Welcome to Part II; click here if you missed Part I.
As a reminder, this is a five-part series to identify what are in my view the top 25 wrestling themes of all time.
This series will be ranked by me alone on the following criteria:
Wrestler participation in creation of the song.
The ratings are mine and mine alone and are often influenced by my musical and wrestler preferences, so I make no apologies for not including your song or ranking the songs in a manner you don’t like. I make no promises that my opinion on these won’t be different six months from now.
#20: “Let Me In”, CFO$
Bray Wyatt is an interesting case in this study. His first theme song “Live In Fear” could very easily have been in this spot too. Heck, so could the Firefly Fun House theme as well. What Bray Wyatt has managed to do, through a combination of Windham Rotunda’s own genius and the WWE Music department, is have music that sets forth the ethos of his current character. Or both current characters, as is now.
So why “Let Me In” as the choice here? Because the song paints a picture of exactly who The Fiend is supposed to be. The Fiend is supposed to be violent. Evil. Unhuman. And this song conveys it convincingly and quickly. As everything with Wyatt, it’s an integral part of the presentation of The Fiend character. It doesn’t have the levels of participation that “Live In Fear” had with the fireflies. But this song sets a mood as one of the rare industrial-type songs in pro wrestler. And it does it with aplomb and in a way that really speaks to the character.
#19: “The Game”, Motörhead
Our second Motörhead entry here is the first song the group did for Triple H, the primary theme song that he uses to this day.
Every since morphing from the DX prankster to “The Cerebral Assassin”, Triple H has had theme music that fit his character. If you recall his first theme song in that time was “My Time” which would still resonate if he used it today (even though definitely sounds like a dated late 90’s song).
But this is the song that defines the character, bar none. Other songs may come and go but this is the one that has stayed. When it hits, the crowd pops. The crowd reacts. And he’s been using it for so on that it seems unusual when you don’t hear the song every week in the buildup to Wrestlemania.
I do want to mention here that HHH occasionally still used “King of Kings” another good (albeit blasphemous) Motörhead track. If they had stuck with that track, I don’t think his entrances would be nearly as anticipated and get as much of a reaction as they do with The Game.
#18: “Ghost Town Triumph”, Hangman Adam Page
Let me start by saying that Hangman Adam Page is going to likely be a megastar someday. But how can you not get up to this theme song.
I want to have this played for me when I enter a room…..
This song works. It’s a country song but it’s hard enough for rock. It’s theatrical. The song itself tells a story. It has an opening hook that drags you in. This would a great song for a movie soundtrack or trailer.
What this song actually makes me think of is, weirdly enough, Muse’s video for “Knights of Cydonia.”
(If you’ve never watched the Muse video, watch it. It’s a mind trip)
When you consider Page’s character, moody millennial cowboy, the entire package comes together. It works for him in this incarnation. It will work for him in just about any incarnation of his character. This is a song, like Triple H’s example above, that he should be able to use for the rest of his career despite any alterations to his character.
#17: “Phenomenoal” A.J. Styles
When this song first hit at the 2016 Royal Rumble, I had absolutely no idea how to react. Neither did the crowd as you can see from this example.
The crowd didn’t pop until the Titantron show the word “Phenomenal.” Then, they knew.
But now, this song gets people moving and up outta their seats. It’s a fantastic way to integrate all the pieces of A.J. Styles into one song, both his southern roots and his love for hip hop. And again, it seamlessly integrates the character’s essential quality into the soon. Styles is, has been, and always will be, “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles. His song uniquely first that personality in a style and way that is uniquely his.
#16: “Shot ‘Em”, [Q]Brik
There was a time when this was the theme song to the hottest act in the world.
Two or three years ago, nothing in pro wrestling was bigger than Bullet Club. This was at a time where the membership of Bullet Club was predominantly American. You couldn’t walk ten feet without seeing somebody in a Bullet Club shirt, even if they had never watched a single minute of New Japan Pro Westling.
But a lot has changed in the intervening years. Adam Cole left for the WWE. Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and The Young Bucks left for AEW. Marty Scurll went to ROH full time. Bullet Club still works in Japan. But with most of the members not having major exposure (KENTA being the only one having worked a full schedule in the US) it doesn’t get nearly the exposure that it once got. Maybe that’s due to the lack of American-based workers, maybe it’s because the Young Bucks were marketing geniuses (#KillingTheBusiness) who got Bullet Club and New Japan a ton of American exposure they wouldn’t have otherwise. Maybe it’s because Bullet Club members are no longer appearing on Ring of Honor television as they did when those aforementioned guys were still members are working both ROH and New Japan.
Exposure or no exposure, the song is great. It sets a mood. It sets a level of expectation for what’s about to come.
NEXT WEEK: #11-15