Wrestling is about performing and making money. Putting butts in the seats is one thing, but making money doesn't stop there. Selling shirts, replica belts, magazine subscriptions, Network subscriptions, and much more are a part of the gigantic wrestling industry.
Vince worked with MTV in the 80s to create his Rock n' Wrestling campaign that that was a big part in wrestling's popularity explosion. McMahon saw all of those pop stars raking in money by selling CDs and thought he would get a piece of the action. What did it matter if his superstars weren't musicians?
Numerous albums have been released from the WWE, and they're all terrible, save for the ones that just consist of entrance music. Jim Johnston has done some incredible work over the years, perfectly encapsulating a wrestler's personality with iconic themes that have the ability lift a crowd to their feet within seconds.
The songs we cover on this list have nothing to do with Jim Johnston.
I subjected myself to Hogan rapping AND singing a tender ballad, Jerry Lawler basically describing his sex life, and much more crap. I really feel for the professional backing bands and session musicians that were drafted in to play on this garbage, not to mention whoever had to mix and master the track. A process that can mean hours of listening and tweaking the same song. Ouch.
But hey, it must make money since Vince kept pumping them out. He's the circus master, and these are his performers. You wanna see them bleed? Sing? Dance? How about Edge and Lita have simulated sex in the ring? Whatever you want, as long as you pay for it. That's the name of the game.
But once you lay down a vocal track, it's around forever, the internet is making sure of that. So get ready to hear about Piper's full load, Lawler wrestling with girls, and The Undertaker cutting a promo over some funk.
15 Junkyard Dog - Grab Them Cakes
From the very first wrestling album released by McMahon in 1985.
It's got a catchy, infectious groove, and JYD funks his way convincingly through the confusing lyrics. Just like in the ring, he made up for a lack of physical talent with crazy charisma.
But when it comes to the hook, am I the only one who doesn't know what 'grab them cakes' means? Is it sexual or is he just hungry. Maybe both.
14 Rikishi - Put a Little Ass on it
With this title, you know it'll be a seductive slow jam.
Rikishi manages a somewhat soulful performance, although his voice sounds like he gargled with gravel before the session. It's quite weird to hear professional background singers sing the hook with zero irony.
Perfect video: A super-slo-mo highlight package of his best Stink Faces.
13 Capt Lou Albano - Do the Mario
It's a testament to how bad most of the music is on this list, but I don't mind this one. Although growing up a huge fan of wrestling and Nintendo probably has a lot to do with that.
It's hard to decide which is worse, the 'rapping' or 'dancing', and I use both terms very loosely. Albano's moves consist of him swinging his waist and arms back and forth, I'm assuming to simulate Mario's run? Come on Lou! Mario runs sideways!
An extra awkward touch is the end when he replants himself. If that took more than one take I'll 'do the Mario'.
12 Hulk Hogan - Beach Patrol
Hogan was a working bass player before he hit it big, so it's no surprise to see him on this list. In fact I could have done a top 15 on Hogan's crap music alone.
The song sounds like someone remixed one of his promos, throwing on some 90s beats and a hook. That's how poorly everything fits together. They really go all out, even throwing in 'whoop der it is!'.
Jimmy Hart's most weasely voice endlessly sings the hook 'we are the beach patrol' as Hogan warns people that on the beach 'you can look, but you can't touch'.
It's a good message at least.
11 Zack Ryder - Hoeski
Wow how did this guy not make it in the WWE?
It starts out with a Backstreet Boys video intro, as Ryder awkwardly walks across a beach dressed in white. Lift your head up Zack! Who stares at the dirt while they walk?
It has that 'recorded in my kitchen' fidelity to it as he wails through the verse and chorus. By two minutes it will feel like it's been on forever, but we haven't even gotten to the rap section yet!
The rap is actually the best part as it's soothing to get away from his awful singing.
10 Jerry Lawler - Wrestling with Girls
Jerry Lawler was a pretty big deal down South; he even had his own TV show! On a particular episode he shows off his pop song and you get to meet his nerdy band. His keyboardist says "computers are officially in the music business!". This is the best part of the video as the keyboard professor shows off state-of-the-art music technology, and because he has talent.
Then Lawler starts singing about his sex life...
"...until the morning light.....no holds barred......wrestling with girls..." So he likes it rough?
9 Randy Savage - Be A Man
Man I bet Hogan was pissed when he read the CD liner to finally understand what Savage was rapping about.
