Something rare will happen this Sunday night.
Two sporting events will vie simultaneously for my attention. I?m going to be torn between watching Yankees Opening day and WrestleMania XXI.
I grew up watching the World Wrestling Federation, starting in late ?85 and I was a regular viewer until about three years ago. I don?t watch these days for a variety of reasons, but WrestleMania is still enough of an event to get me to tune in.
With wrestling?s big day right around the corner, I?d like to take a look at one of the most underappreciated aspects of professional wrestling: theme songs.
I should warn you: I?m not what you would call a musical authority, nor am I a professional wrestling writer. I?m somewhat of a professional writer for my day-job, but I?m no sports-entertainment journalist. But these are the best wrestling theme songs, in no particular order.
Real American: This song pumped up millions of brain-washed Hulkamaniacs until they started growing up, or until he got beat by the Ultimate Warrior, whatever came first for the individual. This song was written by 80?s rock star Rick Derringer and premi?red the same day Hogan was injured in a match that led up to his epic steel cage bout against King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania 2 (which I saw live via closed-circuit television).
Demolition: This is actually a tale of two songs off of “Piledriver!” which predicted the tag team championship showdown between Strike Force and Demolition at WrestleMania IV. On one hand, you had the pre-boy band pretty boy theme song ?Girls In Cars,? preformed by pretty-boy tag champions Strike Force, with a little assist from Robbie Dupree (quasi-forgettable single: Steal Away). On the other hand, you had Rick Derringer (there you go again) rocking out to Demolition, singing about ?walking disaster, pain and destruction? and ?there?s no place to hide, the devil will get you.? Of course, Demolition came out, kicked all kinds of ass, put Rick Martel out of commission for a few months and walked off with the tag titles.
Pomp and Circumstance: Okay, this isn?t solely a wrestling song, but it was perfect for when Randy ?Macho Man? Savage would walk to the ring. And when I turned away from Hogan and became a Savage fan, it was this song that I wanted to hear when the main event was over. Years later, several of my friends and I would do the famous Savage walking twist when walking down the aisle at our college graduation. Yeah, we were still wrestling nerds at that point.
Rick Rude: The theme sucked. But what rocked was his ?Stop the music? bit and subsequent insults towards the people of whatever city he was in was classic.
Honky Tonk Man: He could sing. He could dance. He is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. And he?s coming to your town in a pink Cadillac.
Jive Soul Bro: Okay, it was a manager?s theme song- but still, he was singing about hitting on a seven-foot-tall woman. The Slickster (before he became the Reverend Slick) lied to his friends. And he didn?t get nothin? in the end.
Also Sprach Zarathustra: Only two performers have the right to use this song. Elvis and Ric Flair. That?s pretty much all I have to say about this one, except Flair?s knockoff-WWF version sucks.
The Mountie: He says he?s handsome, brave and strong. And to top it all off, he enforces the law. Gave me the inspiration that one day, I too could sing my own theme song.
New Age Outlaws: The song wasn?t that great. What was great was the whole introduction shtick, which my senior-year roommate and I had down to a T.
No Chance In Hell: Vince McMahon may have been an asshole, but this was a perfect fit for his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Stone Cold Steve Austin: When you hear the glass, it?s your ass. Or something like that.
The Rock: The People?s Champion has had like seven different theme songs. And as soon as he dropped the Rocky Maivia character, his theme songs became as great as he was. From his first song, which was the Nation of Domination?s theme with dubbed-over catchphrases to the last, with the helicopter flyby video, you knew that a superstar was entering the arena.
Tazz: Tazz was an active wrestler for about a year once he jumped to the WWF. But his song was killer.
Chris Benoit: A great instrumental made even better after the addition of lyrics by Our Lady Peace.
Kurt Angle: This song may have been used first for the Patriot during his feud with Bret Hart in 1997, but it better fit Kurt Angle. But the fans made this song theirs with the addition of the ?you suck? in d-minor chorus.
Mr. Perfect: I don?t know why, but face or heel, this song just fit him.
And to close this article, I?d like to share with you something so utterly horrible it defies description. It?s right up there with “Aqualung” and “Mac Arthur Park” as one of the worst songs ever:
(Yes, that?s really Hulk Hogan)
Added to the Word dictionary: WrestleMania, Hulkamaniacs, Mountie
WinAmp Playlist during the transcribing of this article:
The Thrills- Deckchairs and Cigarettes
Spinning Images- W&W2: Ironsword Inquisition
The Beatles- Polythene Pam
Huey Lewis and the News- The Power of Love
Madness- Our House
Limozeen- Because, It?s Midnite
Foo Fighters- Up In Arms
Me First and The Gimme Gimmies- Rocket Man
The Kinda Long Haired Band- Circles
Nada Surf- No Quick Fix