Music is an integral part of the entertainment. It is used to add emotion to everything; be it joy, sadness, or fear the correct use of music can be masterful. A piece of music can be a trigger for a memory you had long forgotten or a feeling of deja vu that you can not quite shake. Music has also become a staple in professional wrestling with all your favourite (and some less so) wrestler having a custom theme to march to the ring.
This is going to be a two-part piece where I look at five possibly forgotten pieces of classic entrance music and five that are forgotten for good reason. This week, I will put forward five forgotten or overlooked entrance themes that kick wholesale ass.
Obviously a list like this is entirely subjective so these are just my opinions and not those of the other staff writers for CKNF or even of you, our dear reader. Now, without further ado, I give to you the list!
In Abyss TNA had an absolute monster for 17 years. Abyss was not always booked as fans would have liked but, for the most part, TNA did a great job of maintaining the aura that comes with a 6ft8, 350lbs monster. As a piece of trivia for you Christopher Parks was discovered working the independent scene in the early 00s by Dutch Mantell, who would later create the Abyss character for TNA. Not only is this foreboding theme overlooked it is fair to say the wrestler it herelded to the ring often is as well. It invokes a feeling of horror and dread that a character such as Abyss needed to create something special. Often being compared to Kane, this was something TNA leaned into with Abyss’ theme and, with it, he became something of a horror movie monster; deranged and unstoppable.
Coming off a lengthy spell as the sidekick to The Miz during his reign as the WWE Champion, Alex Riley eventually turned on his one-time mentor. The music chosen for his singles run to fit the bill perfectly for the way it seemed the WWE was going to push him; intense. From the opening words, you knew what this theme was attempting to convey. It was as aggressive as Riley was trying to seem and, as such, came across as fearless and combative. Unfortunately for Riley his run would end even faster than it began and he would soon drift down the card and eventually end up as a commentator in NXT. This would not be the end of the theme, however, as he would attempt a return to the ring and the music took on a whole new vibe; he was done being overlooked and he was angry. The aggressive, in your face feeling the music, had taken on the rage and encapsulated the mood of the characters perfectly.
Nakamura has become synonymous with his current WWE theme and, while it is an amazing piece of music, that feels like a disservice to his incredible NJPW theme. It was even rumoured WWE were trying to buy the rights for this for his NXT debut. Nakamura’s NJPW theme fits his gimmick down to the ground. Nakamura carries himself with the same flamboyance of Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson during his entrances and this theme would lull you into that false sense of security before Nakamura would BoMaYe your chin into row Z. The music fits Nakamura to a tee as it carries a somewhat upbeat guitar riff to match the overtness of his personality while still feeling like that “final boss” theme of a video game, as Nakamura would be when booked correctly. When he is, you know, not floundering in the tag team division. Fun fact for this entry, did you know that this song was actually a remix of a song from a PlayStation 1 video game called Project Gaiaray? The more you know.
CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIAN! AT LAST YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!
Say what you want about Waterproof Blonde but this song was an f’in banger. It exudes arrogance and was, frankly, deserving of better treatment. As was Christian, admittedly, but that is for another article. Possibly one where an awesome writer and his fantastically talented editor spend hours on WhatsApp fantasy booking guys in different time periods where we appreciate their talents? The first theme Christian had after turning heel on Edge, it had a sense of smug that only someone as instantly detestable as Christian could have become but, at the same time, you couldn’t help but shout along to that intro and the operatic tenor that would ring over the badass riff and the dirty drums. Honestly, if you didn’t get a kick out of this theme I am questioning you. Yes, you. On a personal level.
Tazz. With two Z’s. Do I need to explain to anyone how much of a machine Taz(z) was? He was an absolute ass-kicker who was criminally mishandled by Vince McMahon. He has since said he had doubts over jumping to the WWF but was persuaded by Paul Heyman to take the opportunity on the day of his would be debut. As the chips fell, Tazz would debut at the 2000 Royal Rumble in the opening match, defeating Kurt Angle by stoppage. The music that filled Madison Square Garden that night would only be outdone by the pop that came with it; Tazz had arrived. This is one of those songs from the Attitude Era that I genuinely place with the Brood’s in that it set the atmosphere perfectly and you knew some sh** was about to go down when the familiar tones hit. It is one of the angriest, most intense and hard entrance themes you are likely to hear. WWF had a star on their hands that night so, naturally, Tazz was losing to Jerry Lawler in 4 minutes at SummerSlam later that year.
Researching these themes has been beyond fun; revisiting them and remembering just how incredible they really were. But I am not done here. Next week I am going to look at some less spectacular themes. Songs that, frankly, suck so bad they make you want to change the channel. I have by no means covered all the great forgotten or overlooked gems here though and I encourage you to disagree with me and sound off in the comments section. Which songs do you feel do not get their due? Let me know!