If you asked me what my two favourite things in the whole world are, I’d have to wait until we were completely alone to tell you. However, if you wanted the PG answer to that question, I would probably have to say wrestling and music. So, it stands to reason that, if you put the two together, I would be a very happy boy. And you would be right. Wrestling has produced some of my favourite music over the last thirty-odd years or so and some of the best wrestling tunes have come when the wrestlers themselves step into the recording studio.
In a business as flashy and arrogant as wrestling can be, it is no surprise the more vocally-talented wrestlers have turned their hands (and lungs) to the mic, putting their own mark on the soundtrack to the wrestling world. Today, we pay homage to the musically-gifted grapplers who walked down the ramp to sounds of themselves. Some of these performers truly have a knack for the musical arts, whilst others, well, I’ll let you decide for yourselves. So, without further ado, tune up those strings, warm up those vocal chords and turn your sheet music to page 3:16, because we’re looking at 15 wrestlers who performed on their own entrance themes.
15. John Cena
Let’s start with an obvious one.
So, in addition to being a super-talented wrestler, actor, host, Mandarin speaker and engaged to Nikki Bella, turns out John Cena can spit some sick bars. I believe I’ve said that correctly, someone may need to double check. It’s strange to think of Cena as anything more than the super-cheesy face of WWE he is now, but, when Cena debuted in 2002, he did so with a white rapper gimmick. He would come to the ring in baggy sportswear, bucket hats, wore thick chains and would insult his opponents in a battle rap style. Turns out this was art imitating life, as Cena isn’t too shabby when he gets on the mic, as proven by his top 20, platinum-selling rap album, You Can’t See Me. No, honestly, that’s 100% true. I know, crazy, right?
Cena’s two most famous themes – “Basic Thuganomics” and “The Time is Now” – both feature the voice of the Cenation leader. “Basic Thuganomics” was used by Cena between 2003 and 2005 (during the height of his rapper gimmick) and “The Time is Now” has been used ever since, although crowds haven’t always sung “John Cena Sucks” to it. I know, hard to imagine it without it, right? Cena is the busiest man in the world right now, so don’t expect a follow-up album any time soon, but at least we’ll get to heard the sultry sounds of his voice every time he makes his way down to the ring, which, if his current schedule is anything to go by, will be about once every three months. YOU SOLD OUT! YOU SOLD OUT! YOU SOLD OUT!…
14. Jillian Hall
Jeez, talk about a flash in the pan.
Jillian Hall debuted in WWE in 2005 as the “fixer” for MNM (Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro and Melina) and would manage JBL to United States Championship success in 2006. She would later take on her own persona as a wannabe singer who faced one hurdle in the path to her dream – she couldn’t hold a tune in a bucket. Not that that stopped her from trying, unfortunately.
Hall’s entrance music, entitled “Sliced Bread” for some reason, is a synthy-pop number that tells the audience how all the boys chase after her, because, you know, she’s a loaf of bread? Still don’t get that name. It’s awful, but it’s meant to be and actually suits the character really well. Being bad on purpose is not the same as just being bad and actually takes a lot of skill, something Hall clearly had at pulling off this incredibly grating, annoying theme song. Despite being the worst singer in wrestling history (okay, that’s a lie, Jim Ross exists), Hall found success with a singing gimmick and, to that, I take my hat off, if only to shove it in my ear to drown out her terrible voice.
13. Tyler Breeze
I guess you could say his voice is… gorgeous.
Tyler Breeze has had a real rollercoaster of a ride in the WWE. It’s just a shame that rollercoaster is currently malfunctioning. Debuting in NXT in 2013 with the Breeze gimmick, wrestler Matt Clement captured the audience’s attention with his arrogant supermodel character. Breeze was obsessed with taking selfies and making sure he looked great and the fans ate it up. After a few matches for the NXT Championship and a number of high-profile matches, Breeze was called up to the main roster in late 2015, which was done with all the precision and thoughtfulness of an elephant attempting crochet. He scored one big win over Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series and was then promptly sent to jobsville for all eternity. Ah well, at least he has Fandango for company.
