An entrance theme can make or break a wrestler. The Ultimate Warrior got over massively thanks to his stunning rock beat while Steve Austin’s “shattered glass” made him pretty over well. Too many guys were saddled with bad music and in some cases, couldn’t quite rise above them. But others are able to use their music themes to great effect. “Real America” is famed today for even on-wrestling fans and other themes are great too. WWE is tops in using some great music and today, have got a lot of great themes to help their wrestlers. Sadly, too many others are bad as well.
It’s easy to see bad workers saddled with bad themes but too many good guys are given bad music. On the other hand, a few who are so-so in the ring are given some frankly pretty cool tunes (Carmella comes to mind) and able to rise up a bit more thanks to them. With so many folks in WWE today (including NXT), it’s tricky to find the best of the bunch but some rise up as well as the bad ones too. Here are the 10 best and 10 worst themes in WWE today and how fan reaction to them can be key in how well a person gets over.
20 BEST: Randy Orton
Few things get a crowd going then when the speakers blast out “I hear voices in my head….” It’s one of the oldest themes in WWE but it fits Orton perfectly, the Viper utilizing it as either heel or face and oddly, it works either way. It took quite a while to find the right pick for Orton, numerous songs but when they hit this one, it just clicked. “The Viper” uses it well, selling him as a major danger, a man ready to go off at any time and totally unpredictable. It speaks volumes Orton can use it as either heel or face and still make it work, either a pop from the crowd or loud boos. The man is still in top form despite numerous injuries and something so sneaky fits the master of the RKO. It’s an older theme but still one of the best to fit a man who’s proven himself among WWE’s best.
19 WORST: Aiden English
A recurring issue with some NXT guys is taking something that worked before 500 fans in Orlando and getting fans in huge arenas to react the same. Some sadly aren’t able to pull it off. The Vaudevillians were over well as NXT champs with the idea of themselves as hipsters with an old-time act. With Simon Gotch now released, Aiden English has essentially taken the theme as his own. WWE didn’t help when they got called up and seemed to think they really were from the 1920s and cooled their heat down majorly. Not helping was that their entrance theme, something fun in NXT, just didn’t go over in WWE. The old timey music and black and white entrance coloring just weren’t fun and fail to make the duo look like a convincing threat to either opponents or audiences.
True, it keeps to the character but it just doesn’t sound like a really fun wrestling theme and that’s something that makes Aiden English just losers to fans and so the theme pretty much kills their appeal dead.
18 BEST: Charlotte
You don’t mess with success. Ric Flair was one of the first guys to use a regular theme, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” best known as the theme from “2001.” WWE gave him a few variations but still kept the heart of that theme, perfect for Flair’s persona. Having inherited her dad’s ring skills, Charlotte gets her own version, keeping those big trumpets and build but in her own style. It’s mixed with a great rock beat, a mix of guitars but the replaying of that main tune helps ground it. It’s fantastic, so wonderful, big as life and thus fitting her wonderfully. When she mixes it with a huge entrance like WrestleMania, it gets over like gangbusters, selling Charlotte as the best in the field and she backs it up in the ring. It proves she does her dad proud and making Charlotte among the best workers in wrestling today.
17 WORST: Jinder Mahal
Much has been written on how utterly unearned Jinder Mahal’s push has been. The man literally went from a jobber to number one contender in a month and then WWE champion with almost no real paying his dues. The boos are constant and not in a good way, the heat more “we hate him” than “we like to hate him.” Not helping is his theme which is pretty much the most amazingly cliché idea imaginable. Mixing in “India” music with a rock beat, it’s an annoying near-rap mantra where the words sound like gibberish and seems more fitting for Jinder as a mid-card guy, not the main event champion WWE want him to be. There are so many things wrong with the man suddenly pushed to the top but that theme hardly helps an already bad guy getting over more.
16 BEST: Bray Wyatt
It’s still astonishing how the former Husky Harris transformed himself into one of the best acts in WWE. His creepy cult leader has won over fans, his promos fantastic and his run as champion something fans truly loved. Bray is still out there and getting over thanks to a terrific theme song. The tone is perfect, capturing the moody swampy land Bray claims to hail from and the mix of guitars and drums is almost hypnotic in how it pulls fans in. Bray’s slow walk to the ring is perfectly matched to it and never fails to captivate a crowd. It’s not loud or bombastic like others but it’s not meant to be as it only is created to get the fans sucked into the character and in that regard, it works wonderfully. While many hope Bray gets another push as champion soon, at least he has one of the best entrances in the company to help him over.
