Just like other sportsmen, there happens to be a use by date on the majority of wrestlers. Aside from the likes of Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, many stars are stuck on the independent scene from the time they hit 35, with bodies wearing and cheques beginning to be a little on the lighter side. That’s why it’s always good to make sure you’ve got a back up career prepared – even if you’ve never tried it before or had any training.
A lot of wrestlers try to go into acting, but did you know that a decent amount have had dreams of a life in the music industry? Either singing while with WWE or in the days after, there is a surprising amount of pro wrestlers who have chosen to demonstrate their abilities outside of Vince McMahon’s world. In the case of Chris Jericho, he has gone on to prove that success is possible in the music industry while others have shown that it’s probably not as easy as they might have thought.
We’ve had to endure some pretty pain-staking musical montages over the years and we’ve spared you all the pain of reliving Jillian Hall by keeping her as far away from this list as possible. But here are 15 other wrestlers who showed a musical side.
15 John Cena
If there’s one thing John Cena loves, it’s being a massive face. But if there’s another thing, it’s definitely singing his own themes. “Basic Thuganomics” and “My Time Is Now” both generate huge audience reactions and both have him singing and rapping on top of them. Although his first was probably better (he was the Doctor of Thuganomics after all), we wouldn’t have those John Cena memes without his current song. What would the world be like without those memes?
But it wasn’t always just part of a character. Cena recorded and released an entire album after breaking into the WWE, doing so with his cousin, Tha Trademarc. He’s appeared with other artists as well, the most famous of which being Wiz Khalifa. Now that’s one thing he’s got that Ric Flair hasn’t.
14 Zack Ryder
Along with being one of the most poorly treated Superstars in recent years, Zack Ryder has achieved his fair share of success away from the ring. It’s probably the thing that has kept him relevant in the WWE, because creative showed what they thought of him the night after WrestleMania and pretty much throughout his entire career.
A YouTube star thanks to his video series, Ryder has given his vocal chords a workout every now and again. Not only does he introduce his own entrance theme, but he has actually been on the iTunes chart with “Hoeski.” a song about… well, who knows. We think it was a parody and was more about the character than the man behind it. If it wasn’t, then Ryder is in for a tough time after he leaves the wrestling world.
13 Chris Jericho
Back to being the biggest draw on Raw thanks to his List, Chris Jericho is having an extended stay in wrestling – and we're loving every minute of it! Having spent his time between touring with Fozzy, hosting his own podcast and touring with the WWE, Jericho is probably the busiest wrestler of all-time. He’s also the most successful in the music industry when looking at pro wrestling history.
Starting with his rock band, Fozzy, in 1999, Jericho has progressed from a part-time gig with the group to transforming them into recognized artists around the world. With six albums behind them and spots at some of the biggest rock festivals across the globe, Jericho can go toe to toe with just about any other wrestling musician in terms of being successful away from the ring. It’s inevitable that he will soon return to the music industry but having given us arguably his best character change yet, we are all thankful for The Gift of Jericho. Drink it in maaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!
12 Lillian Garcia
One of the mainstays of the WWE over the last two decades, announcer Lillian Garcia has shown on a range of occasions that her talents go far beyond just introducing Viscera to the squared circle. Having grown up wanting to be a singer in her native home of Spain, Garcia moved to the WWE in the late 90s and has been allowed to sing on a number of occasions.
The former WWE employee provided one of the most memorable moments in the wake of 9/11, singing the national anthem and helping to bring a nation together after the terrible incident that shook the world. But even before her WWE days, Garcia performed at a range of notable events. From the 1996 Summer Olympics to opening for James Brown, the 50 year old (I know it’s rude to say a woman’s age, but WOW Lillian Garcia is 50) has been able to live out a series of dreams.
11 Shannon Moore
Having had a decent enough tenure with WCW towards the back end of the company, Shannon Moore’s time with WWE failed to produce much and left him acting as Matt Hardy’s back up guy during the Mattitude era. But it seems that Moore can be classed more closely to another Hardy brother and that's Jeff.
Moore and Jeff were both in the intriguingly named band, Peroxwhy?gen, although Moore left in 2012 to focus on his wrestling career. A lead vocalist, Moore has also shown a creative side when it comes to the writing of songs. Not only has he previously penned his own entrance music, but he had a hand in some of the music the band recorded. Jeff still remains in the band and speaking of him….
10 Jeff Hardy
Did you know Jeff Hardy was in the band Peroxwhy?gen? You probably should if you read the previous paragraph, but we'll try to not go over old ground. Hardy is something the world has probably never seen before. That's both a positive and negative statement, as the former WWE Champion has had his fair share of demons, but music seems to be one way to show the world the real Jeff.
With his latest album out this week entitled Spawn of Me, Hardy has opted to go for musical success alone rather than as a part of a band. Even though he is an artist when it comes to music, he has also produced art in the actual art sense of the word. Things that Jeff has made include an artificial volcano and a sculpture of Matt’s V1 hand signal. The man’s talents truly have no end.
9 Michael Hayes
Whether Michael Hayes is a genius of the wrestling business or not is an argument for another day because all we need to know right now is that he tried to become a musician. After the "Badstreet USA" theme truly took off, Hayes took it upon himself to go one better and try and make something of himself without beating people up every night.
That saw Hayes record the album Off The Streets, performing live across the United States to help promote the album. But this wasn’t just a one-time sort of thing; Hayes carried on. He performed a duet in the 1990s on a WCW album and recorded a song entitled "Freebird Road," dedicated to Terry Gordy back in 2001. He may have stepped away from the recording booth now, but he definitely had his moments on the mic.
