For some people, this weekend is no different than any other. However, for wrestling fans all over the world, it’s the closest thing to Christmas in the Spring… it’s WrestleMania weekend!
The 33rd incarnation of World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) premier event, WrestleMania, will be returning to Orlando this Sunday. With a whole host of names such as John Cena, Goldberg, The Undertaker, AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and more set to wrestle, WrestleMania is the climax of an eventful weekend. On top of the “Grandaddy of them all”, there’s the Hall of Fame ceremony honoring the likes of Kurt Angle, Diamond Dallas Page, and Rick Rude. While WWE’s NXT will be taking over Orlando as the “Glorious” Bobby Roode defends his title against Japanese superstar Shinsuke Nakamura, just months before NXT returns to the Download Festival in June.
Besides the in-ring action and promo speeches, entrance music plays a major part of a wrestler’s character. Throughout the years, we’ve seen and heard legends such as The Rock, Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Bret Hart and countless others be accompanied to the ring by distinctive entrance themes. For most part, WWE’s themes have been produced by Jim Johnston, and more recently, John Alicastro and Mike Lauri aka CFO$.
To get you in the mood for this weekend’s activities, we’ve asked a variety of wrasslin’ loving bands to pick out their favourite entrance themes. From ‘Stone Cold’ classics to some of the more unique entrance themes in wrestling history, these 39 tracks are sure to prepare you for ‘the graps’ on Sunday.
Glorious Domination by CFO$ (Bobby Roode)
Sam Duckworth (Recreations): Now I’m sure this is going to be on everyones list, but this has to be the best new theme in Wrestling. Having watched Bobby Roode throughout the years in TNA, I always thought his smug/rich guy persona in Beer Money, was the best in translating how good his pacing was and how effective his character and facials are in ring. This theme tips that over the edge. It’s pompous, its bombastic, its glorious, and fully representative of a great talent.
George Phillips (Fresh, Montana, Sad Blood): This is the greatest song ever written. Not wrestling theme, song! It’s perfect. Perfect for his character, perfect to listen to and do air guitar to, perfect to blast at 7am to wake up your bandmates. It’s got “guitarmonies”. IT’S PERFECT!
Here Comes The Money by Jim Johnston (Shane McMahon)
Andrew Summers (Eat Defeat): Honestly, the best wrestling theme ever. Hands down. Perfect for heel (bad guy) Shane back in the Attitude Era, and still great for “dad dance-o’mac”. We’ve definitely considered coming onstage to this on multiple occasions.
Live in Fear by Mark Crozer (Bray Wyatt)
Samuel Beardsley (Grains): This is one of the best wrestling songs in this current era. It’s just so eerie and is enough to send shivers down your spine. I think this song describes Bray down to a tee.
Stone Cold by Jim Johnston (Stone Cold Steve Austin)
George: This is probably the greatest theme song ever. Period.
Samuel: No list is complete without Stone Cold’s theme song. Nothing screams wrestling more than this. It just makes you wanna grab two beers, smash them together and chug them down, no matter how much it soaks you through.
Andy Calderbank (Pleiades): Still to this day whenever I hear the Stone Cold Steve Austin glass shatter, it immediately takes me back to all the times I’d watched him stroll to the ring and deliver stunner after stunner after stunner on everything that moved. While Jim Ross was on commentary shouting “STONE COLD! STONE COLD!” It’s a truly perfect theme that was the soundtrack of my childhood.
The Rising Sun by CFO$ (Shinsuke Nakamura)
Andrew: CFO$ are KILLING it with their themes, and this for me is the pinnnacle. So epic, totally fun to sing along to and even more fun to mimic Nakamura’s entrance moves.
George: This is such a great theme. I adored seeing it at Takeover where they had all those violinists playing it. Such pomp and circumstance. Brilliant stuff.
Joe Hart (Bodyheat and Close to Home): You could take away the fact that this is a wrestling theme and it would still be an absolute scorcher of a track. The live violin mixed with the electronic drums brings one of the catchiest melodies in WWE history. It just also happens that the full entrance that goes along with it, is totally amazing.