Savage drops some sweet bombs about Hogan's limited acting ability and how he's a soft ass wimp. I'd believe it. Savage always had the intensity in those eyes and voice. I'd put money on the Macho Man over Hulk any day of the week. He would definitely 'punk his butt out, for the world to see'.
What I like most about it is the positive tone, like Savage was trying to make Hogan a 'man' with this inspirational dis track. I hope Hogan puts this on every morning and gets back to the man we once knew.
8 Roddy Piper - I’m Your Man
Well this is a little less hardcore than I thought. I assumed Piper would be playing straight ahead punk or hard rock, but he instead he goes for a sunny 60s pop sound.
The song bounces around with video of a very tanned Piper playing in the water with a girl and a dog. The good life.
It's all quite inoffensive until the end. When Piper sneaks in a classic promo for the fadeout. This is when he says:
"I can even be your milkman
this aint no half-pint you're dealing with
I'm a FULL LOAD"
7 Brian Christopher - It's a Memphis Thing
This is exactly what I thought a wrestling song would sound like. Groovy rock, distorted guitars, and talk-singing shoot interview lyrics.
He goes through every Memphis wrestling legend, the Coliseum, Saturday nights, his dad, and even starts naming every great tag team. It's quite a respectful tribute.
If you wanted a crash-course in Memphis wrestling history, check this out.
6 Lita - When I Get You Alone
Lita has a real band of course, but this track is from the WWE Originals Album. I've heard a few Luchagors tracks and her voice is passable enough, with a punkish, Gwen Stefani-lite vibe. But on the WWE album it's pretty bad.
The first few lines remind me a bit of Shania Twain, but it quickly drops off from there. I can only imagine what the recording sessions were like. Probably 20 minutes for each 'superstar' with big Vince hustling them in and out of the studio as he dreams of new ways to make cash. There's very little personality or emotion in her voice compared to her band's work. The equivalent of emotion an adult film star might put into filmed sex.
5 Bret Hart - Never Been a Right Time to Say Goodbye
Bret wrote in his book about his will life on the road. He said while other wrestlers had vices like cocaine, pills and booze, he was addicted to women. Knowing his casanova past and the fact that he was married throughout this period makes this song quite interesting. It's a sad tale of wanting to breakup for years, but not being able to do it.
What saves this song is that it seems to come from the 'Hart' and the fact that he delivers it Leonard Cohen style rather than attempting to sing.
4 The Undertaker - The Man in Black
There is a severe tone clash going on here.
Undertaker grumbles through lyrics like "ROTTING FLESH, BLUEING CARCASS
REST IN PEACE"
But the backing music is the happiest super funk you've ever heard. The synths would fit right at home on a Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack.
Maybe Sonic is the blueing carcass he's talking about?
3 Vince McMahon - Stand Back
There's a lot going on here.
First off, Jesse Ventura roasts him during the introduction of the live performance which is pretty ballsy.
Then we see how powerful McMahon was when he has Savage and Jake Roberts pretending to play sax with synchronized moves. Brutus Beefcake was between them but he follows the Hogan and the cash, so no surprise to see him acting ridiculous.
Then Vince flies out and really gives it his all. A full dance routine that seems ridiculous at first, but eventually wins the crowd over. It's neat to hear Vince sing using his evil boss voice, as he growls and bellows the lyrics.
A symbol of the McMahon power and how crazy the 80s were.
2 Hulk Hogan - Hulkster in Heaven
Hogan had to appear again, and this ballad is the perfect entry.
One of the few songs here that has actual singing, and when you hear it you'll know immediately why. Hogan may have been able to play bass, but vocals are not his thing. He also pronounces 'Wembley' "Wem-be-leee'.
I feel bad ripping this apart as it was written about a Make-a-Wish Kid who was supposed to sit ringside at a UK show. Hulk then saw the empty seat and was told that the kid didn't make it. Proceeds from the album went to help the child's family pay medical bills.
1 WrestleRock Rumble
This had to be on top. The Live Aid of bad wrestling songs had a pretty insane cast. Shawn Michaels, Marty Janetty, Curt Hennig, Scott Hall, Bockwinkel, Zybysko, Sheik, and more all do their best to rap the Wrestlerock Rumble.
The video shows the wrestlers wearing headphones in the studio, yet the timing is unbelievably bad. I know they aren't musicians but it's not even close for some of these guys.
In between verses there are odd shots of Playboy Girls and even a Marilyn Monroe impersonator hyping up the show. I'm not sure what was going on, but that must have been a heck of a weekend.