8 Mickie James
Recently returning to the WWE, Mickie James was treated harshly in her original run, with downright bullying purely due to her looks. Thankfully, the female division is a very different place nowadays. Following her departure, James dabbled in a bit of country music and, unlike many on this list, she was actually quite good.
Two albums have seen her achieve relative success away from the ring, supported by fans after setting up a Kickstarter in order to make the money which would allow her to focus on a career in music.
Performing her songs at festivals and opening for other artists, she also saw one of her hits used as her theme in TNA. Multi-talented, it’s a blessing that James is able to truly showcase her talents back in the WWE and eradicate any memory of the horrifically written "Piggy James" era.
7 Hulk Hogan
Don’t say this too loudly, but Hulk Hogan has tried his hand at music. He started before entering the wrestling business playing with the band Ruckus, who actually had quite the track record in the Tampa area. It was while performing at a gig that Hogan would get spotted and change fields.
It’s pretty unlikely you will ever see or hear Hogan singing on the WWE Network after all records of him were wiped, not that they publicized it much before. Another of those with a wealth of acting experience after rising to prominence, Hogan had an ill-fated effort at becoming the all-round megastar.
The lead man in the Wrestling Boot Band (what?), Hogan released the album Hulk Rules, which drew almost entirely negative reviews. With songs stretching from pop to hip hop, the album threw together anything Hulk could think of, supported by band-mate Jimmy Hart. He also recorded a duet with Green Jellÿ, in which they covered a Gary Glitter song. That’s one that will never, ever, be heard on radio or TV again.
6 Randy Savage
The late, great Macho Man was one of the finest wrestlers to ever step foot in the squared circle. He's someone who is destined to live on in the hearts of wrestling fans for decades more, though Savage had a difficult time in his final few years in the industry – particularly after his early run in WCW. In 2003, before TNA snapped him up for a short time, he turned his attention away from the ring and to the mystical world of rap music.
Titled "Be A Man", the one take away from the album is the fact he devoted a track purely to diss Hulk Hogan. This was classic rap behavior, similar to the likes of Ice Cube back in the day. He toured the album and promised more, but sadly it never materialized. That’s probably a blessing for Hulkamania.
The year is 2016 and R-Truth is still singing his own entrance theme. If you need to know why WWE is failing in places, that should tell you a bit of it. Originally a bit of something different, Truth has been mumbling his way down to the ring for almost a decade now, all to the same song. Though it works with certain crowds, it's certainly past the sell by date.
With two albums behind him, one of which came out this year, it is commendable that Truth continues to pursue his own goals away from the ring. Having originally hoped to go into the music industry from a young age, the Superstar battled back from brushes with the law after drug offences to achieve both his dreams.
4 The Rock
What hasn’t The Rock done in his long, illustrious career? He ticked off being a great wrestler and incredibly charismatic before the turn of the millennium. Since 2000, he’s followed that up with becoming one of the most sought after actors in the world as well as recently being voted as The Sexiest Man Alive. Not bad for a man who used to wear a fanny pack....
But he’s also given music a go. Teaming with Wyclef Jean for It Doesn’t Matter, he also recorded Pie with the legendary Slick Rick. Both would have been average songs, but this was The Rock at the height of his WWE fame and, therefore, they were historic. And who can forget the epic “Rock Concerts” that he hosted in 2003, ripping into crowds, cities, wrestlers and, in particular, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
3 Terry Funk
What hasn’t Terry Funk done in his life? Battered and bruised from throwing himself into every sort of weapon and human imaginable, Funk moved away from the wrestling world to record an album in 1984. The "Great Texan" album received mixed reviews, as you’d expect for an album by a man who prior to that had little to no musical experience.
Arguably the biggest icon in wrestling history in terms of his dedication to the sport, Funk’s album wasn’t quite what you’d expect. Rather than the tough rock sound you’d associate most with the words “Terry Funk recorded an album,” it contains more accidental dance type music that was probably intended to be rock at one point or another. It’s definitely worth checking it out, purely to accept that all of this is true.
As Lita’s wrestling career started to wind down, the legendary multiple time Women’s Champion took the chance to head over to the world of music. It’s no surprise really, with Lita being the rock chick of the WWE from the moment she first debuted with Essa Rios.
Forming The Luchagors in 2006, Amy Dumas’ ran in the band for eight years before they disbanded in 2014. During their time together, The Luchagors performed a number of punk rock numbers, producing a self-titled album which generated more than 10,000 iTunes sales. Having tried to take the band abroad, Dumas announced the band were on an indefinite break after a UK tour failed to take off. And if you hadn’t guessed, the band name is a pun on the word Luchador.
1 Vince McMahon
Yes, even the most powerful man in wrestling history has done his best when it comes to music. Coming before he was recognized as the boss from hell in the WWE, McMahon has since been haunted by his karaoke type stage version of Stand Back. Used against him by DX in the mid 2000s, McMahon is seen having the time of his life as he sings and dances in a very 80s like suit at the Slammy Awards.
Clearly loving every second of it, the showman side of Vinny Mac is there for all to see. But that’s not the only footage of McMahon testing his vocal chords though.There is even a clip online of McMahon singing Sexy Boy, Shawn Michaels' entrance music. It’s an intriguing watch to say the least. It’s never been confirmed it was him, but how we hope it is…