Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The 6 Best Wrestler Theme Songs (That They Sang Themselves)

Since the mid 80's theme music has been an important factor in wrestling. Fans recognize a theme and will cheer or boo often before the wrestler actually even appears on the ramp.

A good theme song will get a crowd charged and ready for the match. And some theme songs become iconic. Themes can even show a company's faith in a performer. If so and so spends more than two months coming out to, as Danielson called it, "Generic Rock Song #43", chances are the office sees them in the midcard at absolute best. If they get a badass sounding song by an actual band hired to record it, such as Drew McIntyre's "Broken Dreams" by Shaman's Harvest, it suggests the company is hoping for great things from that performer.

A perfect example of the effectiveness of theme music in conveying the mood the audience is hoped to have is Doink the Clown. When Matt Bourne was Doink and a heel, he had what many fans call the best in-house WWE theme song EVER.

After Bourne left and Steve "Brooklyn Brawler" Lombardi was put in the costume as Doink II, (The version with the damn mini-me), the theme was changed to this.

It went from creepy and mood-setting to generic circus music, and the crowd's love of Doink went with it. The happy Doink theme let the crowd know it was piss-break time.

But sometimes for whatever reasons, a wrestler isn't content to just take the theme they're given. Sometimes, for reasons ranging from a gimmick album, a promotional purpose, or a wrestler stretching their own creative legs, a performer will do their own theme song.

Now obviously results of this endeavor are very mixed. No one with actual taste in music will argue that R-Truth's rythmless cookie-cutter rap themes were good for anything but getting kids and moms in the crowd to sing along. From way back in 2002 with "Gettin' Rowdy" in his first WWE run as K-Kwik, (Derailed by Road Dog getting fired shortly after their tag-team debut), to "Get Krunk" which made so little sense even for Talentless Truth that they soon went back to "What's Up" so the crowd could remember to pop for him, R-Truth is a good argument for NOT letting most wrestlers near a recording studio.

So let's get started here. My criteria for compiling this list is as follows.

- Wrestler must at least be in tune. No one expects a wrestler to have Christina Aguilera's pipes, but they need to at least sound better than Kei$ha.
- Theme must have been used regularly for minimum 6 months on TV, long enough to be recognizable to the fans.
- For context of how good they are, I'll include with each entry a counterpoint of a similar song that was just horrible.

So here we go.

#6; With My Baby Tonight (Sung by Brian "Road Dog" Armstrong)

Used at first to get Jeff Jarrett's "aspiring country music star" gimmick over, the problem was that Jarrett wasn't comfortable singing at the time and didn't want to try to. Luckily someone had overheard Jarrett's on-screen flunkie the Roadie sing in the shower, so Brian sang the sand and Jeff lipsynched it on TV and PPV. As far as the story goes, this was not originally intended to be revealed publicly, until Jeff had a falling out with management and made his first brief jump to WCW, leaving Brian adrift without a storyline. So it was decided that the "lipsynching scanal" would be revealed, giving Brian a storyline to get him off on his own as a singles wrestler. Not only did the song, which actually got some airplay on country music stations, become the entrance music of the rechristened "Road Dog Jesse James", for the next year he actually sang it live every week as he entered. It faled to get him over though, and he eventually got paired with the struggling Billy Gunn following Bart Gunn leaving the company, forming one of the WWE's most popular tag-teams.

Honorable mention here; When Jeff Jarrett's first WCW stint ended and he came back to Vince, he had gotten sick of the bs he got from fans on the street about the lipsynching, and asked Vince for a favour, and got his friends in the country band Sawyer Brown to appear on the 1998 Unforgiven PPV and let him sing "First Class White Trash" with them live, just to prove he COULD sing. While I can't find the clip on YouTube, I remember him not being half bad.

Counterpoint; I Hate Rap (Curt Hennig & the West Texas Rednecks)

The ONLY reason this song exists is because WCW needed an antogonist to diss Master P after they spent a few million to have the mediocre rap star come in and give some unused b-listers a reason to exist by forming the No-Limit Soldiers.