Andy: Last year Shinsuke Nakamura came out at NXT Takeover Brooklyn II with a violinist, Lee England Jr., playing a solo, which was one of the first themes in the last few years that really made me pay attention to wrestling themes again. It was dramatic and dangerously catchy and was a perfect fit for Nakamura’s character.
Phenomenal by CFO$ (AJ Styles)
Calum Bowie (Pleiades): I remember this debut so vividly. There were rumours, and this theme played into it perfectly. There was confusion to start with, and then the word ;phenomenal’ hit the screens. Ever since then there hasn’t been a time the crowd hasn’t gone crazy when AJ Styles’ music hits.
Destroyer by CFO$ (Samoa Joe)
Sam: This is a tune I’d listen to if it wasn’t a wrestling theme. I love the swing of the drums, it’s got a great menace to it whilst still feeling cool. Joe had the worst entrance music ever in TNA and whilst this is close in style, its a million miles ahead in execution. This tune makes joe come across as the cool badass he is.
George: This just screams badass. It makes you wanna walk down the street like it’s the aisle and you’re on your way to wreak some havoc. Lovely stuff.
The Future by CFO$ (Asuka)
Joe: The riff in this is absolutely killer and the whole track is pretty much built to be put over the top of a WWE promo video. Instead, Asuka get’s to use it as her entrance theme, which makes it even better to be honest.
Break The Walls Down by Jim Johnston (Chris Jericho)
Andy: There was a millennium countdown on RAW, and The Rock was pacing the ring and when it hit zero. Chris Jericho comes out to a theme that blew my mind with probably the heaviest music I’d ever heard at the tender age of 9 and after that first “Break The Walls Down” and the gnarliest guitar my music taste would never eeeeeeever be the same again!
Next Big Thing by Jim Johnston (Brock Lesnar)
George: It’s always been a dream of mine to play in a Wrestling theme cover band, this would be the song we’d open with. And close with. I’d try and put it in the middle too.
The Second Coming by CFO$ (Seth Rollins)
George: This was my soundtrack to WrestleMania 31. I basically played this song every day for about a year. I would walk down the street blasting it on my headphones feeling invincible. I love the triggered drums. And it goes on forever.
Walk by Pantera (Rob Van Dam)
Sam: One of the coolest things about ECW, was having real music as entrance music and having the crowd sing along. The RVD / Jerry Lynn battles were happening as I first got into wrestling and I have fond memories of Van Dam taking ages to get to the ring and the ECW fan base singing from the top of their lungs to one of metals greatest tunes.
Metalingus by Alter Bridge (Edge)
Stefano Belli (Trust Fund): This one is bittersweet, as I feel like it single-handedly ushered in the era of terrible nondescript metalcore themes are de rigueur in WWE at the moment. But taken by itself, my word. Having “ON THIS DAY. I SEE CLEARLY” bellowed out by an Eddie Vedder soundalike is the ultimate sound of triumph.
Just Close Your Eyes by Story of the Year (Christian)
Andrew: If we were a wrestler we’d be Christian. We work hard, we’re low-key great, but no ones ever likely to take us that seriously. But one day maybe one of our friends bands will break up and give us their high profile mainstage Leeds Festival spot. Anyway, this song is great. It’s by Story of the Year! Remember them?!
My Time by Jim Johnston (Triple H)
Joe: Easily the best Triple H theme in history. I get that the others are by Motorhead and everything, but other than that they don’t really hold up to this at all. The snarky vocals of Chris Warren are way more suited to ‘The Game’ than newer iterations of his entrance theme. Nothing gets me pumped like that “here comes trouble” before the drop. Also the intro has been stuck in my head for nearly 20 years.
Smoke & Mirrors by Jim Johnston (‘Dashing’ Cody Rhodes)
Andrew: A theme song fitting of one of the best gimmicks of all time. Totally catchy, those woah-ohs!