15 WORST: Eva Marie
To many, she is tops on the list of the worst female in WWE today (yes, WWE technically hasn't released her yet). Yes, she’s hot to look at but her non-stop botching of promos and even the simplest moves has made her a joke. Rumor abounds that Vince McMahon wanted her to have a run as NXT champion and Triple H had to put his down to make sure that never happened. So it makes total sense Eva gets a theme song just as bad. From the start, it’s too loud and then the booming announcer voice of “Eternally beguiling, continuously charismatic and fantastically fascinating…” None of which are adjectives many would use to describe Eva. The shrill beat may help her when she saunters out but just enhances all she’s all look and no substance in the ring. As utterly bad as Eva can be on her own, that theme song just makes her worse.
14 BEST: Sasha Banks
Given that her cousin is Snoop Dogg, it’s no wonder Sasha Banks moves to a great musical beat. “The Boss” is adept as either a face or a heel with her fantastic in-ring ability mixed with a terrific style all her own. She’s wicked with her attitude and her sharp outfits with multi-colored hair and thus her entrance theme is top notch. Banks sings “Sky’s the Limit” herself and does well with it, showcasing her attitude and flaunting her high-living lifestyle. It’s great when matched with a terrific entrance like her in a limo or just sauntering out in multiple rings and bling and thus helps her get over even more with fans. It’s a key case where the music perfectly encapsulates the character and why Banks is among the best female stars on the roster today.
13 WORST: Nia Jax
In some ways, the actual theme is good, the tune itself quite nice with the rocking attitude and power. But then we get to the lyrics... Nia is an incredible talent, big and powerful and has shown her amazing skills off to get over. So it’s annoying when her song suddenly breaks into a high—pitched pop singing that takes away from her monster standing among the division. She’s meant to be more the real powerhouse and the theme just doesn’t sell her properly. Really, if the opening was then mixed with a much better song style and keeping to a major power beat, it’d be so much better but as is, Nia has a theme that seems to belong to someone else, never a good way to sell a star.
12 BEST: The Revival
Every now and then, two guys are just tossed together and somehow become tag team magic. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson were basically jobbers in NXT, some promise but nothing really major. At first going by the Mechanics, they held their real names before going by the Revival. From there, they took off big time, an amazing unit that soon dominated as NXT tag team champions. Their call up to RAW earned a monster pop that they’ve used and currently in major tag title contention. Helping is their great theme song, “Southern Proud” which boasts of their hard-hitting backgrounds. Naturally, a show in the south gets them major pops as the two have become one of the best teams in wrestling and ready to rise up more. They boast “No Flips, Just Fists,” a throw-back to old-school wrestling teams but with a theme rocking fans like few today.
11 WORST: Stephanie McMahon
For a long time it fit her. “The Billion Dollar Princess” was a genius selling herself as an arrogant spoiled brat and got fans hating her in the right way. That held for years, even as part of the Authority as and husband Triple H clearly relished in the reactions they got from fans booing them wildly. However, keeping to “Welcome to the Queendom” doesn’t quite fit Stephanie’s current role as a major authority figure. The woman talks a lot about helping out the other women in WWE and the company’s charity work so a theme pushing herself as still the bratty character more than a real leader doesn’t fit her well. Plus, it’s just damn annoying and while Vince can pull off an annoying self-centered theme, Stephanie doesn’t quite do the same so a change for her might be best down the road.
10 BEST: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is a fantastic example of how well a guy can change his act over the years. He started out as “Y2J” then remade himself into a more serious character before reverting to his old persona. Right now, he’s gotten hot all over again thanks to the “List of Jericho” and remains top-notch in the ring. Helping has been that fantastic theme which made its debut in Jericho’s fantastic entry in WWE in 1999. The “countdown” helps but even as soon as the opening guitar hits, fans go nuts and always gets a pop. “Break the Walls Down” is just a fantastic theme and has almost never been altered over the years even as Jericho’s character has shifted well. Today, it still gets a huge reaction which Jericho goes along with and a wonderful match to a man who remains as over with fans today as when he first debuted.
9 WORST: John Cena
The idea of it changing is unlikely given how it’s the theme of the company’s biggest star. But many a fan has stated that Cena’s old “World Life” theme was a hell of a lot better than this. True, the opening gets a pop but then leads to boos and other rough reactions. The whole “You Can’t See Me” line has never really made sense and even has been made fun of by guys. Cena himself has toned down the “rapper” style since so it’s not quite as fitting and perhaps long past time a change is needed, especially given how Cena is now becoming a respected veteran more than the angry rebel he was when the theme started out. Again, it’s an iconic theme in some ways but it can also be aggravating and quite long in the tooth and also a reminder of how divisive a figure Cena truly is.
8 BEST: AJ Styles
AJ Styles always had one of the better theme songs in TNA to showcase himself as one of a kind. That’s kept up with WWE, the organ opening getting fans attention and then the main rocking theme kicking off. It’s a terrific bit, showcasing how unique Styles is and as high-flying as the man himself. Styles did have a great first year in WWE winning the title and his Rumble debut showing the theme off to get fans going. He’s kept it up as a great heel but also popular thanks to his abilities and his theme song matches that appeal. It starts slow but builds up to something amazing much like Styles kicks off a match okay then starts pulling out wild moves. The man is still among the best in the world so fitting he has a theme to match and remind everyone why he’s the Phenomenal One.
