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The 50 Greatest Wrestling Themes

You ready to brawl, brother?

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    This feature originally appeared in 2014. The Undertaker is exhuming it for this weekend’s Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando.

    With all the chair shots, chokeholds, and convoluted story lines, you can sometimes forget that pro wrestling at its essence is purely entertainment. Nowhere else is that more apparent than the music that plays when your favorite grappler enters the arena. Seriously, a great theme song can be the difference between immortality and mediocrity. We’ve collected the 50 best individual, tag-team, or entire event/promotion themes. These are the best of the bunch from then and now … brother.


    ECW Theme (ECW)

    “This Is Extreme!” – Harry Slash & The Slashtones

    Even the theme sounds underground. The creeping guitar licks raise into an intense crescendo until the lead singer reminds you what you’re currently experiencing. “THIS…IS EXTREEEEEEEME!” A great fit for the scrappy underdog of a promotion.


    Mr. Perfect (WWE)

    “I’m Perfect” – Jim Johnston

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    From the era when you recognized who was coming out from the very first note, Mr. Perfect’s theme sounds like background music at the Olympics or some kind of really fancy tennis event. Or at least a prestigious dog show, right?


    Edge (WWE)

    “Metalingus” – Alter Bridge

    Far and away the best thing anyone affiliated with Creed has ever produced. The reworked version of the track off of the group’s 2004 One Day Remains album is rare in that it’s the only song Edge used from the day he debuted it to the end of his career after a neck injury in 2011. Pure intensity.


    Brock Lesnar (WWE)

    “Next Big Thing” – Jim Johnston

    A generic theme when you get right down to it, but it’s a nice throwback to the Attitude Era, when the opening notes were immediately identifiable and put you on notice.


    CM Punk (WWE 2005-2011)

    “This Fire Burns” – Killswitch Engage

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    While “Cult of Personality” is one of the better “Hey, this theme fits the guy we’re talking about, huh?” songs out there, the raw energy and metal-y goodness of the song Punk used from his OVW days through the white hot Summer of Punk II in 2011 got me going. (Note: Go find the entrance from Money in the Bank 2011 if you want an idea of how insane that song was when it hit.)


    Kid Kash (ECW)

    “Bawitdaba” – Kid Rock

    So good that his entire gimmick was to actually be Kid Rock.


    Mark Henry

    “Sexual Chocolate” – Jim Johnston

    So good it might be the most memorable thing Mark Henry will be known for, which is kind of insane when you think about it.


    Balls Mahoney (ECW)

    “Big Balls” – AC/DC / Muscadine

    Perfect pairing. (See what I did there?) The ECW crowd would sing, “I’ve got big balls! He’s got big balls! She’s got big balls!…” You get it.


    Briscoe Brothers (ROH)

    “Gimme Back My Bullets” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

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    REACH FOR THE SKY, BOY. A little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll. Just like DEM BOYS from Sandy Fork, DE.


    Taz (ECW)

    “Survive (If I Let You)” – Harry Slash & The Slashtones

    A theme that would be right at home with a UFC fighter in 2014, it’s brooding and has a “big fight” air that fit in with the Human Suplex Machine quite well.


    Ric Flair (Various)

    “Also Sprake Zarathrusta” – Richard Strauss

    A classic flip of the iconic song also heard in 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s more synonymous with the Nature Boy than it is with that film for certain audiences.


    Kurt Angle (WWE)

    “Medal” – Jim Johnston

    It works well for his Olympic hero/holier-than-thou jock character. This one got a second life when the smart fans figured out that the “you suck” chant could be perfectly timed with the high notes in the song.


    Too Cool/Rikishi (WWE)

    “You Look Fly Today” – Jim Johnston

    Definitely a contender for the “so bad it’s good” category. The characters were the creative team’s idea of what “hip-hop” looked and sounded like, and this super corny song drove the point home. (Also, if you can find the clip where Too Cool dances with the Dudley Boyz, you’re in for a treat.)


    HHH (WWE)

    “The Game” – Motörhead

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    It’s Motorhead. ‘Nuff said. If this doesn’t get you hyped up, check your pulse.


    Jericho (WWE)

    “Break Down the Walls” – Jim Johnston

    Even though he’s a part-timer nowadays, the song was one of the highlights of the Attitude Era, especially his initial promo against the Rock kicking off the year 2000. That “BREAK THE WALLS DOWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN” (extra N’s added for emphasis) really drove the point home that Y2J was on his way out to handle some business.


    Goldberg (WCW)

    ???

    The precursor to the modern MMA entrance. Know how great this song is? In the dorm in college, before we would go out, I’d blast this song and have one of my friends knock on the door to tell me it was time. We’d do the full intro, complete with my friends flanking me as we walked out and me doing all the grunts, facial expressions, and uppercuts… the whole nine.

    I didn’t have sex for a while. Let’s just put it that way.


    Ken Shamrock (Various)

    “Ultimate” – Jim Johnston

    Another great MMA-themed wrestling theme. Uh, theme. There you go. Rule of 3!


    The Road Warriors (NWA)

    “Iron Man” – Black Sabbath

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    Two things about this: 1. You will never lose doing anything with “Iron Man” playing in your life. 2. Hawk and Animal were no-selling hell-raisers who scared the crap outta me as a kid.


    New Age Outlaws (WWE)

    ???