Breeze’ theme song, “#MMMGORGEOUS,” has accompanied him to the ring since 2014 and features Breeze narrating over the techno music, telling everyone how gorgeous he is. It suits his self-obsessed gimmick and adds to the air of pomp and circumstance that surrounds the supermodel character. Actually, I should probably be using the past tense here, seeing as how he’s been relegated to one half of a jobber tag team. Despite his bad booking, Breeze still boasts some pretty fine entrance music, and you can thank The King of Cutesville for that. Yes, that is an actually nickname he used once.
12. Shawn Michaels
Another classic WWE theme here, but those lyrics are just ridiculous.
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels is one of the best wrestlers of all time and that is a fact, but his rise to stardom actually began as one half of an iconic tag team. Alongside Marty Jannetty, Michaels was one half of The Rockers, a famous tag team in the American Wrestling Association and, later, the WWE. Despite never winning the WWE tag team titles, the duo were one of the most popular acts of the mid-eighties and did battle with the likes of The Hart Foundation, The Twin Towers and other iconic teams of the era. They also worse a lot of tassels, but we won’t hold that against them.
The reason I bring this up is this: without The Rockers, we may never have heard Michaels sing his own theme. When the team broke up in 1992, Michaels was given a huge singles push as an arrogant, self-obsessed pretty boy. This was the beginning of the HBK gimmick that would serve Michaels for the remainder of his career, and the gimmick’s narcissistic nature gave Michaels the perfect opportunity to showcase his singing talents. Though not the first person to perform the song “Sexy Boy” – Sherri Martel performed a version, as did Vince McMahon (no, seriously, look it up, it’s amazing) – Michaels’ version of the song, in which he recounts how good-looking he is and how all the ladies want him, was used by Mr. WrestleMania from February 1993 right up until his retirement in 2010. One of the best wrestling themes ever, Michaels’ performance on “Sexy Boy” is just the right mix of cheekiness and flamboyance to get away with it being sung by a wrestler. And if you’re not down with this theme, we got two words for ya! Oh, wait, wrong HBK theme. My bad.
This is the last female instalment on this list, but don’t worry, this is way, way better than the last one.
Naomi is currently sitting pretty atop the SmackDown Live Women’s Division, but it’s entirely possible that this may not have happened had it not been for a change in entrance music. Before she “felt the glow”, Naomi struggled to establish a decent character in WWE. She was a dancer, then she hung around with The Usos for a bit, then she found new life as a heel, but that didn’t go anywhere. So far, so typical promising athlete who fails to connect with the crowd. However, this changed when she dyed her hair glow-in-the-dark and stated dancing down to the ring like a maniac following the brand split. After a few feuds and a couple of Pay-Per-View matches, Naomi finally won the big one, becoming SmackDown Women’s Champion at Elimination Chamber and then again at WrestleMania 33. Hmm, maybe that’s what I need to do to get a promotion here. Where did I leave my neon hair dye?
Naomi’s current theme is a remix of the theme she began using after her 2015 heel turn. The track, Amazing, featured some pretty funky breakdowns, allowing for Naomi to bust some serious moves, but it’s not just her dancing that fans should be impressed by. Yes, Naomi is actually dancing to the sound of her own voice when she makes her entrance, as she lent her pipes to this song. Clearly a very talented lady in every aspect, Naomi could be a dark horse for a seriously good career outside of pro wrestling. Maybe she should ask Cena about his album, get some tips. Cena’s album. Still feels weird to write that down.
10. Ted DiBiase
I said “performed”, not “sung.” Crucial difference.
Ted DiBiase is one of the greatest heels in wrestling history. His evil rich man character, whilst being very simplistic, was pulled off to perfection with the right amount of campy, pantomime villain-style theatrics and genuine menace. He would pay random crowd members (who I really hope were plants) to do degrading tasks for money, use his wealth an influence to buy off officials and other wrestlers and even attempted to purchase the WWE Championship after Andre the Giant won the title in 1988. It didn’t work, but in this day and age, it would surprise me if Vince put the damn thing up on eBay.
