Wrestling themes are great. There is nothing better than hearing the opening chords to your favourite wrestler’s music, whether it be on TV or in person, as it inspires great emotions and memories inside of us and, if done right, can get us in the mood for a fight. Whilst some wrestlers find their iconic music early on in their career and stick with it, in most wrestlers’ time, he or she can go through multiple different theme songs depending on their character, popularity or just to keep things interesting over a long period of time. Since this is so common among wrestlers, it’s also common for a wrestler to get rid of a theme that was actually pretty damn good. Whether they moved on to an even better one or they just didn’t suit it anymore, there are hundreds of wrestling themes that have been abandoned by wrestlers, but would still get a pretty big pop if the fans heard it on Raw or Smackdown.
Equally, sometimes things change for a reason and that reason is that some wrestling themes are absolute garbage. Whether they were written for a goofy character, of their time or just plain bad, history is also littered with awful, awful tracks that wrestlers have managed to get rid of and, boy, are we glad that they did. Change isn’t always good, but, equally, it isn’t always the worst thing to happen and this list serves as the perfect example of this. We’re not saying that we want all of these themes to return to use, nor are we saying that they are better than the current themes used by the wrestler is question; we’re just saying that they were good and that we wouldn’t mind hearing them again. As for the bad ones, well, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin; the songs are bad, the writers should feel bad for writing them and you should feel bad for liking them. Yes, I’m talking to you.
Anyway, before you find the hidden cameras in your room, let’s begin shall we. Here are eight amazing old themes by current WWE wrestlers and seven that we never want to hear again.
15 GREAT: Kane – Slow Chemical
For someone who’s been in the WWE for as long as Kane has, his theme song hasn’t actually changed that much. Well, unless you count the times he was Fake Diesel and Isaac Yankem, but I shall not and will not do that, ever.
From debut theme in 1997, entitled “Burned”, to his current music, “Veil of Fire”, Kane’s song has always consisted of the same basic elements; an opening organ section, driving chords, screeching in the background and general demonic undertones throughout. Whilst these tracks fit Kane’s character perfectly, I personally think the Kane song that went against the grain is the best one and that’s “Slow Chemical” by Finger Eleven. Used by Kane from 2002 to 2008, the song saw Kane through what some would call his worst period; the unmasking, his demotion to the midcard, Katie Vick *shudders*, but Kane was actually pretty successful during this time, winning numerous championships and feuding with the likes of Rob Van Dam, Shane McMahon and, of course, The Undertaker. One of the reasons I’m so quick to defend this era of Kane’s career is because his song was just so good. Beginning with a guitar riff, not an organ, the song was heavy, got you nodding your head and, in a rare occasion for a Kane song, singing along. Yep, this one had lyrics. The change in style from instrumental to full-on song symbolized the transitions Kane’s character was going through: the humanizing of his character and his placement in more conventional storylines. Whether you think this was a good thing or not will probably depend on how old you are.
Whilst it might not have been the dizzying heights of the Attitude Era, Kane’s run from 2002 to 2008 was marked by one hell of an entrance theme and I for one would love to see it make a return. However, to hear the song, Kane would have to actually appear on TV, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter what song he uses.
14 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Luke Gallows – Biscuits and Gravy
Ok, this one is kind of a cheat, but still a valid point about a truly awful song.
Luke Gallows, the man currently teaming Karl Anderson on Monday Night Raw, is actually enjoying his second stint in the WWE under the Gallows name. Formerly a member of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society, Luke Gallows’ original WWE run lasted from September 2009 to November 2010, but this was not the first time we’d seen the man we know as Luke Gallows in WWE ring.
Gallows made one of his earliest appearances as the imposter Kane in 2006 (remember that trainwreck?) but his most memorable early character was Festus, a mentally slow Southern hick who teamed with Jesse (son of Fabulous Freebird, Terry Gordy, no less). The duo’s theme, “Biscuits and gravy”, was obviously a nod to their character’s roots, but you can be cliche without being bad and this song was just plain bad. The lyrics made no sense, the music itself was pretty unforgettable and Jesse and Festus made no reference to biscuits and gravy outside of this song, so why was this the first image of the group we got?
