Every World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler should, these days, have his or her own theme song. Theme songs are linked to wrestlers even after they have finished performing inside of WWE rings. Hulk Hogan is an example. While the Hulkster is currently not welcome at WWE events for some understandable reasons, that does not erase the fact that wrestling fans will automatically think of Hogan whenever they hear the opening of “Real American.” One has to wonder if we will ever hear that song again on live WWE programming. There is always the WWE Network for those who want to relive the past.
WWE wrestlers change their theme songs from time to time. Those switches sometimes represent a change of character for the performer. You may recall when The Rock went from his iconic theme to the “Hollywood” theme that he used when he was playing a heel in the early 2000s. That may not be your favorite Rock theme, but it made sense that the character would use it. Another example is when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin used his “Alliance” theme for a brief period of time in 2001. It would have been weird for heel Austin to have had his beloved WWE theme during that run.
Not every instance of a wrestler changing a theme song has been a positive. Some were so awkward or just plain bad that the wrestler either went back to his original or quickly make the switch to a new theme. Others, however, had to switch to awful themes for one reason or another.
15. Ric Flair
Some wrestlers just have one theme song that they are supposed to carry with them forever. That has been the case for “Nature Boy” Ric Flair for decades and yet the WWE tried to give Flair a different version of his song during his first ever run in the company. That song wasn’t as good, it wasn’t as iconic, and it was wrong for Flair to come out to it. The WWE has since righted that wrong and returned Flair’s song to him, and fans still hear it whenever Flair appears on episodes of Raw and at other WWE events. Kudos to the company for doing the right thing.
14. The Sandman
We realize that the WWE probably would have had to award stock options to Metallica in order to obtain the rights for “Enter Sandman.” Still, the character was The Sandman. Arguably the best part of his gimmick was his entrance that included that legendary song. To strip Sandman of that was to take something special away from the character. The harsh truth of the matter is that the WWE would have been better off not signing Sandman than to put him on television without his theme. The company ultimately learned that lesson a little too late.
13. Rick Rude
“Ravishing” Rick Rude had multiple theme songs throughout his career. The first song that Rude was given in WCW may very well have been his best. It was, at least, better than the “Simply Ravishing” song that the company went with later on in Rude’s tenure with WCW. There are some cases where having a knockoff is not a bad thing. Rude’s first WCW theme sticks out and it one of the best songs that the company came up with during what was the infancy of WCW. It is too bad that Rude never received a real chance to carry the ball for the WWE or WCW.
12. Stephanie McMahon
It is amazing – and also a little humorous if you really think about it – that Triple H has had some incredible theme songs over the years. Stephanie McMahon once borrowed what may be the best song her real-life husband has ever used: “My Time.” McMahon never should have used a different song during her career. Not only is “My Time” the best song that McMahon has ever had linked with her characters, it is one that remains relevant for her role in heel group “The Authority.” It is literally her time to run things, both on television and behind the scenes.
We are sure that Story of the Year meant well when they produced the the song that would be used as Christian’s theme. That song was simply not in the same league as the one that was given to Christian once he and Edge went their separate ways. It is understandable that Christian could not always be praised for being on his own “at last.” That theme that Christian first had in 2001 remains his best and the company never again found a truly great song for the character. It’s a shame that Christian could not have one more good theme before he retired.
10. The Undertaker
The second half of the 1990s was a weird time for The Undertaker character. Taker went from being the “Phenom” and the “Deadman” to a cult leader who had powers but who also could not hold onto the WWE Championship for a long period of time. Just as confusing was the fact that the WWE could not settle on a “Ministry” theme for the character despite the fact that the company had created one of its best songs. You could also, as an added bonus, throw in the themes that the wrestler used during his “Biker ‘Taker” gimmick. Nothing The Undertaker has used compares to his best “Ministry” theme.
9. Randy Orton
Every entity, even one that has been as successful and as profitable as the WWE, gets one wrong from time to time. Those who are not diehard fans of the product or of Randy Orton may have forgotten or never even known that Orton once used what became CM Punk’s theme song during Orton’s “Legend Killer” days. You may not have always loved the songs that Orton has used during his career. One has to admit, though, that it just seems weird and almost wrong to watch Orton come out to the theme that was better suited for the “Straight Edge Superstar.”
