We all have our favourites, we all have our tastes. It’s weird to think that at one time there were no entrance themes for wrestlers, but in the time that there have been, we have heard so many great themes. It’s time to show some love for Jim Johnston of the WWE, who has composed countless tremendous themes for wrestlers. He has a knack for finding the right beat, rhythm and/or lyrics to match the persona of a superstar. If you’re a wrestling fan, you at one point bought the albums with all your favourite themes on them. Your ipod is now probably loaded with them. Compiling a list of 10 is very difficult because we have been spoiled with many classics, but let’s have a go at it. There are bound to be some great ones left out here and it just shows that the showmanship of professional wrestling is one of the many reasons so many watch or have watched in the past.
10) Road Warriors – What a Rush
The Road Warriors are widely considered to be the greatest tag team of all time. The reason they are is because everything about them was just so cool. Their look, their characters, their kick-ass move set, their attire and their entrance theme. This one gets to you right away with the voice of Hawk shrieking, “ahhhh, what a rush!” No tag team was more popular than the Road Warriors and whenever this theme hit, the crowd was instantly pumped up. So were we at home and it’s unlikely we’ll ever have a tag team this cool again.
9) Goldberg – Invasion
WCW didn’t have nearly the amount of cool themes that WWE had but they had a few epic ones. Goldberg emerged as one of WCW’s biggest stars from the moment he arrived in 1997. His character and routine was simple. He would come out to the ring with this intimidating theme, breathe fire, walk through the pyro, get to the ring, beat up his opponent, walk back. This persona simply can’t be matched. Goldberg had the ‘it’ factor and something that added to his arsenal was a badass theme to walk out to the ring with. Goldberg’s music made you think an unstoppable gladiator was coming down to the ring. It paralleled what he did in the ring perfectly.
8) Triple H – The Game
The longevity of this theme is quite impressive, as Triple H has come down to the ring with this theme for 13 years. There’s a good reason; why would you change it? This song was written and composed by Jim Johnston and played by Motorhead. There are many theme songs that don’t need lyrics for them to be amazing, but as far as theme songs with lyrics go, this is way up there. The song is also heard very often at sporting events and people who don’t even watch wrestling have probably stumbled onto this song and grown to love it.
This song helped bring a whole new intensity to Triple H’s character. Triple H’s entrance is already one of the better ones in history, but you can’t picture it without this theme playing behind it. Singer Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister’s voice even sounds like Hunter’s when he cuts a promo. Triple H, don’t ever change this theme.
7) Chris Jericho – Break the Walls Down
Few had a more memorable debut in the WWE than Chris Jericho did. What can’t be dismissed and what made his debut so great was the amazing theme to go along with a countdown to Y2J. The rock theme matches Jericho so well. Jericho is the lead singer of Fozzy and the fact that he’s a rock singer himself matches the theme all the more.
Jericho has kept this song throughout his entire WWE career, albeit with some altered versions and removing the countdown clock. The countdown clock version was the coolest one as it was unique and it allowed Y2J to make an impact from the second he set foot in a WWE ring following his departure from WCW.
6) Bret Hitman Hart – Hart Attack
Did you really think a list written by a Canadian wouldn’t have Bret Hart somewhere here? The Hitman’s second WWE theme was far superior to his first. Starting with a ripping electric guitar sound, it buzzes in your eardrums right away and you can just picture Vince McMahon on commentary shouting, “the pink and black attack!”
The Hitman made it cool to wear pink and the pace and rhythm of his theme captured that of his matches, as he worked at a far faster and more upbeat pace than what WWE fans had come to expect from the 80s. The electric guitar also matched the leather jacket and shades that Bret brought to the ring every night. Don’t pretend you never wished to have that look on you at some time.
5) D-Generation X
This is perhaps the theme song that best defined the Attitude Era. D-Generation X was the coolest thing going in 1997-98. You probably got in trouble at some point for saying ‘suck it’ or crotch chopping. This theme exemplified the defiant rebels that were DX.
The song builds some suspense at the beginning with some cool guitar noise, then you hear, “break it down!” and then the fun starts and you’re all jazzed up. The late 90s were all about anti-authority and people looking for something bigger than them to oppose. DX came along at just the right time and their intro helped make them one of the best things going.
4) Randy Savage – Pomp and Circumstance
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of a graduation ceremony when I hear this theme. I picture the larger than life character of the Macho Man Randy Savage walking out to the ring, arms outstretched and yelling “oooohhh yeeeaaahhh.” Although Gorgeous George was the original wrestler to use this theme, it has mostly become Savage’s due to the boom period wrestling experienced in the 80s.
This theme is just so regal, bold and it just exemplifies what the grand character of the Macho Man was. Don’t tell my girlfriend, but when I get married, I’d love to enter the reception hall to this and dress the way the Macho Man would.
3) Hulk Hogan – Real American
Hulk Hogan is the man who first transcended the professional wrestling business and brought it to unprecedented heights. His name is the most associated to sports entertainment. Everyone around the world knows who he is.
His good guy, All-American hero persona was perfectly captured in this theme. He was the hero, fighting for what was right, always have to take a stand when something is wrong. Everyone recognizes this theme and it was a case of the wrestler himself elevating the theme. This was originally supposed to be used for the U.S. Express. I doubt it would’ve gotten anywhere close to the fame this song got by being associated with the biggest star in the industry.
Hogan coming down to the ring flexing the pythons, holding his hand to his ear to the crowd with this music booming is something that made millions of fans come unglued. Despite Hogan being 60 years old, when he recently made his return to RAW, it showed that people still feel what they did in his prime. Hulkamania truly will never die.
2) The Undertaker – Graveyard Symphony
How do you come up with a theme song that can live up to the greatest gimmick in the history of professional wrestling? Jim Johnston sure nailed it here. The Undertaker has come into the ring with dozens of altered versions, so we’ll just stick with the classic here.
In terms of the best entrance, the Undertaker takes the cake. If we’re talking about the theme song itself, he’s still way near the top. When that gong hits, the crowd stands in awe of the Phenom.
The theme captures his supernatural character beautifully and maybe some of us were scared of it at one time as kids, but throughout the years, it has never lost its lustre. Being in an arena live for Taker’s entrance when the gong hits is an experience that can’t be measured. When Undertaker now makes his annual return for WrestleMania season, it’s still enough to send chills running down your spin.
1) Stone Cold Steve Austin – I Won’t Do What You Tell Me
The glass hits. The crowd explodes. You know it’s time to open up a can of whoop-ass. You see Stone Cold Steve Austin strut down to the ring, ready to lay into somebody, deliver some stunners and drink some beer.
Perhaps no other wrestler in history got as passionate a reaction as Stone Cold in his heyday. He was the hottest star in wrestling. The peak he reached will be hard for any superstar to match. This theme is synonymous with fans jumping out of their seats, whether you were in the arena or at home.
The glass shattering was such an appropriate sound for Austin as his character was all about breaking the glass ceiling, coming out and raising hell. It’s another case of a theme song perfectly matching the wrestler. When you’re perhaps the biggest star in the business, anything associated with you will be given exceptional value. This theme is no different.
There is no way to determine just which themes were the greatest. We all have our favourites. It was definitely a struggle leaving out other iconic themes such as Ric Flair‘s, The Rock‘s, Mr. Perfect’s, Shawn Michaels‘, you name it. This subject is certainly open for plenty of debate. Which are your favourites?