Gallows current theme “Omen In The Sky” is fantastic and one of my current favourites on the main roster. Whilst it would take a pretty dramatic shift for WWE to resurrect this theme, I’m still extremely glad that this awful gimmick and its music is now just a really embarrassing footnote in Gallows’ career.
13 GREAT: Mark Henry – Sexual Chocolate
Right, I was kinda divided on this one, but I’ll attempt to explain myself.
Before he was the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry was a member of The Nation of Domination, the faction that introduced Faarooq (Ron Simmons) and The Rock (Dwayne) to the WWE in their first major roles. After the group disbanded, Henry would float between helping and feuding with former Nation buddy, D’Lo Brown, before adopting the mantra of Sexual Chocolate.
The gimmick was controversial and just plain disgusting at times, including the now-infamous Sammi incident that featured the demonizing of a transvestite and the moment Henry admitted he lost his virginity to his sister (Jesus Christ, I’d forgotten how awful the Attitude Era could be), but it did feature some of Henry’s most popular work, like his romancing of various women on the roster and his turbulent relationship with Mae Young.
Whilst the gimmick was, at times, dreadful, the song, “Sexual Chocolate”, that Mark used at the time was pretty good and reminds a lot of fans of their fondest memories of the big Texan. With henry due to retire soon and with no clear direction for his character, maybe a return to a more controlled version of Sexual Chocolate would be a good way to send off the veteran and give his long-term fans something to remember him by. Let’s just hope he doesn’t make anyone else pregnant; I can’t go through another hand birth, I can’t.
12 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: The Miz – Reality
Right now, The Miz is the top star in the WWE. Forget Seth Rollins, forget Kevin Owens, forget Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, John Cena, whatever, Miz is where it’s at. His incredible promo on Talking Smack has put the world’s eyes on Miz and the A-Lister has ran with it superbly. He’s got it all; the title, Maryse, the movies, Maryse, the historic legacy, Maryse, Maryse and, most importantly, Maryse. Also, he has a kick-ass theme. But this wasn’t always the case.
Miz has changed his image plenty of times during his run with WWE and his change in music reflects that. His original gimmicks drew on hsi experience as a reality TV star on The Real World and, ratherappropriately, his original theme was entitled “Reality” and it was, umm, well, just sort of there. The best way I can think to describe it is by comparing it to one of those stock themes you get on WWE video games, the ones you can give your created characters. It’s fine, but it was never gonna set the world on fire. His theme when teaming with John Morrison, “Ain’t No Make Believe” was also fine and suited Morrison well when he took it as his singles theme, but it too was never a gamechanger.
Miz’s current theme, “I Came To Play”, has been his since 2010 and there’s a reason it’s never been changed. It’s big, it’s loud and it’s exciting, “I Came To Play” is an excellent song that Miz has really made his own, adding in his trademark “Awesome” and later a Hollywood intro to mirror Miz’s real-life acting successes. A truly exceptional star who doesn’t get nearly enough credit, to say Miz has come a long way from his “Reality” days would be like saying WrestleMania 27 was “a bit” of a disappointment. Not Miz’s fault though. I blame that dastardly Dwayne Johnson. Just kidding, I love you Rocky. Please don’t hurt me.
11 GREAT: Primo and Epico – Barcode
We continue with a team whose old music might not be anything special, but it sure as hell is a big step up from their current track. Primo and Epico currently make their living as “The Shining Stars”, whose entire gimmick is that they’re from Puerto Rico and they want you to go there. So, they’re evil travel agents? I have no idea. Anyway, they didn’t always used to be this useless; it may shock you to learn that the duo are former tag team champions.
