In order to sell the idea of WWE Superstars being larger-than-life characters convincingly, they need to be presented as big deals at every opportunity. A critical requirement for such an image to be presented properly is entrance music. After all, when someone enters a room (or arena, in this case) accompanied by loud music, they’re bound to make heads turn.
The big question surrounding entrance themes, however, is this: when people turn to listen to an entrance theme, are they intrigued by it, or disappointed by how it sounds?
In WWE, the mastermind behind so many of their greatest themes was, for many years, Jim Johnston. Since 2013, however, Johnston has focused less on composing WWE Superstars’ entrance themes and has decided to focus more on WWE’s film division. In his place are two composers, John Alicastro and Mike Lauri, who are collectively known as "CFO$." They have created most of the themes for today’s biggest WWE Superstars, and have even done some work on WWE’s other programs as well.
Like any artists, however, CFO$ aren’t perfect, and are guilty of creating just as many disappointing themes as they have made great ones. Some of the themes they’ve created fit their wrestlers perfectly and make fans jump to their feet when played. Others, meanwhile, leave a lot to be desired or don’t fit their associated wrestlers whatsoever.
So which themes belong in which category? Which seven themes did CFO$ do well and which ones left fans wanting less? Here's our list.
14 (The 7 That Sucked) 7. Total Divas - 'Top Of the World'
Listening to this song, it wouldn’t be surprising if you thought it was something you’d hear on a dance floor in Miami as opposed to something wrestling-related. The epitome of WWE’s bizarre obsession with reality TV, this theme has all the essential elements of an overproduced and manufactured pop song: a beat that barely qualifies as ‘catchy’, a repetitive and Auto-tuned chorus, and the kind of lyrics you’d expect Pitbull to sing in a collaboration.
13 Cesaro - 'Swiss Made'
You know a wrestler’s theme song is bad when the wrestler themselves cut an unscripted promo to fans telling them how much the theme sucks. Cesaro did this exact thing, speaking volumes on how much CFO$ dropped the ball with this theme.
It’s not hard to see (or hear, in this case) why. The theme starts off with the sound of an ambulance siren going off, followed by repetitive generic rock music interspersed with what sounds like scratching sounds. Yet the theme is called ‘Swiss Made’. There aren’t any elements of the theme that hint to his Swiss background in any way - unless repetitive sirens blaring and a repetitive heavy drum are both meant to be presented as elements of Swiss music.
12 Sheamus - 'Hellfire'
Unlike other entries on this list, this theme song isn’t here because it’s inherently ‘bad’; in fact, it’s one of the good ones done by CFO$, as it gives Sheamus an intimidating drum beat to walk to the ring to while still keeping a hint of Irish flavor to it.
11 Adam Rose - 'Break Away'
Hearing this theme does not make me think of a professional wrestler. Nor does it even make me think of the dime-a-dozen dancing gimmicks that have been done over the decades. Instead, this theme brings up images of over-the-top nonsense and lack of character depth. Adam Rose, once known as ‘the Party Animal’ was given a theme song that was supposed to make him an upbeat fun-loving guy with a group of oddly-dressed partygoers who accompanied him wherever he went.
10 WWE RAW – ‘The Night’
Monday Night RAW has opened with many different themes over the years, and all of them have been better than this current theme. While previous themes featured guitar riffs, screaming, and other high-energy sounds that were meant to excite fans as the show began, ‘Tonight’s the Night’ is, by those standards, boring. Following a more ‘poplike' formula, the theme song tries to describe what fans are expected to see through its lyrics, instead of letting their imaginations run wild.
9 Brie Bella – ‘Beautiful Life,' a.k.a. "Brie Mode"
Fans have long been vocal critics of Brie Bella’s entrance theme, presumably because it sounds so… well, hard on the ears. It opens with an obviously Auto-tuned Brie yelling the signature phrase (which was never given a proper explanation), followed by a repetitive chorus of pop-influenced sounds.
8 Cameron - '#GirlBye'
To this day, no one is entirely sure what the term ‘Girl Bye’ even means. Is it meant to be an especially aggressive or vindictive way of saying goodbye to someone? Is it supposed to be a threat? Or is it meant to be a be-all/end-all way to end a conversation? Whatever this odd expression’s supposed to mean, it’s captured in the entrance theme for the woman who made the term “famous”, Cameron.
7 (The 7 That Rocked) 7. A.J. Styles - 'Phenomenal'
In an era where entrance music is dominated by either generic rock or pop music, A.J. Styles’ entrance theme is refreshingly different. Composed in a way that borrows elements from Hip-Hop (with some commentators making connections to rap artist DMX), Styles’ theme makes him sound like a major threat from the moment he walks in.
6 Dean Ambrose – ‘Retaliation’
Dean Ambrose’s character and personality, those of a crazed and unpredictable lunatic, are captured perfectly in his entrance theme. Beginning with a heavy guitar riff that sounds very much like someone starting up a chainsaw, the theme implies that Ambrose gets crazier and crazier before reaching a crescendo of insanity.
5 The New Day – ‘New Day, New Way’
When The New Day first debuted, their entrance theme was a black gospel-inspired theme that emphasized a positive approach. It was a huge disappointment at first, but over time, the trio of Woods, Kofi and Big E turned the gimmick around, becoming one of the wackiest and most popular teams in WWE.
4 Bayley - ‘Turn It Up’
Bayley’s entrance theme manages to match with her character perfectly. She’s a fun-loving, positive, and cheerful person who managed to reach the top of the NXT Women’s Division (no small feat) after growing up as a fan of pro wrestling. This enthusiasm and positive attitude translates perfectly into her entrance theme. Bayley’s more about having a good time and living her dream than she is about being a ruthless competitor, which is captured in the upbeat lyrics and instrument blend CFO$ used in this theme.
3 Asuka – ‘The Future’
The former Kana has one of the greatest themes in NXT right now. It’s a catchy rock theme with a great hook, fun lyrics, and is an overall easy listening experience. Moreover, despite sounding somewhat repetitive, the theme song actually fits Asuka’s character very well. Asuka’s theme song sounds totally badass, which is the best way to describe her as a wrestler.
2 Finn Balor - 'Catch Your Breath'
If there was ever a theme that made someone seem like a much bigger star, it’s Balor’s. Starting with a tremendous and multi-layered build-up that lasts the first forty-five seconds, the theme then transitions into a strong guitar-led power anthem that’s easy to listen to. The theme song gives Balor plenty of opportunities to pose for the fans and give them moments to soak in the power of the music as well. Moreover, when you add the amazing visuals Balor adds to his entrance theme for big matches, you get one of the most exciting and memorable entrances in all of WWE.
1 Shinsuke Nakamura - 'The Rising Sun'
When WWE signed Nakamura, there was a lot of speculation about what they would do with his entrance theme. After all, his theme in NJPW, ‘Subconscious’ was one of the best themes used over the past decade, and worked really well to present his character as a wacky rock star. Thankfully, CFO$ did a good job in giving him something unique with his new theme, which combines dramatic crescendos with a catchy violin lead.
The sheer uniqueness of sound in this theme does wonders to distinguish Nakamura from everyone else, and it makes his entrances all the more interesting. Indeed, CFO$ did something great with this entrance piece; they made an actually catchy song that fans enjoy listening to as much as they enjoy seeing the wrestler it’s associated with. This is one of those rare themes that you could listen to over and over again, making it a true CFO$ masterpiece.
Sources: wwe, youtube
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!