Rock ‘N’ Wrestling
The concept of music in wrestling is nothing new. Wrestlers have for many years entered the ring to a theme song. Only in recent years have those themes become as important to the fan as to the wrestler. The entrance themes have been transformed from the drab “Pomp and Circumstance” of The Macho Man or “Also Sprach Zarathustra” of Ric Flair to the more edgy and pumping rhythms of Test’s “This Is a Test” or Edge’s “On the Edge.”
With releases of albums containing the entrance themes of wrestlers, the sports entertainment industry has added yet another facet to this genre of entertainment. The WWF first started this when they released WWF the Music. This has now turned into a phenomenon. WWF the Music now has four volumes with a fifth in production. The fourth volume in this series has been in the top twenty five of BillBoard’s highest selling albums.
WCW even sought to cash in on this phenomenon. They released an album of remixed entrance themes not long after the success of WWF the Music Vol. 4. This album contained hard-hitting rock tracks full of angst and aggression. Rap artists and rock bands filled the CD with hard pumping tracks. Something that anyone could gear up with while waiting to enter the squared circle.
The WWF followed up the success of the entrance theme releases with remixes of their own. This collection was compiled into the CD, WWF Aggression. The CD includes a track by Run DMC in which the DX entrance theme has been redone with an even harder and sharper edge. The boys of DX were even on hand to make a music video for the song. This video can now be released for airplay on MTV if Run DMC so desires. Perhaps we can even see it on TRL one day.
The lyrics of an entrance theme have become important to the modern wrestler. An entrance theme sets the whole mood for a match as well as the reaction an audience should have. Triple H, for instance, uses a song filled with angst driven lyrics and a pounding bass line. While the entrance theme for Mark Henry onWWF the Music Vol. 4 sounds more like an old Barry White tune.
The musicality and form the music takes also is important to these themes. For the most part, entrance themes have a driving bass line against power rock chords and angry lyrics. These themes are definitely for those who are about to step into battle in the wrestling ring. These themes can use a hard-core rap vibe like that of Limp Bizkit to pump up the energy and getting the adrenaline moving.
Sometimes wreslters even use actual existing rock tracks for their themes. Diamond Dallas Page, for example, uses the first few bars of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit for his entrance to the ring. Jeff Jarrett uses a remix of the first few bars of Kid Rock’s Cowboy as he makes his way to the ring. It has even gone so far as The Undertaker using the last verse of Kid Rock’s latest single, American Bad Ass as he rides down to the ring on his Titan motorcycle.
A theme can make or break a wrestler. It is not like back in the 1980s when all one needed was a simple piece of music. Now with wrestling moving into facets of the music industry, a recognizable theme is important to survive in this business as much as a working gimmick is. It is the theme which drives the initial pop, whether that pop be good or bad. The crowd goes into chants of “Rocky, Rocky” when they hear the familiar ring of his entrance theme, “Know Your Role” or screams at the sound of “Break Down the Wall,” Y2J Chris Jericho’s entrance theme. The crowd also begins boos and taunts at the sound of Triple H’s “My Time” or the McMahon’s familiar “No Chance in Hell.” An entrance theme is now the final step in defining a wrestler’s character.