First impressions last. It’s a cliché many, from love struck Casanovas to corporate magnates to even professional wrestlers, heavily rely on. In the polarizing world of the WWE, this can mean either creating an impact right off the bat with an attack from the crowd (see: Samoa Joe’s RAW debut) or a few other things. “A few other things,” meaning the first couple of notes that blast through an arena’s speakers, signifying a once-mysterious character’s unveiling. Here’s where theme songs flex their muscles and headlocks a wrestler’s image into the psyche of a common fan.
Today, wrestling themes are more distinct and lyrically influenced than ever. In fact, many have incorporated actual words, from actual artists, created by actual musicians. Aside from the somewhat generic rock music of the likes of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and all the other tunes licensed, produced, and/or written by the WWE, there are those melodies that people can truly listen to wherever they go. With that, here are five of the best WWE entrance themes not created by Jimmy Johnston and CFO$ (or the two entities the company has tasked in order to save them from financial and copyright obligations).
John Cena – My Time is Now
A WWE entrance songs list – or any other list – wouldn’t be complete without its poster boy: John Cena. The former Doctor of Thuganomics has been the face of the company (arguably even professional wrestling as a whole) and his theme song is a definite earworm. From the whistling intro, to the raucous horn section in the middle, to Cena’s infectious rap, the song has it all. It even gets the crowd going with their “John Cena sucks… John Cena sucks…” lyric modification.
Bray Wyatt – Broken Out in Love (Live in Fear)
This, in a way, is sort of a feel good story in music and professional wrestling. According to Cageside Seats, Bray Wyatt, or Windham Rotunda in real life, was browsing through a library of TV licensed music when he stumbled upon a track by Mark Crozer entitled, Broken Out in Love. Upon hearing it, the newly minted WWE World Champion felt a natural connection between the lyrics, the melody, and his cult leader gimmick onscreen. The rest, as they often say, is history.
Triple H – The Game
Apart from rock and music Hall of Fame, Motörhead will forever be etched in the annals of professional wrestling, thanks to Triple H. The Game, the Creator, the Destroyer, or whatever name he goes by these days, has become synonymous to the English rock band. He was even there and gave a eulogy during Lemmy Kilmister’s wake. Today, the group remains so influential that even various ventures outside music and wrestling have tapped into their popularity. Slingo, for one, has developed a Motörhead-based online game that features the band’s image and identity. It also wouldn’t come as a surprise if they make it into next year’s WWE Hall of Fame.
Shawn Michaels – Sexy Boy
Shawn Michaels and Triple H are best friends onscreen and in real life, however, their choice in music – specifically in entrance themes – are world’s apart. If Hunter prefers the heavy, somewhat distorted riffs of Motörhead, the Heartbreak Kid prefers the more rambunctious, playful tone of Jimmy Hart’s Sexy Boy. There’s a certain appeal that comes from hearing the first few drum beats of Michaels’ WWE theme, as well as the curt whimpering sounds in the background. One can argue that this song helps Shawn Michaels retain his youthful and vibrant persona.
Edge – Metalingus
For diehard WWE fans, they recognize how Edge had one of the most iconic, impactful surprise entrances in Royal Rumble history. It helps that he also had one of the more recognizable theme songs in the company, Alter Bridge’s Metalingus. The song gave Adam Copeland, Edge’s real name, the – pun intended – edge when it comes to being a resilient, hardnosed, and mischievous in-ring competitor. Whenever he makes a live appearance, people can’t help but sing along and head bang along with the lyrics, “on this day, I see clearly…”