8. Jeff Jarrett
We send a special shout-out to the great Bryan Alvarez of Figure Four Weekly/Wrestling Observer for using recent editions of “The Bryan and Vinny Show” to reintroduce us to this tremendous WCW theme. Jeff Jarrett had a short run in WCW that occurred a couple of years before his “Chosen One” days and that run included what was the best theme of Jarrett’s career. Jarrett never had a better theme in the WWE, WCW or in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Instead of starting up another wrestling company that will eventually fail, Jarrett should use his money to buy the rights for this song.
Sting makes the list for multiple reasons. For starters, his “Crow” theme that he had in WCW was perfect for the character. It worked for Sting regardless of if he was playing a babyface or a heel. Giving the performer who was the franchise and the face of WCW a generic theme during the dying days of the company was an insult for a man who had remained faithful to WCW when he could have explored other options. Don’t even get us started on the themes that the WWE has used for Sting. That company has never come close to equaling Sting’s “Crow” theme.
6. Macho Man
So much about the stint that “Macho Man” Randy Savage had in WCW has gone unappreciated by fans. Changing from his iconic theme song that he had in the WWE and early on in WCW does not make the list. It is understandable that Savage would have eventually moved on to a different song as the 1990s ended and the 2000s began. Savage being given just another generic knockoff while performers such as Hogan received better from the company was a letdown. Savage deserved better considering all that he gave WCW over the years.
5. Bret Hart
There was, of course, no way that Bret “Hitman” Hart was going to be able to take his awesome WWE theme with him to WCW. WCW did have a history of doing right by former WWE performers. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage (at the start of his WCW career) are two examples. The company, however, never got things right with Hart’s theme despite multiple efforts. It did not matter if Hart was playing a heel or a babyface while in WCW. He never had a truly great theme until he returned on WWE television, a moment that many would have guessed back in 1997 would never occur.
4. Diamond Dallas Page
Everything about the “run” that Diamond Dallas Page had in the WWE was terrible. Page was booked as a creep and weak wrestler who would never be able to hang with the likes of The Undertaker in a feud. DDP was also saddled with a bland theme that even a jobber would be embarrassed to have associated with him. We understand the copyright reasons that kept the WWE from using the Page’s awesome WCW theme. It is his WCW song that fans will think of when they reflect on Page’s themes, largely because it was the best that he had.
3. Steve Austin
There are some eras of wrestling and music that are better off forgotten and left in the past. The WWE attempting to get artists to convert the tracks of wrestler theme songs into actual songs is one example. Steve Austin has, to this day, one of the greatest themes for a character in the history of pro wrestling. Even his Alliance theme was not all that bad. The Disturbed Austin theme was nothing shy of awful, something that the WWE quickly realized. There are multiple good reasons to explain why Austin abandoned this theme and why you won’t be hearing it on WWE TV.
2. Chris Jericho
We understand why Chris Jericho had to stop using this theme during his time in WCW. Jericho went from being the babyface “Lionheart” to a heel who promoted himself and his “Monday Night Jericho” brand. Still, the blatant “Even Flow” ripoff that WCW came up with for the Jericho character was never close to being as awesome as his babyface theme. It took a move to the WWE for Jericho to once again have a great theme: “Break Down the Walls.” We don’t want to talk about the days when Jericho flirted with using “King of My World.” No, Chris. Just no.
1. John Cena
Perhaps this is an instance where we are ranking the wrestler instead of the theme. There are, after all, pockets of WWE fans who are simply sick of seeing John Cena and who are happy that Cena is, as of the posting of this piece, taking a break away from the company. Still, “Basic Thuganomics” may be the best original theme that the WWE has come up with in the past 15 years and we can all thank the former Cena character for it. It is likely that Cena will never again go back to that theme, even though his current theme is better suited for prank phone calls than wrestling. Fans who long for the days of old can always hope for that Cena heel turn, though.
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