On January 15th 2012, Primo and Epico defeated Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne at a live event to win the WWE Tag Team Championships, making the team the most recent in WWE history to win the titles off TV. Whilst a television audience may not have witnessed this title change, the audience in Oakland, California would have heard the song “Barcode”, the theme of the team (plus their manager, Rosa Mendes) from late 2011 to late 2012. The theme was fairly standard but at least it didn’t give the group’s nationality away and allowed the duo to create characters that weren’t dictated by where they were from.
This was not the case with their next theme, “Enchanted Isle”, nor their current theme “Shining Star”. As for their time as Los Matadores, well, the less said about that the better. “Barcode” may not have set the world on fire, but it was catchy, pleasant to listen to and represented a hugely successful period of these two cousins’ careers. If bringing this theme back gets rid of the awful Shining Stars gimmick, then I’m all for it. I’ll pay with my own money, Vince McMahon, if I have to.
10 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Triple H – My Time
The reason this song is on the list? Because it’s not “The Game” by Motorhead, that’s why.
When you’ve been around for and been as prominent in wrestling as Triple H has been, you’re bound to go through a whole tonne of themes. From Beethoven during his time as the Connecticut Blueblood to a Rage Against The Machine rip-off number in DX to Evolution’s amazing theme, “Line In The Sand”, one of my personal favourite wrestling songs of all time, Trips has walked to the ring to plenty of different tunes in his time, but the one I’m singling out here is the one he used between 1999 and 2000, “My Time”.
Performed by The DX Band, My Time was slow, angry and pretty funky. Also, did I mention it was really angry? Because this song makes me want to punch the nearest person whenever I hear it. Sorry, Grandma. The song was fine for what it was – Triple H coming up through the ranks as the next big star, hence “My Time” – but it never really felt massive, which is what a star of Triple H’s calibre needed. Then along came a man named Lemmy.
Everything about “The Game” is perfect for Triple H; it’s loud, it’s aggressive, it’s lyrics tie in perfectly with his character and it’s memorable, right from the opening chord. To say “My Time” is a bad song is an injustice to the song, but to say it’s the right theme for The Game when there’s a song named after him that does the job just as well, now that would be an injustice to music and wrestling. Still think “Line In The Sand” is better. Come at me.
9 GREAT: Sin Cara – Lucha Lucha
Sin Cara’s WWE career has been one hell of turbulent one, perhaps more so than anyone fully understands.
The Sin Cara character was originally played by Mexican megastar, Mistico, however, this was, shall we say, less than good. The original Sin Cara had a run of bad luck and bad decisions; from getting injured to getting suspended to botching everything under the sun, Mistico proved to be a massive headache as Sin Cara, which is why when WWE recast the man formerly known as Hunico as Sin Cara, no one was surprised.
Despite being cleaner in the ring and generally better booked (which, in all honesty, wasn’t hard to do) the new Sin Cara’s best work undoubtedly came on NXT and his time partnering with Kalisto as the Lucha Dragons. Along with their incredible in-ring abilities and great matches with The Ascension and other NXT tag teams, it was the incredibly catchy music – rather inspiringly called “Lucha Lucha” – and accompanying chant that helped put The Dragons over. After the team official split in 2016, it was Kalisto who kept the music, whilst Sin Cara was given a new song called “Faceless” (what is up with WWE not putting the effort into naming Sin Cara’s songs) and it’s fine, I guess, but it’s nothing amazing and it shows that WWE have no big plans for the character any time soon. Basically, I’m saying WWE should have kept The Lucha Dragons together just a little bit longer or, you know, at least put Kalisto on Raw, where the freakin’ Cruiserweights are. I don’t get WWE sometimes.
8 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Zack Ryder – Radio V1
Sometimes in wrestling, a WWE superstar can be assigned a so-called “new” entrance song, but, it will simply be their old one, with a slight change. Christian has had two versions of the same song, Dolph Ziggler’s old song is the same as his new one but with a different chorus and Heath Slater still uses the old 3MB song. Sometimes this doesn’t work and sometimes it does and Zack Ryder is one case of it definitely working.
