting with a fast-paced in-ring style, Breeze was not only one of the more entertaining characters on the show, but he was also one of the smoothest between the ropes.
His unapologetically arrogant entrance theme went a long way to making the character such a hit, with lyrics so vain you’d think they’d been written by Vega from the Street Fighter series. Having Breeze delivering the lyrics himself only adds to the unabashed vanity on display, and I never fail to crack up when he declares himself to be “Part Man, but ALL Model!”
Number Three – The Fabulous Freebirds, “Bad Street USA”
One of the more iconic theme songs in this list, “Bad Street USA” was the entrance music of “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time”. Michael “PS” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy and Buddy “Jack” Roberts were the original grouping of The Freebirds, and they were a huge act in World Class, Mid-South and Georgia during the 70s and 80s.
Unlike Jillian Hall, however, Michael Hayes actually had a decent set of pipes on him, and as a result, “Bad Street USA” is actually the hot track that The Birds proclaimed it to be. The Freebirds feuded throughout the World Class territory with the Von Erich family, with the loud Rock and revolutionary production values going a long way to making the territory seem like the hippest one in the land.
Hayes would go on to record other songs for The Birds as time went on, but none of them ever rocked as hard as “Bad Street USA” did.
Number Two – The Mountie, “I’m The Mountie”
Jacques Rougeau makes his second appearance on the list, and this one’s an absolute belter. As the 80s turned into the 90s, Raymond Rougeau began to struggle with injuries and started to move more into a broadcast role for the WWF. However, Jacques was still willing to be an active wrestler, so the WWF decided to repackage him as a nefarious Canadian Mounted Policeman known as “The Mountie”.
This decision went down like a lead balloon back in Jacques’s homeland, with the Mounted Police taking genuine offence to the portrayal of one of their own being an evildoer who electrocuted fellow WWF Superstars with his insidious Shock Stick™.
Not to be deterred though, the WWF came up with a compromise where Jacques would simply wrestle under his normal name when in Canada and amend the outfit slightly, but he’d still be The Mountie when wrestling elsewhere.
With The Mountie now part of the roster, it was decided that he’d be given a new entrance theme to match the bombastic nature of the character, thus “I’m The Mountie” made its appearance in 1992. I couldn’t believe this when I first heard it, as Rougeau declared that he was The Mountie and that he was handsome, brave and strong.
The lyrics are so simple, yet so utterly perfect at the same time. Once again, Jacques had another hit on his hands!
Number One – The West Texas Rednecks, “Rap Is Crap”
I didn’t actually watch WCW properly until 1999, owing mostly to the fact that I didn’t have satellite TV, and for a while that was the only way to get access to the product. However, in 1999, WCW agreed to a deal with Channel 5 in the UK to start showing weekly recap show Worldwide on the channel.
Exciting though it was to finally have some wrestling on terrestrial television again, I was soon disappointed to find that the shows were at least 2-3 months old, and WCW had comically decided to censor the show by putting 60s Batman-like “POW” and “ZAP” bubbles over the screen every time someone was hit with a weapon.
As the shows were starting around July ’99 when we started getting them, The West Texas Rednecks group of Curt Henning, Bobby Duncum Jnr, Barry Windham and Kendall Winham were just coming into prominence. Presented as a country and western band to feud with the rap-influenced “Filthy Animals” of Konnan and Rey Mysterio Jnr, The Rednecks were starting to get over and were even sometimes getting cheered over their supposed good guy rap rivals.
This was down somewhat to WCW being a predominantly southern wrestling league, which meant that most of the fans weren’t really into rap to begin with and also down to the fact that The Rednecks released “Rap Is Crap”.
One of the first episodes of Worldwide featured the music video for “Rap Is Crap”, and once I saw it I could immediately see why the act was getting over. The video was funny, the chorus was catchy and Curt Henning had a natural charisma that could draw the viewer in. I’d often find I’d be humming the melody long after the segment with The Rednecks had ended.
It’s funny because sometimes I’ll bump into lapsed fans who used to watch wrestling in the 90s, and if the topic of WCW is brought up, inevitably it’ll always find its way to “Rap Is Crap”. This was a genuinely hot angle that WCW had fall into their laps, and there was plenty of scope to turn The Rednecks and present them as fan favourites. At one point, country and western radio stations were actually playing the song, and it was becoming really popular with the country audience.
However, rather than actually taking advantage of this and trying to do something with this hot new stable they had in their hands, WCW instead summarily buried the group on television because they weren’t supposed to be good guys and then started sending cease and desist notices to the radio stations playing the song, because WCW was worse than even Konami at knowing how to business.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time;