The entrance theme for a WWE wrestler has a lot of jobs to fulfill. It needs to quickly inform newcomers of what kind of character they can expect, and also give older fans a buzz of enjoyment when it hits. On top of that, the song needs to sell. It needs to be something that people want to buy, and listen to again and again.
The WWE currently employ two different entities to produce music for them, the longstanding Jim Johnston and the relatively new CFO$. Both have had made their fair share of hit wrestling theme songs, and both have had a few that were complete failures. While it is rare for another band to take full creative control of a superstar's song, it’s quite common that themes will guest star other artists, such as Rich Luzzi of the band Rev Theory providing the vocals for Randy Orton’s current theme, Voices.
While songs featuring other artists input generally end up being more popular due to their familiarity, both of WWE’s in house musicians generally have a good track record. But occasionally a song slips through that sits in the golden zone between hits and failures, where a song is so bad that it actually becomes one of your favorites. More often than not, it’s a decent song that just doesn’t fit in with the wrestling style of getting the crowd of their feet when it hits. Occasionally, it’s a song that’s just bad, but despite that you can’t help but love it. These are the embarrassing pop songs of the wrestling world, the ones you play on repeat through Spotify but make sure the post to Facebook feature is firmly turned off.
Here are the top 15 WWE themes so bad they’re awesome.
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15 X-Pac - X-Factor
Scraping in at 15 on this list for being very close to just “bad”. But there’s something charming about it. The way it starts is fine enough, a voice informing us that who we are dealing with. Then a softer, auto-tuned voice reminiscing on X-Pac’s career, and how he got everything he ever wanted, before we get the rap verse the intro teased.
It’s by no means a great song, but the jarring difference in tone between the verse and chorus certainly makes it memorable. By the time the guitar hits, you realize you were never truly ready for the X-Factor.
14 The Undertaker - You're Gonna Pay
The Undertaker has had a lot of good themes over the years. This is not one of them. The lyrics are juvenile, and the music behind them is very basic. It doesn’t exactly enact the kind of fear that the Deadman should.
But…The Undertaker is a bonafide bad-ass. When this song was used, it was even during his American Bad-Ass gimmick. The very reason this song still worked despite being completely awful was that as juvenile as it was, it was completely right for The Undertaker.
“You’ve done it now, you’ve gone and made a mistake.” Well, yes, if you’re facing The Undertaker you probably have made a big one.
13 Chavo Guerrero - Chavito Ardiente
The song itself isn’t actually that bad. There’s been far worse Latino-themed songs for Mexican wrestlers over the years. But what propels this song into infamy and back out into “so bad it’s good” territory is the vocals.
They don’t sound like they’re part of the song. That’s the easiest way to describe them. It sounds like a rampant Chavo Guerrero fan broke into the studio as they were recording the song, and was so overcome with joy that she was witnessing the birth of a new Chavo theme that she starts to mutter his name uncontrollably.
12 Hulk Hogan - Real American
Hogan’s theme is an interesting one. When it was first used, it was the mid-80s, and that type of over-produced rock music was very big at the time. However, Hogan was still using the song 20 years later. Music had changed, and people had moved on. Suddenly, a song that was fine when debuted now feels cheap and retro.
But that’s what also made it so good to hear again. In the midst of main-eventing superstars that were presented as more realistic people, such as The Rock or Chris Jericho, having a man like Hogan come out in a bright yellow leotard to a song called “Real American” helped keep the era fresh and interesting.
11 Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
Now if there’s one theme that definitely wouldn’t have made a semi-successful jump to the year 2000s it’s the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers theme. The trading verses, the cheap synthesizer and the homoerotic subtext make this song completely awful when compared to the themes produced today, but at the same time it makes it completely awesome.
Imagine The New Day, in the middle of the ring, chanting about how no one can defeat them as they are the most dominant tag team. While they are mid-clap, that starry synth hits, and the crowd go wild. “The Rougeaus on their way” indeed.
10 Billy & Chuck - You Look So Good To Me
It’s kind of weird to think that the same company that respectfully keeps Darren Young’s sexuality out of storylines are the same company responsible for Billy & Chuck. While the angle is uncomfortable looking back at it – presenting them as lovers and played for laughs – the song was pretty kickin’. It’s not often you hear a very boyband-esque song in WWE, and it definitely stands out when played against the legions of alt-metal songs that erupt out of the speakers most nights.
As a song, it’s a flop, but it was so different to every other theme at the time that it’s insanely memorable.
9 David Flair - Spin Spin Spin
This song is typically found on lists of just “worst WWE themes”, and yet here I have placed it on a list of songs “so bad they’re awesome.” Why? Because it’s awesome. I will defend this until the day I die.