Ryder made his WWE debut in 2007 and made a splash a member of La Familia, the stable established by-then Smackdown GM, Vickie Guerrero, to assist her fiancé, Edge, who was World Heavyweight Champion at the time. Ryder, along with partner, Curt Hawkins, won the WWE Tag Team Championships just over a year after Ryder’s debut, becoming the youngest team in history to do so.
Whilst teaming with Hawkins, Ryder used different themes, both of which were ok, but his singles run was accompanied by the song “Radio”, a slow, quiet number that referenced Zack’s love of singing along to, well, the radio. The song lasted from mid-2009 to 2016 and was ok, but, it wasn’t until a newer version of the song was given to Ryder that we realized how good a track it was. The newer version was more aggressive, more upbeat and left a bigger impact when you heard it. Whilst some fans prefer the older theme, I’m a bigger fan of this version as I just think it sounds more like a fighter’s track. I know Ryder’s not exactly the most intimidating of figures, but still. Fun fact; this version of the song was performed by Downstait, the same band who sing The Miz’s theme song. The Miz, the man who beat Ryder for the Intercontinental Championship and plunged him into another era of irrelevance. Is that irony?
7 GREAT: Cesaro – Miracle
Cesaro’s career really was one of two halves.
Beginning as your stereotypical foreign heel, Cesaro’s early run in the company saw him establish himself as championship material, winning the United States Championship and holding it for a whopping 239 days, one of the longest in WWE history. After a brief stint in the Real Americans with Jack Swagger, Cesaro started winning over the fans with his incredible strength, athleticism, innovating spots and charisma. Yet, WWE did not give fans the green light to cheer him and kept him as a heel, only this time without the title wins. Cesaro’s big face turn came when he teamed with Tyson Kidd. The duo were so captivating that WWE were basically forced to put the WWE Tag team Championships on them, which allowed the team to become faces during a feud with The New Day.
Since then Cesaro has been beloved by the WWE and no one wants a return to the old foreign heel gimmick, but what plenty of fans might be interested in is a return to his original theme. “Miracle” was a slick rap number (which is oddly similar to Dean Malenko’s old WWE theme) that was smooth to listen to, funky as hell and memorable for having foreign lyrics (performed in Cesaro’s native Swiss). Whilst Cesaro’s current theme, “Swiss Made”, is fine, there’s nothing overly memorable about besides the siren at the start. “Miracle” just feels more Cesaro; especially now he’s adopted the James Bond-esque look, which is also what Dean Malenko did, funnily enough. Is Cesaro just Dean Malenko in a bald cap? Because that’d be amazing.
6 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Becky Lynch – A Big Part
So, you’re just about to debut a young, talented, experienced, hungry new competitor on your wrestling show. However, despite being all of those things, she is also Irish. So, when writing a theme and constructing a character for her, you’d focus on the first lot of qualities, right? Well, you and I might, WWE however...
The current Smackdown Women’s Champion wasn’t always the steampunk-inspired cosplayer she is today. When she originally debuted in NXT in June 2014, she was, and I really, really don’t want to say this, she had an Irish dance gimmick. Ugh. Watching her first match with Summer Rae now is almost painful when you consider how well-developed and important Becky became, especially when you see that her Irish dancing is actually awful. They didn’t even cast a dancer in a dancing gimmick! It was purely because she was Irish! Anyway, Becky’s original gimmick was accompanied by some expectedly cliché riverdance music and it was just awful. Thankfully, this gimmick and it’s music didn’t last long as the Lass Kicker we all know and love today burst onto the scene shortly after Becky’s debut and has remained ever since.
If her work in NXT is considered and if she’s given the right promotion as Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky could be a Hall of Famer one day. However, you can bet that, if she is ever inducted, they won’t be playing this song in her video package. Actually, they probably will. The WWE is terrible sometimes.
5 GREAT: Jack Swagger – On Your Knees
This theme was so damn good.