DiBiase’s theme, entitled “It’s All About The Money,” is a steady rock number that opens with DiBiase’s iconic evil laugh. DiBiase speaks over the top of the music, telling us how “everybody has a price” and that “The Million Dollar Man always gets his way”. Like Michaels, the Million Dollar Man gimmick was perfectly suited to a self-sung entrance theme, as it shows that DiBiase loved the sound of his own voice, despite being rich enough to hire a professional musician. Whilst certainly not the most musical of entries on this list, DiBiase’s voice is still a part of an iconic theme and, for that reason he deserves a place on this list. Also, Mr. DiBiase visited me earlier and, ahem, “persuaded me” to put him on here. You know what they say, everybody’s got a price.
9. Enzo Amore
Okay, I promise this is the final current WWE who had their voice layered over some CFO$ music. I think. Don’t quote me on that.
Enzo Amore is a certified G and, as I am reliably informed, you can’t teach that. I have no idea what that means. Nonetheless, Enzo and his partner, Big Cass (or Colin Cassady for us normal people), are one of the most popular teams in WWE at the moment. Their eccentric mic work, endless catchphrases and big man-little man dynamic has whipping crowds into a frenzy ever since they first teamed up in NXT in 2013. They got the call up to the main roster the night after WrestleMania 32 and have participated in numerous tag team title matches since, including the excellent ladder match at Mania 33. Despite their popularity, effectiveness in the ring and involvement in the Raw Tag Team scene, the duo have never held gold of any variety in the WWE. Will this change soon? I reckon so, but Enzo better win those tag titles soon, before Vince realises just how big Big Cass is. You know what he’s like with the big guys.
You might be forgiven for forgetting that the duo’s entrance music, “SAWFT is a Sin,” has any lyrics at all, seeing as how Enzo and Cass just talk over the top of it, but there are words there and those words are spoken by none other than Mr. Amore himself. A former DJ, Amore lends his voice to the track in a sort of rap-style, mixing praise for himself and his partner with insults towards his opponents. So, all of his promos ever, essentially. A now-iconic entrance theme, “SAWFT is a Sin” will always be remembered as the song that signalled the arrival of two of WWE’s hottest stars right now, and Enzo’s voice will always be a part of that. Until, as I mentioned earlier, Vince gets his hands on Big Cass. Then it’s off to 205 Live with you, Enzo. I really hope I’m joking.
R-Truth is a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion. If this doesn’t prove there is no God, I don’t know what does.
All joking aside, Ron Killings, the man known to audiences across the world as R-Truth, has accomplished a lot in his career. He’s won United States, Hardcore and Tag Team titles with the WWE and was the first ever African-American to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which, considering the title is over 100 years old, is something. He can be a bit terrible sometimes, but we’ll let him off, just this once. Maybe.
Like John Cena, Truth incorporates his real-life rapping skills into his gimmick, so it makes perfect sense that he has performed a bunch of his entrance themes over the years. He performed his theme music during his time in TNA between 2006 and 2007 and, in the WWE, he has performed his themes as both R-Truth and as K-Kwik, the character he was playing in WWE way back in 2000. Fun fact: one of those themes was a duet with Road Dogg. Wrestling is so weird. Another fun fact, like John Cena, Truth has also put out two albums, one in 2003 and another in 2016. This means R-Truth has released twice as many albums as John Cena, therefore, R-Truth is twice as good as John Cena. Can’t argue with the facts, people.
7. Koko B. Ware
Koko B. Ware is in the WWE Hall of Fame. And people wonder why I get so angry that The British Bulldog isn’t in there.
Koko B. Ware was very much a product of his time. A energetic, colourful ball of excitement, “The Birdman” would come down to the ring with his pet macaw, Frankie, and would excite the younger fans that were definitely WWE’s target audience back in the 1980s. Despite working for the WWE for the best part of a decade, Koko never won a single championship, but he did form a memorable tag team with Owen Hart named High Energy. They didn’t win any championships either, but, ya know, it’s nice to know Koko had some friends.
