Any fan of the wrestling industry would likely be able to tell you that it is a very competitive space with many companies jockeying for position. However, despite that fact, for many years now there has been one company that reigns supreme above all others on an international scale, and that's the WWE. As the company is able to have a stranglehold on that position for a number of reasons, including its brand awareness, one of the main things that places them above the rest is its superior production values. A major part of that can be heard during each of their shows when their performers make their way to the ring. While they're arguably better today at crafting or procuring catchy tunes to associate with their employees, they also miss the mark pretty badly at times too. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of the ten best and ten worst WWE theme songs since the year 2000.
In order for a theme song to be up for consideration for this list, it first off needs to be used by a WWE employee on their way down to the ring. It doesn’t matter if the performer in question is a wrestler, announcer, manager, or anything else as long as they work for the company and the song accompanies them when they enter the arena. Secondly, it needs to be have been used for the first time by that person after January 1, 2000. It doesn’t matter if another performer used it previously as long as the person in question debuted it after that. With that in mind, let’s get to the list.
20 Best: The Wyatt Family
Even if it's just Wyatt Family leader Bray Wyatt who uses the song these days, this song is just dripping with style. The song is unfortunately associated with a group and wrestler that have never been used in the way they should have, as they’ve been so mishandled that we can understand people rolling their eyes when it plays. However, that is a real shame since it actually is one of the more unique and cool-sounding theme songs the WWE has ever put together if you ask us. Because it sounds like something that we could easily see serving as the accompaniment of a serial killer in a horror film based in the bayou, there is something otherworldly about it. On top of that, there is an element that we find enticing as well which makes it the right style for a cult leader like Bray.
19 Worst: Darren Young
When it comes to Darren Young’s time in the WWE we have to say that we have largely been disappointed. He's someone that seems like he has all the potential in the world, and he has shown flashes of charisma from time to time but has never quite been able to put it together when it comes to his presentation. Most recently repackaged as the protégé of WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund, when they first put that pair together our interest was piqued but things petered right out before too long. We’re not saying that this horrendous theme song had anything to do with the concept’s failure but it sure didn’t help. Featuring vaguely inspirational music that was overpowered by a sample of Backlund yelling things about Darren, we have no idea who thought it was a good idea in any way.
18 Best: Mark Henry
All we can say is that somebody is going to get their ass kicked and their wig split. A wrestler that joined the WWE roster in 1996, much of the two decades Mark Henry has spent working for the company saw him serving on the undercard much to his fan’s disappointment. Then things turned around for him when he began showing a much more vicious streak which saw him become the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time. We don’t think it is any coincidence that he hit the zenith of his career so soon after taking on this theme song. It's a simple tune that describes how he is going to come to the ring and beat some people up, and we love the simplicity of this track and how it gets us energized to see Mark destroy someone in the ring.
17 Worst: Stephanie McMahon
Called the Billion Dollar Princess, Stephanie McMahon is the daughter of the man at the controls of the WWE, Vinnie Mac. Having been given the keys to the kingdom because of who she is related to, Steph has been featured on WWE television off and on since the late nineties. Proving herself to be quite good at being hatable in that time period, many would even argue that she takes up too much of the attention since she rarely gets in the ring so it is all for naught. But since she is accompanied to the ring by a song whose lyrics are all about how powerful and intimidating she is, this track only serves to underline that problem. On top of that, when it comes to the music it feels like it doesn’t know what it wants to be and is an earworm that we can’t wait to get out of our heads.
16 Best: Ember Moon
From one powerful female character to another, this time around we are looking at Ember Moon, one of the most intriguing members of the NXT roster, let alone all of the WWE. Still yet to fully hit her stride as well, we can’t wait until she fully figures out her character since she is so on fire already that improving on her seems incredible to think of. Given the absolute perfect piece of music to go with her character, the best part of it is the way its intro pulls you in before the full musicianship kicks in and gets you rocking alongside it. Similar to the way her eye makes contact and her whole look intrigues us, and then how her in-ring work dazzles, we really can’t say enough about how her music fits her like a glove.
15 Worst: Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga
They're a largely forgotten tag team that held the WWE Tag Team Championship together, and there really isn’t anything about this pair that worked for us. For those who don't remember, they were a couple of guys that were featured on the competition show version of NXT. When Michael McGillicutty, who would later be known as Curtis Axel, was added to The Nexus, he and David Otunga became a pair. Their song did not make any sense, as there were two of them coming out, but the song was about one person. Next, these two wielded about as little power as anybody working for the company at the time did. Finally, the tune feels like a terrible throwback to the sound of a nineties boy band.