Jack Swagger’s career is one of ups and downs, or, more accurately, one of ups and downs and downs and downs and downs. From an unbeatable monster in ECW to World Heavyweight Champion, Swagger looked like he had the world at his feet in the early days of his WWE run. Then it went a horrible shade of belugh. He fell out of the world title picture almost as quickly as he got there and, despite a short, forgetable reign with the United States Championship, The All-American American soon became a footnote. Despite some high profile feuds with Alberto Del Rio and Rusev in recent years, it hasn’t felt like Jack has been World Championship material for a good few years now and I honestly think a big part of this has been his theme.
Swagger’s original theme, another Rage rip-off called “On Your Knees”, was great; it was hard-hitting, recognisable and it got you pumped. Swagger’s current theme, “Patriot” is boring and cliche, two things that really just sum up Swagger now. I don’t mind themes based on gimmicks, but when they’re as worn out as the American Patriot, I just don’t care for them. Returning Swagger ot this theme would be better for him, but, ultimately, I think it would all be too little too late for his career. “On Your Knees” wa the theme song of a young, fresh athlete who looked ready to conquer the world and that’s just not what Swagger is anymore. Also, bring back Zeb Colter. He was fun.
4 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Naomi – Somebody Call My Mama
As it turns out, “Somebody Call My Mama” has had a longer WWE career than most wrestlers for whatever reason, this terrible tune just doesn’t go away.
The song can trace its questionable beginnings back to Backlash 2006 where it was used as the entrance song for... God. Yep. Actual, factual God. You see, after Shawn Michaels (a born-again Christian) defeated Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania 22, Vince claimed his defeat was due to “divine intervention” and placed Michaels in a amtch against himself and his son, Shane, with Michaels’ tag team partner being God himself. Wow. Michaels would lose the match after interference from the Spirit Squad (yes, Mr. McMahon did book himself to win a match against God) and that was the last of the song. Or so we thought.
It was revived in early 2012 for Brodus Clay, who had just embarked upon his Funkasaurus gimmick. I don’t actually know what’s worse; the God thing or that gimmick. The song was actually used by two people during this time period (two? Why would one person want this song, let alone two?) as Xavier Woods started using it, leading a feud between him and Brodus. As you can imagine, it was a trainwreck. After Brodus’ career died a slow, horrible death and Woods went onto much bigger and much, much better things, Naomi was left with the disease of a song and used it until Extreme Rules 2015, when her heel persona debuted “Amazing” a much better song, but then again, a vasectomy would probably have been better to come to the ring to her old one.
“Somebody Call My Mama” hasn’t been heard on WWE TV for well over a year now and, quite frankly, that’s one of the most satisfying sentences I’ve ever written. But don’t count yourself safe yet; the song is still alive, lurking in the dark corridors of the WWE archives, ready to strike at any time. You have been warned.
3 GREAT: John Cena – Basic Thuganomics
Say what you will about Cena, but he has had some incredible theme songs in his time and he’s written most of them himself.
Cena’s current song, “My Time Is Now”, or, if you want its alternative title, “DOO DOO DOO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! DOO DOO DOO DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” has been used by The Cenation Leader since 2005 and, to be honest, it’s one of the best wrestling themes ever. Think about; it’s memorable, triumphant, perfectly tailored to Cena as he wrote the damn thing himself and its instantly recognisable by every single wrestling fan on the planet and, thanks to the Internet, anyone who has ever been on Tumblr. However, this isn’t the only amazing song Cena has performed and used during his WWE career.
As anyone watching WWE in the early 2000s will know, Cena hasn’t always been the clean-cut, goody-two-shoes character he is today; he actually started out with a white rapper gimmick that reflected Cena’s own past growing up in Massachusetts. To accompany this edgier character, Cena had an edgier theme song entitled “Basic Thuganomics” and it was pretty good. From the opening string section to the hard-hitting verses, the song sounded like something from an angry young rapper’s demo tape and fit the gimmick perfectly. Whilst the song was only used for two years (it disappeared after Cena won the WWE Championship for the first time, signalling his transition into the franchise of WWE), it has been used sporadically since then, including once at WrestleMania XXV for Cena’s World Heavyweight Championship match against Big Show and Edge.