George: For ages I wanted to try and rip this off when I was in a hardcore band. I think the guitar line is amazing. And I like the woahs! Also nice little nod to the wrestling term ‘smoke and mirrors’ which we’ll be seeing a lot of in the Brock vs Goldberg match at ‘Mania this year.
Special Ops by Jim Johnston (The Shield)
George: This is so badass. They were such a great team and it stings to think Roman (Reigns) (who is very good and we got a new theme for Seth which rocks out of it) still has it. He needs something new.
Controlled Chaos by CFO$ (SAni†Y)
Sam: I think a good wrestling theme has a “breaking glass” moment at the top that signals instantly who is coming through the curtain. I think pacing of a theme is critical and the first 5 seconds of this, albeit reminiscent of the shield, creates that allure. It’s fascinating to see how presentation can elevate a wrestler to the next level and with EY, this intro and the lighting, presents him in a way that makes his character more believable.
Callan Milward (Weatherstate): For me, This is probably the coolest theme in the WWE right now. I’ve been really vibing hard with this one recently and it reflects the gimmick will with SAnitY. It sounds like The Dillinger Escape Plan having a full-on fist fight with a Sega Mega Drive and I fucking love it!
Worlds Apart by CFO$ (Sami Zayn)
Andrew: IT’S SKA PUNK. I think once I got an hour into a ‘Sami Zayn’s theme looped for 10 hours’ video on YouTube one time. So fun.
Roar of the Lion by CFO$ (Rusev)
George: This. Is. Brilliant. It’s perfect for his character, a Russian badass. It’s menacing and tense, but catchy. It’s great! There’s an 16-bit version of this song somewhere which is maybe better than the original.
This Fire Burns by Killswitch Engage (CM Punk)
Andrew: Man, I know ‘Cult of Personality’ helped cement Punk as a main eventer, but THAT RIFF!!! It’s clobberin’ time! It’s kind of always cool when the fed use a full legit song too, and this is a full on banger.
George: I know that ‘Cult of Personality’ suited his character much better, but I’ll never forget Money in the Bank 2011 when CM Punk fought John Cena and Punk absconded with the WWE Title. It was glorious. This is another song I’d just play when walking around to make me feel invincible. Also Killswitch, mate.
Slow Chemical by Finger Eleven (Kane)
Harry Hoskins (Weatherstate): The ‘Ruthless Aggression Era’ was one of my favourite eras of wrestling, which for me, rivalled the Attitude Era. Kane was in his prime at this point having some great feuds, and I always loved this entrance theme. Hearing vocals over the top of the sinister theme could have been a flop, but I think it really added to it.
Snake Bit by Jim Johnston (Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts)
George: My friend Chris and I were talking about great wrestling themes a while back and this always comes up. He loves it and it’s easy to see why. Really great stuff.
Ass Man by Jim Johnston (Billy Gunn)
Stefano: Everyone’s going to choose this one aren’t they? This song is utterly beautiful. The music has the same sense of joy tinged with melancholic longing as ‘Ride Wit Me’ by Nelly or the best singles by The Cure, and the instrumentation has a genuinely thrilling energy. Then that’s all juxtaposed by the desperate voice of the singer insisting over and over again that he is “an ass man” and listing all the things that he loves to do to and with asses. It is the wrestling theme equivalent of James Joyce’s letters to Nora Barnacle.
Morgan Lane (Grotbags): It lets you know exactly what ‘Mr Ass’ is all about; “he’s an ass man, he loves to love them, he loves to kiss them, and he’s gonna kick them”. They managed to give a man called Monty Sopp an even more ridiculous name than his parents did.
Sexy Boy by Jimmy Hart / JJ Maguire (Shawn Michaels)
George: If there was ever a song that summed up a character better, I’d like to hear it. The lyrics are hilarious and the fact he “sings” it too just adds to how great it is. All wrestlers should “sing” their theme tunes. Actually on second thought…
Radio by Watt White and Jim Johnston (Zack Ryder)
Samuel: I love it so much, even if you don’t like it, you know the words to it and you can’t help but sing along. I’m a sucker for pop music deep down.