14 Best: Maria & Mike Kanellis
A pair that joined the WWE roster earlier this year to do little and then disappeared without any on-screen explanation, it is safe to say that Maria & Mike Kanellis have been a disappointment so far. On top of that, with the recent announcement that they are expecting their first child, we have no idea when they will return but are certain we will be hugely disappointed if they don’t show up again. We feel that way in large part because they are both very talented but it also has to do with the fact that we love their theme music, even though it relates to a gimmick that went nowhere. Completely schmaltzy and utterly unrepentant about it, we can totally understand why some may hate it but it is just so shameless and cheesy that we can’t get enough of it.
13 Worst: Layla El
Layla El was a wrestler that won the 2006 WWE Diva Search, relying on fans who called in on her behalf. She enjoyed a popular run during her time in WWE, but that makes it all the more interesting that her greatest success came as one-half oy LayCool, which was a truly hated pairing. We’re just going to say it, the fact that her song isn’t our choice for the worst theme on this list shows just how bad things have gotten at times for WWE music. The song has us feeling like whoever put it together took all of the worst aspects of dance music, Autotune and repetitive beats that are totally bland, added them together, and came up with a masterpiece of annoyance.
12 Best: Drew McIntyre
Now that he's back in NXT, Drew McIntyre finds himself back under the WWE umbrella after being released with little to no fanfare a few years ago. We’re really hoping that this run with the company turns out far better than it did for him the last time around since he has it all going for him. Still, there is at least one thing about his character the first time around that we miss, his badass theme song. Called Vince McMahon’s Chosen One at the time, it was clear they put a lot of effort into his entrance from the video effect and the unnerving nature of his entrance music. First sounding like the perfect expression of a predator searching for his prey, it then picks up which feels like a warning of the explosive offense to come.
11 Worst: Rob Conway
First coming to prominence as a member of the early 2000s tag team La Résistance, Rob Conway oozes so much ego from his pores that he is instantly hateable just by looking at him. As he was eventually forced to sink or swim on his own when the tandem came to an end, it is clear that he was meant to continue in the same mold his character had already had become used to. Designed to be an example of the cocky French stereotype, his character was far from a modern idea so we can kind of see why they wanted his music to be a throwback too. However, the fact that it sounds like it was recorded by a Randy Newman knockoff and is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the head makes it awful in pretty much every way.
10 Best: Rich Swann
A member of the 205 Live roster, like many of that show’s talents, Rich Swann feels like he hasn’t quite lived up to his potential as of yet. An extremely entertaining dude with a real presence, he doesn’t need to rely on promos to earn the love of the crowd as his expressive face and clear rhythm are enough to bring people in. Integral to that is the catchy nature of his theme song, since it gives him the ability to enter the arena in the most enjoyable way possible as well as showing off his impressive ability to do the splits. On top of that, another key to the success he already has achieved and what he has yet to come is the fact that he seems to be having such a good time to this tune and we want to along with him.
9 Worst: Nikki Bella
After joining the WWE alongside her twin sister, Nikki Bella spent several years used as nothing more than eye candy that would accompany RAW guest hosts to the ring. Eventually taking the opportunity to be taken more seriously when she began to regularly compete in the ring, she spent several months as the linchpin of the company’s entire women's roster. She's absolutely a gorgeous woman on the face of things, and the fact that she comes out from the back and dances in a circle showing off her booty in the process makes us look forward to her entering the arena. That is proof positive of how hot she truly is since her music has to be one of the crappiest we’ve ever heard. An over the top piece of pop music about how the audience can’t touch her and how stupid they’ll look if they try to get with her, the only thing it really does is sound awful.
8 Best: Shinsuke Nakamura
Fans of Shinsuke Nakamura’s work had every reason to be worried when he was signed by the WWE based on their poor history with people from that area, even if he was a huge deal back home. However, they were likely to feel a whole lot better when he made his debut in NXT to this song that works for his character to perfection. As he is renowned for his unique charisma, entering an arena to a song like this is a great opportunity for him to exude his physicality in the best ways possible. With lots of moments within it to dance in the way that only he can, it just allows fans to anticipate the next crescendo. Yet the song allows him to still be treated seriously, with some breakdowns for him to bring his energy down.