It’s so ridiculous and repetitive, it sounds like the music from a video-game stage. You think it’s going to loop the same two seconds for the whole song, but then the time signature changes. It even manages to keep its repetitiveness fresh. When you hear this theme, you know you’re about to have your world rocked by David Flair.
8 Reverend D-Von - Eyes of Righteousness
Oh Testify! The Dudley Boyz' split allowed D-Von to change his gimmick to that of a reverend, allowing him to preach and hand around a collection plate, and even becoming Vince McMahon’s spiritual adviser.
Considering the time, the gimmick was too reminiscent of the “wrestlers have jobs” attitude that was rampant in the Federation era, but despite that, there is nothing more awesome than a good church choir. By no means your typical wrestling theme, it helped push the character and allowed the WWE universe to feel spiritual.
7 Disco Inferno - Disco Fever
I tried very hard to limit myself when it came to disco songs, as there have been a surprising amount of disco themes throughout WWE history. But Disco Inferno, a long time staple of WCW television, gets the nod.
WCW during the Monday Night Wars was exciting as it popularized the idea of having darker, more realistic characters at the centre of events, while WWE were still struggling to break out of having clowns and plumbers wrestle. Despite that, WCW still ran with a disco dancing man coming out to a song that chanted “disco fever” over and over again for a number of years. And I loved every minute of it.
6 Bull Dempsey - Fighter 001
Bull Dempsey’s theme feels a lot like Bull Dempsey the man. It’s not very good, probably a bit overproduced, but really gets the crowd going.
It’s got a horridly generic guitar, and the overall sound of the song doesn’t quite fit with Bull’s happy and charming persona. But despite that, it’s incredibly difficult to not chant along with the repeated word, “Bull”. It’s obviously one sound clip as well – they didn’t record multiple versions of someone saying “Bull”, they only recorded it once. I can almost see the sound engineer now, with his finger dangling over the “Play Loop” button as the track plays through, nodding his head and waiting for the perfect point to put a “Bull”
5 Rob Conway - Just Look At Me
When you typically think of a wrestler’s theme, you think of something loud and bombastic to get the crowd excited when it hits. Whether it’s the loud countdown of Chris Jericho, the glass shattering of Stone Cold, or the stinging guitar of Roman Reigns – it’s always something to make the crowd pop.
Rob Conway’s theme goes a different route. Instead, it’s a Tom Waits inspired tribute to vanity, starting off with some light and jaunty piano. But as Rob Conway walks down the ramp, singing along and glorifying himself, the song ends up working despite it being the polar opposite of what you’d expect.
4 Steven Regal - A Real Man's Man
Steven Regal (Or William Regal, as he later went by) is mostly associated with the WWE after joining in the year 2000. But he did also have a short run in 1998, sporting a builder’s hat to a tune decrying him as a real man’s man.
The image was so ridiculous that it almost bordered on a Monty Python sketch, especially during a time that WWE was inching away from the “Wrestlers with Jobs” era. Though despite that, I think every man will agree it’s a song they want sung about themselves. I myself spend far too much time listening to this while flexing in the bathroom mirror.
3 Billy Gunn - Ass Man
The historic career of Billy Gunn includes, among many title reigns, two spots on this list. However, while his homoerotic ballad with Chuck was great, it was nothing compared to the majesty that was Ass Man.
A scorching tribute to Billy’s love of asses, this song perfectly encapsulates what it means to have a silly gimmick. Every person who is given a slightly irregular character to portray should by law also be given a song that describes that character in the same over the top way as Ass Man.
2 Dude Love
Dude Love was the character Mick Foley made up when he was a 15-year-old kid jumping off his roof onto mattresses in his backyard, and was first mentioned during the iconic Mankind interviews on Raw. The idea of the bearded, conventionally ugly Mick Foley playing a Shaun Michaels-esque heartthrob is completely ridiculous, and the theme perfectly encapsulates that.
It’s a kid living out his dream, and it doesn’t quite work the way he thinks. It’s over the top, it’s corny, and the video is awkward as hell. But that was Dude Love, and that’s why he and this theme was awesome.
1 The Hurricane - Eye of the Hurricane
With their unbeatable supermen, mid-card heroes and charismatic villains, wrestling and comic books have always shared a lot of similarities. Because of this, it always feels natural, despite goofy, when wrestlers adopt super hero personas. Enter The Hurricane, a caped crusader mostly known for a few mid-card title reigns and holding a pin-fall victory over The Rock.
His theme was the very definition of a Saturday Morning Cartoon theme. It was a badly mixed, poorly produced mess of trumpets and valor, but was still inexplicably one of the most awesome and memorable themes of the Ruthless Aggression era.
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