The Surprising Story Behind Popular Wrestling Theme Songs
Wrestling theme songs are a significant part of a wrestler’s identity. The vocals, instrumentation, and sound effects making up these anthems leave a lasting impression. It’s what grabs our attention before the bell is rung or any punch is landed. And often, these songs come with a surprising history!
Some wrestlers go through an array of theme songs to reflect changes in their character over the years, while others can strike gold early on by finding the song that shapes their legacy.
Through my website, Journey of a Frontman, I have been fortunate enough to interview many great talents over the years. It was through these conversations that I was able to pick their brains and get their thoughts, opinions, and stories behind their theme song.
1 – Matt Hardy on His Wrestling Theme Song: "Live For The Moment"
"I love that song. It would be very hard to have a better entrance song than that. I had turned in ideas to WWE about using a different style of music, and I’d given them a couple of samples that I was thinking of.
"When I first heard the Monster Magnet [artist who created ‘Live For The Moment’] song, I said, ‘Well, it’s okay. I’m not crazy about it. Then we got to the point where they really wanted to differentiate between myself and Jeff, so they wanted us to have different theme music.
Unplanned Entrance Music
Matt Hardy continues: "Then they said, ‘Oh, we’ve got other music, and we’ve got some ideas for it. We’ll eventually use that, but we’re gonna use the other one for tonight.’
"I’ll be honest, after two or three entrances using the Oh Yeah Monster Magnet music, I couldn’t imagine having it any different. It’s such a great tempo for the whole environment and the excitement of coming down to the ring. It makes me hyped, and it makes the crowd hyped, it’s a great, great entrance song."
2 – EC3 on His Wrestling Theme Song: "Trouble"
"We shot the original vignettes for my debut, and all I saw was what we shot. I watched the first one and thought it was cool how they put together. At the end, it said, ‘Ethan Carter Is Coming’ and the song played, and that was the very first time I heard the song. I was like, ‘Whatever that is, I hope that’s my theme song.’
"Then at Bound for Glory, I heard it, and I’m like, ‘This is great!’ The entrance song is so important for a first impression with the fans. It’s not generic guitar riff D; the song fit the character before I was even the character. So that helped a lot."
3 – Rob Van Dam on His Wrestling Theme Song: "One of a Kind"
"While I was with ECW, Paul had brought in a band called Kilgore to redo ‘Walk’ so that we could use that without fearing any repercussions from whoever owned Pantera’s publishing rights. Again, more politics.
"I thought Kilgore did a great job, and for much of my ECW career, I would come out to Kilgore’s version, and it sounded very, very much like the original. So I went to Shane McMahon in WWE because they had the instrumental music they’d come up with, which I didn’t care for.
Entrance Music Evolution
Rob Van Dam explains: "I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got my own song we paid someone to do. What about using this?’ And he put it in the music truck when we were at the arena during the daytime.
"We then listened to Kilgore’s ‘Walk’ playing over the speakers, and Shane-O nodded his head and seemed like he liked it. I asked, ‘What do you think?’
"He goes, ‘Yeah, that could work.’ Next thing I know, they had hired this band, Breaking Point, to come up with a completely different song for me.
"The next time when I was at work the following week, I was expecting ‘Walk,’ but instead, I got, ‘What do you think about this?’ And for whatever reason, they wanted to go with that. And the rest is history. I like the song, and I know a lot of the fans like ‘One of a Kind’ also."
4 – Ken Anderson on His Wrestling Theme: "Turn Up the Trouble"
"When I was on the indies, I always came out to ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ by Def Leppard, and I told WWE I wanted something like that. And they came back with ‘Turn Up the Trouble’ Obviously Jim Johnston was the artist.
"I wasn’t particularly high on the vocals; the vocals sounded a lot to me like Sammy Hagar. While I respect what he does and all, I’m more of a David Lee Roth guy. And basically, I asked them to maybe make an attempt at something with sort of an AC/DC sound to it. And that’s when I came back with the Airbourne cover I ended up using on TV."
5 – Frankie Kazarian on His Wrestling Theme Song: "Devious" (Bad Influence TNA theme)
"Chris Daniels and I had a lot of input on that. We knew exactly the feel of the song; we knew exactly the rhythm. We knew exactly, exactly what we wanted, and Dale Oliver was gracious enough to really hear us out.
"He’d give us something, and we wanted a couple of things changed, and he changed them for us, and the finished product really, really suits our characters."
6 – Edge on the Surprising Story Behind His Wrestling Theme Songs: "Never Gonna Stop" and "Metalingus"
"Replacing ‘Never Gonna Stop’ wasn’t my choice. The copyright ran out on ‘Never Gonna Stop.’ And the way that started is, I tore my labrum in my shoulder, but I didn’t get surgery, so I ended up having a month off. So I threw a shot in the dark.
"I always hated that ‘You Think You Know Me’ music because it never fit me and what I actually listen to. I had actually said that I wanted to use this Black Label Society song, and they were like, ‘Okay, well, here’s our version of it.’ And it just sounded like a bad rip-off with this cheesy voice.
"The guys that did Big Show’s music did this version of Black Label, and it was just not good. Rob Zombie, he had a new album coming out, and I asked, ‘Can we get this?’ It was a shot in the dark.
Edge: Origins Of Entrance Music
Edge continues: "The following week, they brought me a copy of the CD, ‘The Sinister Urge’, and I was just like, ‘Oh, really? Holy [cow]!’ I didn’t think that was gonna happen. So I had four tracks, and they said the album hasn’t been released, so you can’t let anybody hear this.
"I said, ‘Okay. ‘Never Gonna Stop." So [after coming back from injury], I used it and really, really liked it. And then when I came back from the neck injury, they were like, ‘Okay, well we can’t use it.’ And also if you watch DVDs, it’s never on the DVDs. So they piped in my original music.
"When I was out with my neck injury, I met Mark Tremonti. I met him at a Metallica show, actually. And I went back to his place after, and he played me what would end up being the first ‘Alter Bridge’ album.
"I heard ‘Metalingus’ and I was like, ‘Dude, can I use that when I come back?’ And he said, ‘Yeah! Of course!’ So that ended up being the genesis of it, and when I heard it, it was actually Mark singing. It hadn’t been Myles yet. So it was in its infancy, but I had heard that song.
"I was like, ‘Okay, that’s gonna be what I come to the ring to,’ and that’s how that all started!"
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