It must be a challenging job for music composers in wrestling. You're constantly getting new talent walking in the door and every one of them has to have a gimmick and with that comes theme music. Theme songs started to be used regularly in the 80s, as The Fabulous Freebirds brought it to the forefront down south, while Hulk Hogan got his own up north in the WWE.
Soon enough, more top stars started to get theme songs and before we knew it, every wrestler on the roster had a theme song. Many wrestlers have had several theme songs through the course of their careers. The Undertaker's theme song has been tweaked dozens of times, while Triple H's iconic "The Game" theme wasn't always his entrance music, as he first had that cheesy "Blue Blood" music, as well as his hidden gem, "My Time".
So many theme songs have been created that sometimes companies (particularly the WWE) have gone back to the vault to fetch a theme that may have worked well in the past and decide to use it again. There are themes that didn't quite catch on with a certain wrestler but fit another's gimmick so perfectly that it's hard to resist trying it again.
Jim Johnston has been one of the unsung heroes of WWE in the sense that he has composed all of those classics we know and love from throughout the company's history. If you're wondering why WWE seemed to constantly churn out more great themes than WCW, it's because they had Jim Johnston and WCW didn't.
Now it's time to see which themes were once used, then re-used for a different wrestler. You may only associate these themes with one wrestler, but the facts are they were used several times. Here are 15 wrestling themes you didn't know were recycled over time.
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15 "You're Not Enough For Me" - Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Layla
This theme seemed to stick around forever in the WWE. Torrie Wilson first began using this theme back in 2005 when she was drafted to Raw and aligned herself with Candice Michelle. Following her face turn, Torrie eventually moved away from this theme.
The theme would then be re-used when Michelle McCool became one of the top heels among the divas. Layla would also adapt the theme when she aligned with Michelle to become Laycool and continued to use the song following McCool's retirement.
14 "Never Thought My Life Could Be This Good" - Kerwin White, Michael Cole
Back when Michael Cole was in his insufferable heel run a few years ago, (as opposed to his insufferable face run), he was given his own theme as well. I guess Jim Johnston didn't think Cole deserved one because he was saddled with Chavo Guerrero's old theme he briefly had as Kerwin White, the name Chavo took after denouncing his Mexican heritage. This theme might go into that category of "so bad that it was good", but I definitely won't go that far regarding Cole's commentary.
13 "With Legs Like That" Stacy Keibler, Maria Kanellis
When you hear this song, it sounds like it was written specifically for Stacy Keibler, with the countless references to legs. Unfortunately, Stacy would leave WWE before ever using the theme that was written for her. This was meant to replace her Kid Rock theme "Legs". Rather than have a perfectly good song sit around, the company decided to hand the theme to Maria Kanellis, who had recently started in the company and needed something better than "Pa-Pa-Party".
12 The New Foundation and Heavenly Bodies
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart found himself lost on the card after the Hart Foundation was split up in 1991, so he had to find himself a new tag partner. Enter Owen Hart, who teamed with Neidhart to form the New Foundation. Their run wouldn't last long, so their theme would be re-used by The Heavenly Bodies (Doctor Tom Prichard and Gigalo Del Ray) just a couple of years later. The group would eventually move on to other promotions.
11 "Invasion" - Pat Tanaka, Goldberg
Who would have guessed the theme that accompanied the most dominant rookie in wrestling history was also once used by a jobber? Goldberg's epic "Invasion" theme was once used by Pat Tanaka, once part of the WWE's Orient Express. Tanaka stuck around in WCW for a few years and used this theme in 1996. The theme would eventually be re-used on Goldberg, whose undefeated streak and amazing presence added to this theme in a way a jobber never could.
10 "Desert Threat" - The Iron Sheik, The Sultan, Tiger Ali Singh
Well, it seems WWE felt anybody from the Middle East or South Asia could just share this theme. The theme had been used for The Iron Sheik, but would again be used for The Sultan, who was managed by Sheik and Bob Backlund. Eventually Tiger Ali Singh, who played a wealthy heir to a fortune who would pay wrestlers and fans to humiliate themselves, proving they were beneath him. His wrestling skills were never up to par and he was eventually sent to Puerto Rico to hone his skills in the International Wrestling Association.
9 "Double Ho-Seven", "Miracle" - Dean Malenko, Cesaro
Cesaro has already had several themes in his WWE tenure, but his most European one may be his theme song "Miracle" which featured German and French rap lyrics over distinctive synthesizer riff. It worked as part of his gimmick was that he spoke five languages. However remove the lyrics and it's Dean Malenko's old WWE theme, back when Malenko was given the gimmick of an insatiable ladies man. Looking back now, you'll be surprised that you missed it.