Ware’s popularity at the time and singing voice made him the ideal candidate to perform the title track on the 1987 WWE album, Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II. You see, back in the good ol’ days when a wrestler could get over by being big and wearing silly clothes, WWE tried to capitalise on its success by releasing a number of wrestling-themed albums. The songs featured were performed by the wrestlers themselves and the title song, “Piledriver“ was no exception, with Koko taking the vocal lead. Following the, umm, success(?) of this album, “Piledriver” was adopted by Koko as his entrance theme, so The Birdman makes the list. Jesus, wrestling was super weird back in the ’80s. Still better than most modern episodes of Raw, though.
6. The Fabulous Rougeaus
The Rougeaus may have been fabulous, but The Mountie sure wasn’t.
Jacques and Raymond Rougeau (who were, amazingly, actually brothers) were a tag team in the WWE in the ’80s and ’90s. The duo played up their French-Canadian heritage, but got heat by pretending they were real, full-blooded Americans. They even began billing themselves from Memphis, Tennessee, which, for some reason, riled up people even more. I don’t know, it was the ’80s. Weird times.
The Rougeaus’ theme, “All-American Boys,” is just about the campiest thing I’ve ever heard and, for some reason, talks about how they love the music of Barry Manilow. Like I said, weird times. Anyway, the theme isn’t terrible and that might be because they had a little help in putting the tune together from their long-time manager, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. Outside of wrestling, Hart actually had a very successful music career as the co-lead singer of The Gentrys, a rock band who had a top five single in 1965 with their song, “Keep On Dancing.” So, Jimmy Hart had a top five hit and John Cena is a platinum-selling artist. I’m beginning to think it’s not just the ’80s that were weird times…
5. Michael Hayes
From one Fabulous group to another.
Michael “PS” Hayes (the “PS” stands for “Purely Sexy”, obviously) is perhaps best known as one third of The Fabulous Freebirds, a revolutionary tag team that competed mostly in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s. Alongside Jimmy Garvin, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts, The Freebirds revolutionised the 3+-man tag team, innovating it during their legendary feud with The Von Erich family. The rule that, when a tag team consists of two or members, any combination of them can defend the titles as a duo is called The Freebird Rule in honour of this group, and has been used by a number of teams, including The Wyatt Family, The New Day and Demolition. Luke Harper, Xavier Woods and Crush owe you big time, Michael.
The Freebirds have, in my opinion, one of the best theme songs of any group in wrestling history. “Badstreet USA” was recorded by Hayes in 1985 and was used by The Freebirds shortly thereafter. A bona fide rock and roll song, “Badstreet” features a catchy riff, easy chorus and some pretty awesome lyrics about how The Freebirds are the baddest men in America. Catchy, iconic and just really good, I’ve got to tip my hat to Hayes here; his vocal performance is pretty darn good and really holds the song together. Also, his performance of this at the 2016 Hall of Fame ceremony was just… wow. It was something else.
4. Rey Mysterio
Booyaka, booyaka! Still one of my favourite intros to a wrestling theme ever.
Rey Mysterio is nothing short of a legend when it comes to the world of luchadors. He helped bring the traditional Mexican style of high-flying wrestling (lucha libre) to America with his performances for promotions such as ECW and WCW in the 1990s. When WCW folded in 2001, he was picked up by the WWE and, after many years of toil, was finally treated as a main eventer, winning two World Heavyweight Championships and a WWE Championship before his departure in 2015. Just don’t bring up the fact that his WWE Championship reign lasted less than one night. Don’t do it. Don’t be that guy.
Mysterio’s most famous WWE theme, “Booyaka 619,” is perhaps best known to audiences as a song by U.S. nu-metal band P.O.D., who even performed the song live at WrestleMania 22 for Mysterio’s World Heavyweight Championship match. However, for a few months in 2005 and 2006, Mysterio came to the ring using a version of this song performed by himself. Along with rapper, Madd One (which I assume is his real name), Mysterio rapped his own entrance music until P.O.D. re-recorded the song in May 2006, shortly after they performed the song live at Mania 22. Madd One would record another entrance song for Mysterio when he returned to Mexican promotion,AA, in 2015. Instead of Mysterio performing on this song, we got another wrestler – Konnan. Yes, Konnan, that really jacked luchador from WCW. This list has been a real treasure trove of weird info, hasn’t it?