I’m the Mountie by Jimmy Hart / JJ Maguire (The Mountie)
George: I’m the Mountie, I’m handsome, I’m brave, I’m strong. Fair enough, The Mountie. Fair enough.
Real Man’s Man by Jim Johnston (William Regal)
George: This theme is excellent. It’s best if you can watch the titantron with it. He’s so manly! It’s so good. I think this was around the time he was battling with some pretty heavy demons, but this theme must’ve made him feel better. Or drove him to drink more?!
Demolition by Rick Derringer (Demolition)
Samuel: I love 80s wrestling so much, and Demolition have to be one of the best tag teams of that era. Their theme is amazing. Imagine walking down the street in the face paint, it just screams 80’s wrestling!
At Last by Jim Johnston (Christian)
George: Those harmonies at the start! This might be the best song on this list. I just love the riff and the breakdown, just everything about it rocks my world. Yes to latin in songs.
Mr Wonderful by Jimmy Hart and Howard Helm (Paul Orndorff)
Stefano: This to me is the perfect wrestling theme – unbelievably catchy and memorable, and it drives a streak of utter hatred for the man who enters to it. No matter how much wrestling you’ve watched in your life, watching Paul Orndorff enter to this song in WCW, smugly looking at himself in a handheld mirror is enough to drive you into fits of apoplexy: “SUCH ARROGANCE. SUCH ARROGANCE. HOW DARE HE BE SO PLEASED WITH HIMSELF WHILE THERE ARE CHILDREN DYING ALL OVER THE WORLD!”
Somebody Call My Momma by Jim Johnston (Tons of Funk / Ernest “The Cat” Miller)
George: This is a banger. I’m currently watching Total Divas with my girlfriend and the Funkadactyls are on it. And it reminded me of how great their theme is. It’s shame Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai) just never quite worked. I believe this was briefly Ernest “The Cat” Miller theme in WWE too. It’s so great.
Big by Jim Johnston (The Big Show)
Stefano: In truth, I mainly enjoyed this theme when I thought it was being sung by The Big Show himself. Unfortunately for me, it lost most of its shine after realising that wasn’t the case.
#MMMGORGEOUS by CFO$ (Tyler Breeze)
Ben Pitman (Grotbags): My boy Tyler gets no love and this theme is wholly underrated. It sounds like Daft Punk remixing Michaels’ Sexy Boy. It’s the ultimate strutting song, stick it on and power down the street raising a palm to all the uggos out there. Such a shame we only get a short blast of it now due to ‘Breezango’.
Metálico by CFO$ (Gran Metalik)
Ben: This is an seriously great theme. Sounds like it should be sound tracking a boss battle in some insane Japanese bullet hell arcade. Also makes me think of Botchamania and their extensive use of chip tune.
She Looks Good by Jim Johnston (Eve Torres) / Pourquoi? by Jim Johnston (Maryse) / Lets Light It Up by Jim Johnston (AJ Lee)
Ben: Bundling these three women’s tracks together as they also remind me of video games. I’d like to play Dance Dance Revolution to these absolute bangers. Some serious Europop style bangers that deserve a mention.
How Do You Like Me Now by Jim Johnston (Hardcore Holly)
Calum: This was just pure intensity when I was watching during the Attitude Era. It perfectly lined up with my childhood self’s love of Nu-Metal. It got me so pumped!
WrestleMania takes place this Sunday, April 2nd at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. It will be available to watch live on the WWE Network.
More information about WrestleMania can be found here.
The stars of WWE NXT will be returning to the hallowed grounds of Donington Park at the Download Festival in June. Festival-goers can expect to see the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Aleister Black, Tye Dillinger, Kassius Ohno, Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, Nikki Cross* and many more across June 9th – 11th.
Tickets for Download Festival are available now and can be purchased here.
*WWE talent subject to change