    From Road Dogg’s shit-talking on the “WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WORRRRRRLLLLD” shtick to Billy Gunn almost never sticking the landing, this is the only theme song on this list that has to be seen to be truly experienced.


    DX

    “Break It Down” – The Chris Warren Band

    So good that we all thought Rage Against the Machine did it until I looked up the actual band.


    John Cena (WWE)

    “My Time Is Now” – John Cena

    While it’s kinda corny in the way all wrestling themes are, Cena actually has some BARS on this song. Dude said, “Lay your ass down for a three-second tan!”  He even says, “When you hear those horns, you’re finished!” Know why he said that? BECAUSE THE SONG STARTS WITH HORNS. That’s some next-level Rakim-type shit right there.


    Christian – (TNA)

    “My Last Breath” – Evanescence

    TNA doesn’t have a lot going for it in the theme department, but this subtle flip is one of the few bright spots from a promotion that went from a healthy second alternative to its current state of blah.


    NWO Black and White (WCW/WWE)

    ???

    Kinda cool, kinda corny, with Eric Bischoff all over it. Am I talking about the theme song or the stable?


    Raven (ECW)

    “Come Out and Play” – The Offspring

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    The third most important theme in the history of the entire ECW promotion.


    Rob Van Dam (ECW)

    “Walk” – Pantera

    The second most important theme in the history of the entire ECW promotion. As for the first…


    The 4 Horsemen (WCW)

    ???

    Be it the initial lineup, that terrible one with Paul Roma, or the Benoit/Malenko era, when you heard that familiar whinny, you knew the Horsemen were ready to ride. (Familiar Whinny. Now there’s a name of a band that should play at Pitchfork.)


    Macho Man Randy Savage

    “Pomp and Circumstance”  – Jim Johnston

    Legendary. Can he get put in the damn Hall of Fame yet?


    Harlem Heat

    “Rap Sheet” – Rene De Wael and Didier Leglise

    Get it? The lyrics say “cold as ice,” but they’re the Harlem Heat. Get it? No? Where are you going?


    Hacksaw Jim Duggan

    “Two by Four” – Jim Johnston

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    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *takes breath* HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


    Razor Ramon (WWE)

    “Bad Boy” – Jim Johnston

    True or False: The beginning of this sounds like Mankind’s theme. Anyway, smooth Miami sounds for the Bad Guy, chico.


    Ted Dibiase (WWE)

    “It’s All About the Money” – Jimmy Hart and J.J. Maguire

    Without the laughing and Dibiase talking shit on top of it, this is the 129123931th worst theme song. With it? Top 20.


    Golddust (WWE)

    “Gold Lust” – Jim Johnston

    Another glove-like (or should we say pleather body suit-like?) fit of a theme song.


    Fabulous Freebirds (WCCW/NWA)

    “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

    The less said about “Badstreet USA” the better.


    Bret Hart/Any Hart wrestler (WWE)

    “Hitman” – Jimmy Hart, Jim Johnston

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    Be it Bret, Owen, or the Hart Dynasty, the rule was simple: Come for the guitar screech, stay for the technical wrestling.


    Hollywood Hulk Hogan (WCW)/Hulk Hogan (WWE in 2002)

    “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” – Jimi Hendrix

    Classic. Hogan got to come out doing that wack guitar strum move with that two-tone facial hair, and people immediately started to boo him. He later used it during his face turn in WWE where he won the undisputed title and immediately killed the house show attendance numbers.


    Batista (WWE)

    “I Walk Alone” – Saliva

    One of the better modern entrances. Plays well, is aggressive, and complements the wrestler’s intensity.


    Vince McMahon (WWE)

    “No Chance in Hell” – Jim Johnston

    The best theme for a non-full-time wrestler? I would make the argument that it is. You can see Vince stomping out right now, can’t you?


    Evolution (WWE)

    “Line in the Sand” – Motörhead

    Said it before, will say it again: If it’s Motörhead, everyone wins.


    Shawn Michaels (WWE)

    “Sexy Boy” – Shawn Michaels, Jimmy Hart, and Jim Johnston

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    Fun fact: That lady going “ohh, ohhhhh, ohhhhh Shawn!” is the late Sensational/Sister Sherri.


    Von Erichs – WCCW/NWA

    “Stranglehold” – Ted Nugent

    A great theme for one of the biggest “what if” stories in wrestling (hell, sports) history.


    Sabu (ECW)

    “Huka Blues” – Harry Slash & The Slashtones

    “Ethnic” enough to get the point across, but not like, racist, you know?


    Kazuchika Okada (NJPW)

    “Rainmaker” – New Japan Pro Wrestling

    The newest entry to our list and the newest star in the world of wresting adapted a heel persona in 2011 and hasn’t slowed down since. Do yourself a favor and get you some Okada in your life ASAP. The theme fits him perfectly.


    Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWE)

    “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” – Jim Johnston

    The glass! You hear it, and visions of stunners, beer trucks, and Vince McMahon getting his ass kicked come to mind, right? Seriously, people who haven’t watched wrestling since 2000 poke their heads up when you hear that glass. Don’t believe me? I’ll do it right now.


    The Ultimate Warrior (WWE)

    “Unstable” – Jim Johnston

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    This is what I imagine steroids sound like.


    Val Venis (WWE)

    “Hello Ladies” – Jim Johnston

    Fit the sleazy porn star character to a T. Sounds like Ron Jeremy is in the next room giving the candy striper the once-over. (Can you tell I haven’t seen a porno in awhile?)


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