3. Junkyard Dog
So, did he live in a Junkyard, or?
Sylvester Ritter became a household name with the WWE as The Junkyard Dog (or JYD for short) thanks to his energetic performances, his ability to connect with an audience and, most importantly of all, his dancing. Okay, maybe his dancing wasn’t his most defining feature, but I liked it. JYD was one of the first major African-American stars in wrestling, headlining WWE’s second ever Pay-Per-View (after WrestleMania I), The Wrestling Classic in 1985. Sure, he won that match via countout, but shush.
JYD might be known for his entrances to the Queen classic “Another One Bites The Dust,” but he had some other entrance themes too, one of which he sung himself. Obviously. Or he wouldn’t be on this list. “Grab Them Cakes” was taken from The Wrestling Album, WWE’s first attempt to break into the music business. It told the story of a dance craze JYD started in his neighbourhood that began a national phenomenon; well, that’s what it’s supposed to be, but, from what I gather, the song is just about JYD grabbing ladies’, umm, “cakes”. That’s not cool, JYD, not cool at all. I’d say he should be ashamed of himself, but this was a guy who came to the ring wearing a massive dog collar. He clearly had no shame to begin with.
2. Jeff Hardy
Alright, so maybe I had to sneak a TNA theme in here to make up the numbers. Sue me.
Jeff Hardy/The Rainbow-Haired Warrior/The Charismatic Enigma/Brother Nero has had many names over the years and not a lot of them have been good, but he’s still one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Whether he was teaming with his brother in TLC matches, winning singles gold in the WWE or TNA or teleporting across time and space with Broken Matt, Jeff has always been over with wrestling fans to some degree ,thanks to his insane moveset, athleticism and complete and utter disregard for his own body. He did a Swanton Bomb off a ladder at WrestleMania 33, aged 39. The man ain’t right in the head.
When you look at his crazy hair, obscene amount of tattoos and “sketchy” history with the law, it is perhaps no surprise that Mr. Hardy is somewhat of an artist. In 2003, he formed the band Peroxywhy?gen (which is pronounced “Peroxygen”) with former pro wrestler and 3 Count member, Shannon Moore. God, this list really does weirder by the second. The band has released three studio albums and two EPs and have provided Jeff Hardy with six of his entrance themes in TNA. Six. He’s had more entrance themes than he’s had run-ins with the law. And that’s saying something. Alongside singing his entrance themes as a part of Peroxywhy?gen, Hardy has also performed a number of his own themes by himself, including the theme for his alter ego, Willow. If you don’t know who Willow is, then good. Clearly a talented and devoted musician, TNA allowed Hardy to experiment with his music and create numerous entrance themes to fit his ever-changing personality. I’m trying to imagine Jeff Hardy in a recording studio and all I can see is him doing a Swanton Bomb off the top of a stack of amps.
1. The Honky Tonk Man
This is just the best.
Wayne Farris was one of the most recognisable figures of WWE’s golden age as The Honky Tonk Man, the wrestling Elvis impersonator who riled up fans with his “unique” renditions of rock and roll classics. As terrible as that sounds, trust me, it was awesome. Farris holds a special place in WWE history thanks to his whopping 454-day reign as Intercontinental Champion, the longest in company history. Yes, a guy dressed as Elvis held a title for over a year. This list has seriously twisted my melon.
Honky’s theme song, also called “Honky Tonk Man,” is amazing. Performed in a traditional rockabilly style, Honky sings about all the things that make him so groovy: his “pink Cadillac”, his “long side burns”, his “hair slicked back,” all to a really catchy rhythm that will definitely have you tapping your toes. I know he was meant to be a heel, but I know I would have cheered every time I heard this music play, because it’s just so good. If you haven’t heard it, treat yourself right now to the sultry sounds of The Honky Tonk Man, I guarantee you won’t regret it.