7 WORST: Nikki Bella
To be fair, Nikki has improved well in the ring from just a pretty face to a long-reigning champion. She’s still showcasing her hot outfits and sexy looks but her theme song just doesn’t sound right. For one thing, it’s the exact same theme the Bellas have been using since their debut. Even Brie got her own music for a bit. But Nikki is still using an ultra-poppy beat that just sounds more annoying than effective. It’s a reminder of how the Divas were all about the looks, outfits and sexy fighting more than the real wrestling WWE is pushing today. Granted, Nikki was more about looks than in-ring talent but the theme is still not the best and just makes her stand out in a bad way from the current crop of WWE ladies.
6 BEST: Bayley
A lot can be written about how badly WWE has bungled Bayley on the main roster. They forgot to push her as the underdog properly and she seems to be buried right now. However, she does still have one of the most infectious theme songs around. The moment it hits, the fans are going wild and Bayley seems charged out as she runs to the entranceway. It helps her with her “hugging” bit and how her inflatable guys rise up in time with the music. True, it’s lost a bit in WWE as in NXT, Bayley would spend so much more time hugging her fans at ringside but it’s still an amazing tune to help her over. While Bayley’s tenure on RAW isn’t as top-notch as fans had hoped for, at least she retains one of the best themes in the company.
5 WORST: Roman Reigns
There’s a lot to dislike about WWE’s treatment of Roman Reigns. There’s how they keep pushing him as a babyface when he's better suited for a monster heel. There’s the non-stop pushes of him to the main event and title matches. And there’s how Vince McMahon seems obsessed with making Roman the face of WWE despite how it’s abundantly clear fans will never accept him in that role. There’s also his theme song. The moment the chords hit, fans start booing and that’s not good for the man meant to be the big face. The rock theme just sounds repetitive and not in a good way, just like his old Shield theme but lacking the power the Shield had. It’s just not a good sound and while a new theme won’t fix all the problems of his push, it at least will aid Roman in sounding a bit better with his entrance.
4 BEST: Shinsuke Nakamura
“The King of Strong Style” was a hit already in his native land but coming to NXT just boosted him up majorly. Helping was one of the best themes imaginable. As soon as the violin begins, fans start cheering and it builds up as he slowly saunters out, strobes and colored lights flashing and begins his wild dancing. When an entire crowd is chanting along with the “Oooh-ooohs!” of the song, you know a guy is over. Nakamura helps it along with his wild gyrations and dancing, leaning back along the ropes and his entrance alone gets fans going better than anything else on the roster. It helps when he has a real violinist with him to play along the theme and has helped make Nakamura one of the biggest stars in NXT history. He’s still doing his best with the main roster and it’s hard to imagine a guy with such an awesome entrance not able to rise up more.
3 WORST: Cesaro
The man who has been the winner of “Wrestling Observer’s” Most Underrated Wrestler five straight years, Cesaro is a guy who should be a main eventer but WWE won’t let him. Despite being hugely over with fans and truly funny in his character, he’s stuck in a tag team with Sheamus and little promise of rising up more. Not helping is a frankly terrible entrance theme. The siren opening makes absolutely no sense for something called “Swiss Made” and while we can be grateful to avoid cliché “Swiss Music” like cuckoo clocks or something, the hard rock tune doesn’t quite fit the title. The theme is a terrible mix of loud guitars and keyboards and just annoying as hell. Cesaro could use a push but could also use a major redo of his theme as this is designed to put fans off, making you wonder if it’s so bad on purpose.
2 BEST: Bobby Roode
Roode had built himself up well in TNA from simply a Team Canada bruiser to a “rich guy” motif and wildman with Beer Money and then top champion heel. When he joined NXT, expectations were high. But it was better as he was given an absolutely stunning theme song. As soon as the loud chorus of “GLORIOUS!” hits, the crowd is on their feet and singing along. Roode has built on it with major entrances such as lowered on a pillar or a local choir singing the theme as well. It’s boosted Roode up majorly, the fans loving the song and has made him an instant star.
Currently ruling as NXT champion, Roode loves the theme as well and it’s made him one of the best in the entire company right now and the best in terms of theme songs.
1 WORST: Apollo Crews
This theme really does Apollo Crews no favors whatsoever. His character is already bland on TV and this theme is about as bland as it gets. Maybe that was the point of making the theme so generic? Either way, as soon as Crews comes out to this theme, he's doomed. It sounds like a jobber's entrance music and doesn't do anything to get the crowd hyped up for Crews. Crews has all the in-ring talent and athleticism in the world, but it takes more than that to get over in WWE today. His character needs to be completely repackaged and hopefully he can be sent down to NXT where he can find himself.