Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Best Themes Ever!

Featured Nugget: Best Themes Ever: The Top 25 Entrance Themes In Wrestling.

There have been few musical masterpieces coming from the wrestling world over the years but one place that song and wrestling can really combine to maximum effect is during a wrestlers entrance. The right choice of song can add something extra to a character, help create a mood or force an emotional response, music can psych you up or freak you out, tunes can become iconic. Entrance themes play a really important part in wrestling. 
I used all the above criteria when compiling my list of favorite themes, each one i felt offered that little something special...
either that or i just like the lyrics...

Here is my list of what i consider the Top 25 Entrance Themes In Wrestling...The Best Themes Ever. 
And yeah, there is more than 25 songs linked (i linked other remixes, or songs influenced by or similar to those on the list) but i don't care it's my list, deal with it, and with the amount i added i guess i shoulda just gone and made the top 50! Oh well! :)

Numbers 25 - 11

25) 'Ravishing' Rick Rude
At number 25 is 'Ravishing' Rick Rude. Rude's use of 'The Stripper' instrumental fitted his character perfectly and made him a star in the WWF during the late 80's. After leaving the WWF, Rude went onto great success in WCW but never had an accompanying tune quite as memorable.
Both Rude's character and entrance music had a big influence on the WWF Attitude Era of the late 90's especially with Val Venis.

24) D-Lo Brown
One of the most under-rated wrestlers of all time also had an under-rated entrance theme. D-Lo had alot going for him, an exciting move set, great charisma, he could bump and cut funny promos & he even had a great entrance theme. Oh you better recognize!
D-Lo's buddy in the Nation Of Domination, Mark Henry, also had a decent theme around that time, 'Sexual Chocolate'. A entrance theme that has gone on to be featured on movie soundtracks believe it or not! Yes, the movie was the WWE produced cinematic masterpiece, 12 Rounds starring John Cena, but it was still on the soundtrack.

23) Gangrel/The Brood
Number 23 on this list belongs to Gangrel. A character that not only had a great theme but also an entrance just as awesome. Being lifted onto the entrance ramp through a ring of fire was very cool and memorable. The beat of his song got many people, myself included, bopping their heads along to it during live WWF shows. 
This theme was also used by associates of Gangrel. As part of the Brood, Edge & Christian joined the vampire warrior in the firey entrance before going on to getting some awesome entrances of their own. Matt & Jeff Hardy were also briefly involved with Gangrel as the New Brood but that team didn't last long enough to make a lasting impression.
Edge was first to break out with his own good entrance music. So good infact that when he and Christian teamed together they kept Edge's theme as the teams.

Edge later used a Rob Zombie track 'Never Gonna Stop'. Mixed in with his signature 'You Think You Know Me' intro as his theme, i was a big fan of this and it's probably still my favorite of all of Edge's themes...
After the Rob Zombie tune, Edge settled for an even harder sounding song that he has used for the last few years. 'Metalingus'
After the Brood, Christian was lumped with genetic rock songs for his solo matches. It wasn't until E&C broke up that another side of Christian's character shone through. His choice of entrance music was one of my favorite themes ever, Christian's Rock Opera Classic: 'At Last Your On Your Own'
As Christian's character got more over with the crowds and Captain Charisma became an even bigger solo star, he also moved onto my all time favorite Christian entrance song: 'Just Close Your Eyes' (which he still uses a version of today, but this one is better)

As Christian wasn't getting the main event push he deserved in WWE he jumped ship to TNA, where unsurprisingly he won his first solo world title. In what was a surprise though, he even had a good entrance theme in TNA!

22) Mick Foley 
Mick Foley's 'Wreck' theme was underrated. I was a fan of him using 2 themes before his world championship run, one for entering matches and one for after while his Mankind character was more dark and deranged. But after Mankind's evolution from dark and crazy to more comedic, but still reckless the new music much better suited his personality.
One of my favorite things about 'Wreck' was that the tire squealing intro reminded me of a childhood favorite, Razor Ramon.

21) Honky Tonk Man
This was just a great sing along theme. What else do i need to say?...
But the 80's was full of great songs, sung by the wrestlers themselves. Another classic was Hillbilly Jim's.
Jesse & Festus were obviously greatly influenced by ol' Hillbilly Jim, and lets face it who wasn't?!, with their entrance theme 'Biscuits & Gravy'. Mainly great for the lyrical genius that is " ain't no ham 'n egger, somethings you've always been"

20) Slick/Akeem 
Sure the Akeem gimmick was horribly racist but the WWE has never been the most sensitive souls when it comes to using stereotypes. The theme used by Slick and Akeem, to steal a line from Dave Chappelle, "is scandal proof!" though.
and for those interested here's where the wrestler formerly known as One Man Gang is introduced as Akeem.

