The ReHeat: Intro’s To Die For!

Rob Taylor


Welcome to The ReHeat, the companion column to The Hot Topic. The idea of this column is to delve more into the storied history of Wrestling, so one week it might be a wrestler, a card, an era, an angle…Maybe you’ll learn something about wrestling’s history if you are a newer fan, or maybe you’ll relive some great memories… Either way, enjoy the trip… The good thing with The ReHeat, some of this will be exclusive to the WZForums, companion pieces, extra info…make sure you check WZForums Columns Lounge when the ReHeat goes up to make sure you get the full skinny and the chance to reply! This column is all about feedback, share your views, debate the point and more importantly, let me know what you’d like to see covered… Above all, if you are newer to wrestling, seek this older stuff out…it’s worth your time!!!

Ok, so how do we start? We all know the traditional method to introduce a wrestler, introductory vignettes, hyping who the wrestlers are, then their first on camera appearance, then some kind of debut match… the crucial part though, for any wrestler is the moment when they enter the arena for the first time, often the mood of the crowd, pyro, music choice, gestures and presentation of that walk to the ring can make or break a wrestler… If they get it right, a star is born, if they get it wrong, a joke is told…

So here are some of those intro’s that made the guys making them into superstars!!!

“Oh You Didn’t Know?”

In 1997 “Rockabilly” Billy Gunn and Jesse Jammes were locked in a “bitter feud” over who was the better singer… It sucked… but somewhere along the line, they were thrown together as a team one night, we all know where it led…but…The main ingredient of the New Age Outlaw’s undoubted success was their ring intro… from the first time you heard it, you found it stuck in the mind, the guitar riff started and the words, “OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW? YOUR ASS BETTER CALL SOMEBODY!!!” The phrase was an answer to all those who had mocked both men in the year before… It was arguably the first “smart” ring intro, where the wrestlers made fun of the business and the fans who had doubted them and were now suddenly eating out of the palm of their collective hand… The power of this intro was arguably down to “Road Dogg’s” ability to scat things off the top of his head…The intro was never quite the same twice and as such it became must see…in case you risked missing something amazing even before the match began, if you chose to look away at the wrong moment…you missed a ge… If you then stayed plugged to the match you invariably got a great match to boot…

“For Whom The Bell Tolls”

Forget the druids, the modern version of the ‘Taker is overblown and bloated… there was nothing creepier than watching a grotesque fat guy carrying an urn, which this evil looking monster was facinated by… The original Taker intro’s were great cos the bell was clearly tolling for the opponent, which in itself is enough to make a grown man crap his pants… add to this the zombie like movement, following not Paul Bearer, but that urn… then he has the power to control the damn lights!!! and he slowly…ever so slowly removed his attire…and at no time easing his stare on that opponent… The power of that intro sealed The Undertaker’s legend, over the years, the , the bike, the druids, other props came and went, but it’s that basic formula that makes Undertaker’s intro unique, and hard to fault.

“Never…EEEVER” Again”

When Chris Jericho hit as “The Millenium Man” in 1999, he uttered the immortal phrase “RAW IS JERICHO”, but more importantly, for 2 years after he used a personalised ring intro for each opponent, he would run them down on the way to the ring always stating they would never be the same after that match… Go back and watch the tapes, I defy anyone to disagree that that was Jericho’s most over period, and that it seemed to disappear suspiciously when he had to face the Rock who allegedly had better mic skills… Someone jealous?

“Appointment With A Vampire”

Gangrel’s intro is arguably still one of the coolest ever devised… Not only did he rise through a ring of fire Johnny Cash wouldn’t want to jump into but he would then spit “blood” from the buckles (better than a bottle of water Trips!!) but all set to one of the best pieces of ring music produced by WWE…certainly the most fitting… It is a real shame this guy didn’t get a better run, cos his intro was worth the price of admission alone…

“Land Of Hope & Glory”

You all know the intro…in England it’s our National Anthem (God Save The Queen is the UK as a whole before anyone bitches…)a guy comes spinning through the curtain, hand on his waist, the other pointing to the sky… OHHH YEAHHHH I’s the Macho Man!!! To this day there a few intros that match the sheer power that Savage’s had, be it the choice of music or the frenzy of a crowd or how mad you were Liz was with him, but it’s a great example of the package coming together to really make you excited, just to see Randy walk to the ring… Add to that an amazing performance and it rarely gets better…

“Simply Ravishing”

Rick Rude is the prime example of Music being key to a great intro and one of the few who has had it work in both WWE and WCW… The mechanics are the same and amazing on their own, strut to the ring,tease the crowd with an always spot on cheap shot on the home crowd before removing the robe and showing the body that made the women swoon, just so he could give them the Rude Awakening kiss… Rude’s WWE music was great, perfectly sleazy for him and still one of the best, in WCW he had a tune all about him, with a great guitar hook and a song sung about how “Ravishing” he was… Rude’s intro always made him appear invincible, and for much of his career he was he had the belts (US and IC) and the women (Madusa in particular… The intro and Rude worked cos every guy in the arena and viewing on TV knew, their girl would go with Rude if they had the chance in a second flat…

“The Perfect One”

Curt Hennig’s first Wrestlemania (V) appearance was unusual, he was one of the few not to have any music. Owen Hart had the flashy intro that night as the Blue Blazer, but Hennig’s basic intro was extremely clever and served him well his whole career, the towel was a sign that he was not afraid to work up a sweat, but the crucial part was the “gum slap” he’d nonchalantly chew his gum, thinking of what he would do to his opponent, then in an almost disparaging way, spit them (the gum) out and bat them away… that in itself made you think his opponent was worthless and beneath him… and more often than not they were… Add to that his WWE music, which could make goosebumps rise from the first bar and you have “The Perfect Intro”

“Real/Voodoo American/”

Ok, I admit it, I still mark out when I hear “Real American” for Hogan, I still mark out when he rips the shirt, even though I wish he would hang it up.. but arguably Hogan’s best intro was the one to Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”, Hogan was cool enough before but as a bad guy, with the most bad ass guitar riff ever heralding his arrival, he was unstoppable…

“The Man From 2001”

This is the final pick and still my favourite… When you first hear the drum roll of Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” you know “The Man” is in the building… Ric Flair has this one down…the combination of elegant, expensive robes, wide armed strut,and “WHOOO” just fit that piece of music and that man… This is the one intro to this day ,if I was in WWE… I’d want this…and HE’S GOT IT!!!! (Swears under his breath) Sorry Ric, legend…

So that’s the ReHeat, let me know what you think, and more importantly, what you’d like to see in it… If there is a period you want covering, a wrestler… let me know, I’ll do my best to oblige…

Any feedback, send to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com or visit www.wzforums.com and head to the Columns Lounge…

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