Whilst it would in no way, shape or form be appropriate for Cena to use this theme now, it’s still an excellent track that still pops the crowd when it does, occasionally, get played. Why isn’t it appropriate I hear you ask? Well, it contains the lyric “S**** with no crevasses”. So, yeah, figure that one out yourself.
2 BETTER LEFT FORGOTTEN: Stephanie McMahon – All Grown Up
The McMahon family is the sole reason WWE is what it is today. The biggest storylines in WWE and indeed pro wrestling histories have featured a McMahon at some point and their exploits in the world of wrestling have made them rich and famous. So, it only makes sense for such an important and influential family to have first pick when it comes to great theme music and, for the most part, they’ve made some great choices.
Shane McMahon’s “Here Comes The Money” is a brilliant song and I still pop for it to these days, even though the novelty of Shane-O-Mac has long worn off. As for Vince. Well, he ain’t chairman for nothing. “No Chance In Hell” is one of the best wrestling themes ever written and it wasn’t even for a competitor. The bouncing riff, the iconic vocals, the bit where it breaks down and starts to scream, all whilst a 70-year-old billionaire walks to the ring, arms flailing around like a possessed puppet. It’s glorious. So, why is the case that the woman one day destined to inherit the empire has had some truly terrible music?
Stephanie McMahon’s current song, “Welcome To the Queendom” is ok; it’s funky, the lyrics sum Steph’s character up well, but it’s clearly an attempt to capture the swagger of her dad’s, but Steph can’t full off that walk nearly as much as Vince can. However, I would listen to Steph’s current song a million times over before I opted to bring back the music she used before it. “All Grown Up” started out as being fine for Steph; the lyrics talk about Steph being her woman, defying expectation, rising to the top, which worked when she was a young woman (Steph was only 26 when this song debuted). However, what puts the song on the list is the fact that it was used by Stephanie for 11 years! Stephanie was 37 years old, married with three kids and one of the most senior figures in a billion-dollar company and still using this song. What the hell? The song featured lyrics like “I’m finally getting my turn” and “watch the old guard fall”. By 2013, when this song was mercifully dropped, Stephanie was the old guard and had been having her turn for over a decade!
Had the song been used for a few years then dropped when Stephanie became more prominent, I’d have been fine. But for a character who so openly falunts her status and power to have a song like this for so long was just plain ridiculous. Come to thinkj of, it was also inaccurate; one of the lyrics is “I done came from the grime and grit”. Bad grammar aside, that’s a load of bull; Stephanie was the daughter of a millionaire! God I hate this song. I’m glad it’s dead and you should be too. Now, can we please finish on something a little nicer?
1 GREAT: Randy Orton – Burn In My Light
Ah, much better.
Randy Orton is one of my all-time favourites and one of the main reasons behind that is his absolutely stellar array of theme music. As i mentioned earlier, I’m a huge fan of Evolution’s music and, of course, Randy was a key member of that stable. His current theme song “Voices” is probably my favourite on the main roster today and I am in no way suiggesyting he should drop it. But his old song, though.
“Burn In My Light” was used by The Viper from 2004 to 2008 and saw Randy become the youngest person ever to win a world championship in WWE, hold the WWE Championship twice in one night and compete in arguably one of his best matches with John Cena and triple H at WrestleMania XXIV. The song is so good; it builds right at the start with the chugging guitar slowly joined by the drumbeat and then exploding into the main song, which is catchy, infectious and damn majestic at times. Randy’s theatrics and charisma helped make this song feel like the theme of a champion and it’s instantly recognisable sound made it impossible for WWE fans to forget it belonged to The Apex Predator.
Whilst “Voices” might be the perfect song for Randy’s current persona, “Burn In My Light” was a perfect fit for his younger gimmick; a ruthless fighter who knew exactly how good he was. It's the perfect example of what happens when WWE take their time in writing a song. Randy may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you cannot deny how good his musical repertoire has been, because if you do, you may just get an RKO, FROM OUTTA... nah, I’m better than that. Sorry.