7 Worst: Ted DiBiase Jr.
The son and namesake of one of the best bad guys in WWE history, when Ted DiBiase Jr. began working for the company he had a heck of a lot to live up to. Most memorable for being a member of the faction Legacy alongside Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes, they made such a great trio that we never wanted to see them break up. Turns out we were really right about that since Ted went pretty much nowhere on his own. Given the same rich guy character that made his dad such a huge deal in the past, it did not work out nearly as well for him. Aside from the huge difference in charisma, one thing that set Ted aside from his dad is that he was given a horrible theme song. All about money and how he comes from it, this tune sounds like it was lacking the budget to have a complete sound or substance.
6 Best: Evolution
Probably the best faction the WWE has created over the last decade, at least, Evolution featured four men that will likely all find themselves in the WWE Hall of Fame at some point. Made up of its leader Triple H, the best of the past Ric Flair and two upcoming stars at the time in Randy Orton and Batista, they were all elite members of the company’s roster. As such, when they came to the ring it was of huge importance that they were accompanied by music that fit their grandeur. Fortunately, Hunter had built a relationship with the legendary band Motorhead who contributed this song to their presentation. A track that could have easily been released as a single by the band, if you played it for a metalhead that had no idea about wrestling they’d likely just think they were listening to a badass tune. There really isn’t a larger compliment we could pay to the song than that.
5 Worst: Brie Bella
When looking at the theme song that Nikki Bella uses today and both Bella twins used to come to the ring to it seemed like things couldn’t get much worse. Then Brie Bella went out on her own and shocked her fans by finding something even worse. By that time one of the stars of WWE’s “reality” show Total Divas, she’d introduced Brie Mode as a catchphrase for herself on the show. A reference to the way she would lose control when partying to the extreme, it was associated with her getting a little bit sloppy. That's not well suited to be associated with a precision form of entertainment like wrestling. As a result, working this whole tune around it was dubious. However, it was made all the worse by the fact that her track features the same Autotune and crappy music that made her sister’s music suck too.
4 Best: CM Punk
One of the biggest stars in the WWE during his later years with the company, there is little doubt in our mind that the fans of CM Punk were immensely invested in his success. After turning a lot of heads when he gave his infamous “pipebomb” promo, he ended up winning the title before departing briefly in an immensely exciting storyline at the time. He came back far too soon, and the whole thing was ruined when he feuded with Triple H and Kevin Nash. But they did do one thing just right – they repackaged him with a new song that fit his image perfectly. In a rare instance in which the company licensed an actual song that was previously released by a band, WWE allowed Punk to use "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour. The lyrics and sound couldn’t have been more spot-on for him.
3 Worst: Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly came to her new role with no real athletic ability but a whole lot of good looks, being a former model that was signed by the WWE and debuted on their version of ECW all before she turned 20. First introduced as a character that would do a striptease but was interrupted each week prior to being able to reveal anything too scandalous, it wasn’t exactly the most groundbreaking role out there. That said, when they changed things up and had her actually compete in the ring, she was so bad at it that many were left wishing for her previous act. Given a theme song that was somehow actually worse than her in-ring abilities, all we can say is that whoever worked on this song should feel extremely embarrassed.
2 Best: Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode’s debut for the company was highly anticipated by his many fans, as he spent years working for TNA before making the leap to WWE and their developmental brand NXT. Then his music hit and everyone was blown away whether they knew about him previously or not. After all, it perfectly fits the egotistical character that he plays so well since he carries himself with such grandiosity. In fact, there really is only one word that describes it just right: glorious. In fact, now that he has been brought up to the main roster as part of SmackDown it appears like they’ve made him a good guy despite how good he is at being smarmy. It seems pretty clear that the reason for the character change is that they realize that fans around the world adore singing along with his theme song, the best they’ve come up with since the year 2000.
1 Worst: X-Factor
A faction that has largely been forgotten to the sands of time, if you don’t know about X-Factor you can count yourself as lucky as it was awful in every way. Led by X-Pac, a talented performer that is far better suited to following, the other members were Albert and Justin Credible. A short-term group that was mostly put out of its misery when Justin joined The Alliance between former WCW and ECW wrestlers, thankfully, their theme song is the only memorable part of them. Recorded by Kid Rock’s sidekick Uncle Kracker, it had a similar feel to his more famous friend’s music but never picked up in any way. On top of that, it had one of the worst intros ever as its “singer” warbled out some horrendous lyrics. All of this combines to make it the worst WWE theme song put out after the year 2000.