19) Daniel Bryan
There's been a lot of talk about Daniel Bryan's Entrance music. The WWE has tried out a couple of themes on him already. The genetic rock song was definitely not right. But i think they have stumbled onto a winner by giving him 'Ride of the Valkyries'. 
It's completely different to anything other wrestlers are using right now, it suits his personality and with a new entrance video and maybe some dramatic lighting for his entrance i think it'll win round those people that are yet to become fans.
Sure it was used in a Bugs Bunny cartoon...
but it's also been used as the soundtrack to war! Apocalypse Now:

I'm glad WWE didn't let Daniel Bryan go back to using his Ring Of Honor theme, 'The Final Countdown' because only one man can truly pull off using that as his entrance music...
The Final Countdown - A Magician Named GOB

18) Hart Foundation/Bret Hart 
An already hugely recognizable theme, Bret took the music from his former tag team added in a guitar riff at the start and became a solo superstar. The Hitman was never one for flashy entrances, he let his wrestling do the talking. 
This would probably be higher if accompanied by some flashy pyro but alas all the Hitman liked to do was strut down to the ring in his leather jacket and give some snot nosed kid his sunglasses. 
The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be? Sure, the tune is great but there are better...

17) n.W.o
The n.W.o theme was just right. Jarring, different, memorable, everything it needed to be to fit in with the group. Although its has been totally overused now the n.W.o's entrance was also awesome. The video cutting to black and white the ink effects running down screen, the video was as much a take over as the group themselves.
For a little while i was huge into the Wolfpac as well. I don't know many themes that incorporated an animal noise as an introduction as well as the Red & Black did. Ahhh- wooooooo! (that was a wolf howl by the way)

16) D-Generation X
I loved this theme, from the "Are You Ready?" intro to the pulse like beat. This one got me pumped. 
Similar to how the n.W.o entrance video actually bled into the look of wrestlers entrances DX's did the same with the green X flashing in front of HBK and Triple H as they made their way to ringside. 
Man, i used to love DX, up until Triple H turned his back on them at WrestleMania XV, they've been lame ever since. 
Unlike the n.W.o, each member of DX also had their own entrance theme, X-Pac's was a sort of remix of the original theme
Mike Tyson even had his own remix for his appearance at WrestleMania 14
Although D-Generation X's music would not be the best tune Mike Tyson would be associated with...
After leaving DX, Triple H kept the DX band around for his break out theme 'Our Time'. Which i was a fan of even though he still had Chyna accompany him to the ring.
of course Triple H would go on to have an even more recognizable tune, the awesome 'Time To Play The Game' by Motorhead.

15) The Rock
If You Smell What The Rock Is Cookin'. Oh what an entrance the most electrifying man in sports entertainment would make. From the intro asking "Do You Smell What The Rock Is Cookin'?" or occasionally "If you smell what the Rock is cookin'" The Great One's theme got people psyched. 
A simple drum beat and guitar riff mixed in with some of the People's Champs own catchphrases may not sound like a big deal, but it just worked. The Rock had many different versions of his theme song, each one adding a different backing beat or altering the sound of the guitar slightly but the very best version was this:
Here's the "If You Smell..." version if you wanted to hear the difference.
Towards the end of the Rock's WWE days, when he was becoming a Hollywood star, he got so big that even his entrance video had an entrance video:

14) The Undertaker
Okay the theme by itself is pretty creepy. But with the theme, the video, the effects and the character what a package the Undertaker brings with his entrances. You couldn't find a better match of song to gimmick and over the years 'Taker has had memorable entrance after memorable entrance. 
And i'm saying that as not even a fan of the guy!

During his days away from the Phenom gimmick when he was known as the 'American Bad Ass', almost as embarrassing as JR's attempts to nickname him "Booger Red" is my liking of Nu-Metal group 'Limp Bizkit'. Even though i have since realized what a terrible singer/rapper Fred Durst really was i still kinda dig the Undertaker's 'Rollin' intro.
Before he even got around to using Limp Bizkit, 'Taker had to make his return with his new personality. I thought his 'Judgment Day' comeback was really cool, those little kids in the intro were creepy as hell.

Undertaker's first 'American Bad Ass' entrance song. But i'm not sure which is worse to admit liking Kid Rock or Limp Bizkit???! American Bad Ass by Kid Rock.

13) The Mountie -
After the powerful and dramatic entrance of the Undertaker, where can you go next? 
I'll tell you where. To one of the catchiest and down right greatest self sung entrance themes of all time! The Mountie's theme really was the bee's knees.
So good infact that they had to use it again, with just a few lyrical improvements, during his tag team run as part of the Quebecers. Lyrically this version of the tune is even better than the original:

12) Dusty Rhodes
Okay, i know it's gonna be hard to top The Mountie's beauty of an entrance but it can be done.....
"Ammmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrriacaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan Dreeeeeeeeammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" 
just listen to that for an introduction, and yes, you are hearing correctly that first instrument you hear is COWBELL!
American Dream? more like Musical Dream. This one is a masterpiece.

11) Demolition
Can you believe that after The Mountie & Dusty Rhodes theme songs there is still more! Amazing, huh? Well how's about this for amazing "Here Come the Ax, Here Comes The Smasher! The Demolition, Walking Disaster!" 
They may have been a poor man's L.O.D, with gimp masks instead of spiked shoulder pads and questionable taste in chain accessories, they also might not have had a wooden ventriloquist puppet like those lucky old dogs Animal & Hawk but the one thing they more than matched the Road Warriors with, was their awesome, and i really mean awesome theme song. 
Tell 'em Hawk...Wellllllllllllllll...Oh wrong tag team:

The top 10 'Best Themes Ever' is here on will be coming soon to Wrestling Nuggets, please try to control your excitement! Also here's do a run down of some of the 'Worst Themes Ever'. so keep your eyes peeled for that. Thanks for checking us out.

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