8 Old WrestleMania theme - WrestleMania, Linda McMahon
A lot of older fans may already know this, but Linda McMahon was essentially given this theme for the sake of having music, as she was an on-screen character regularly during the Attitude Era. While she was the worst performer of the McMahons, she had to be given something, so she was saddled with the familiar theme fans had known from several past WrestleManias. The song probably brings back nice memories of the early WrestleManias but it sounded incredibly outdated in the late 90s.
7 "Bad Boy", "I Won't Do What You Tell Me" - Razor Ramon, Stone Cold
Razor Ramon and Stone Cold Steve Austin had two of the most iconic themes in wrestling history and if I had the personal choice, I'd probably pick Austin's as the greatest ever. But when you listen to the two carefully, you can pick up distinct similarities in the two. The melody of Razor's theme was re-used, but replaced with broken glass over squeeling tires and instead of the cowbell in Razor's theme, Austin's had a slashing guitar. No wonder both themes sound awesome.
6 "Dragon" - Ultimo Dragon, Ricky Steamboat
This one happened purely by accident. Ricky Steamboat's classic theme of course, was Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project. WWE would have to alter it for copyright purposes, but his recent one was completely different.
Ultimo Dragon had a brief run in WWE and his theme featured dragon noises and included a generic rock number. When Ricky Steamboat made a brief return in 2009, employees in the A/V truck were told on short notice Steamboat would be on Raw and played a file titled 'Dragon'. The WWE has continued to use this theme, which can be heard in their video games and subsequent DVD releases.
5 "This Fire Burns" - Randy Orton, CM Punk
Before CM Punk was given a new theme of his choice in "Cult of Personality", he was given "This Fire Burns" which was on WWE's Wreckless Intent CD released in the mid 2000s. While Punk would be given the theme in his ECW run in 2006, the theme was first used with Randy Orton briefly in the beginning of '06, while he was feuding with Rey Mysterio. Orton would quickly go back to his old theme and would find himself suspended after WrestleMania, opening the door for the theme to be given to Punk.
4 Somebody Call My Mama - Ernest "The Cat" Miller, Brodus Clay, Xavier Woods
Ernest "The Cat" Miller was brought in to WCW by Eric Bischoff. He had a brief run in WWE which was highlighted by a Royal Rumble appearance in 2004 in which he came out to this theme recent fans have now become familiar with. Miller would dance and be eliminated by Orton.
The hilarious "Somebody Call My Momma" theme would be passed down to Brodus Clay eight years later in which he would come out as The Funkasaurus. When Clay turned heel, he lost the rights of the song to Xavier Woods.
3 Medal - The Patriot, Kurt Angle
Whether Kurt Angle was the cheesy, dorky former Olympic gold medal winner or the super intense wrestling machine, his theme song never changed as it always fit him perfectly. However despite his theme being so perfect for him, it was originally used by The Patriot Del Wilkes, in 1997, who was known most for his feud with the anti-American Hart Foundation. I don't think anybody will complain that it was given to Angle, as his rise to the top of the company only made the theme more memorable.
2 Pomp and Circumstance - Gorgeous George, Randy Savage
Before he passed on, Randy Savage had said if he was inducted into the Hall of Fame that he didn't want Pomp and Circumstance to play, as he felt bad he had taken the theme from Gorgeous George. He brought so much to the business, including female valets, glittering robes and bleached blonde hair, all characteristics that would be used countless times.
While the song was created by Glen Stride way back in the day, fans will always associate this theme with the Macho Man.
1 Real American - The U.S. Express, Hulk Hogan, The Stooges
Perhaps the most recognizable wrestling theme anywhere, Hulk Hogan's Real American theme actually wasn't intended for him. It was created along with many others, as licensing songs was becoming expensive for the wrestling industry and thus had to create their own. Rick Derringer's Real American was to be used for The U.S. Express, featuring Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham. The pairing would feud with The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkhoff and used this theme. Their theme was over, wheras Hogan's "Ravishing" instrumental, wasn't.
Whether it was the company deciding their best theme should go to their biggest star or if Hogan talked his way into it, the iconic theme would be given to The Hulkster and would grow into perhaps the greatest theme song of its generation.
Oh, and in perhaps a shot at Hogan, the theme would be given to Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco in 1999 when they were known as The Stooges.
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