I had my own version of a "best theme songs" list all worked out, but Josh Isenberg beat me to it last week with his Top Ten column. I felt the need to respond, and while most of the choices are WWE staples, there are some choices that leave me scratching my head.
- Zack Ryder's "Radio" - to quote Long Island Iced Z, are you serious, bro? It fits his character, but it's nowhere near the top of the list.
- Sheamus' "Written In My Face" - Doesn't really get me pumped. A bit inaudible at times; the source of the internet memes "Lobster Head" and "Too Many Limes, Too Many Limes." (see also: John Cena: BRRRRR-APPLE DOUGH!)
- Brodus Clay's "Somebody Call My Momma" - The added intro where he calls out to the "Funkateers" drags it out too much. Oh, and it's not even his theme song, it's ripped off. Somebody should call Ernest "The Cat" Miller (and Lamont!) to show the Funkasaurus how it's done.
My goal isn't to rip on all of the list, because there are choices I believe everyone can agree on. HHH, Undertaker and CM Punk all belong at the top of the list. I agree that the brief static heard at the beginning of "Cult of Personality" is important, and you know who is coming or something is about to happen. The gong heard before the lights go out gets everyone in the arena pumped up, and it's a part of one of the best entrances ever. It can sometimes run long, but no matter what the musical arrangement (Ministry Taker FTW) you know Taker will give you a good show. HHH has had several themes over the past years, including "My Time" and "King of Kings", but they are used sparingly compared to "Time To Play The Game." HHH has received some of the loudest pops over the past decade, including his 2002 return to Madison Square Garden, and all it takes is that simple guitar riff.
I noticed a few songs that were conspicuously absent, and here are the ones I believe deserve alot more credit than they are given.
- Christian's song "Just Close Your Eyes" has that same quick note like HHH has, but it is followed by the vocalist shouting, "GO!" I like the new Story of the Year version better than the original by Waterproof Blonde, but either way it is a good song. Besides Todd Grisham ruining Christian's 2009 return, it's a good intro and the peeps like Captain Charisma.
- Chris Jericho's "Break Down The Walls" being left off the list is a great injustice. The intro to the song has varied over the years, but the song has remained the same. (Unintentional Led Zeppelin pun, but hey, it works.) The countdown clock is gone, but now the lights go out and all you see is a sparkling light up jacket. It gets a good reaction no matter what, and it Jericho may not be as active as others, but he consistantly gets pops or boos; "Walls" sets it all up nicely.
- Drew McIntyre isn't really a guy I had too much stock in. His promo (off-camera) at a Smackdown event in Newark, NJ was good, but he hasn't been on the main shows lately. It is a shame because he has one of the best entrances in WWE, and "Broken Dreams" should get more attention. The intro starts with Drew's Titantron video being interlaced with the broadcast feed, then the drums crash and he makes his way to the stage. Drew got lucky with this theme, and I think they could really have something if he used it as a face. Hell, they could keep him heel, but it still works. The music, the video and Drew all work well together, just give him better direction than the "Chosen One."
- As far as I can remember, Mark Henry has had "Some Bodies Gonna Get It" and he always looks intimidating, no matter what his character. His most recent heel run made him look even more destructive, but the music is just as powerful as Henry is himself. You know when he comes out to the ring the lyrics are true and somebody's gonna get their ass kicked.
Entrance music is a huge part of getting a wrestler over. It can often become synonymous with their character and it helps people instantly recognize stars if done right. Tensai has a Japanese phrase at the beginning of his entrance, and people are starting to recognize it and boo him. If you want further evidence, look no further than the return of Vince McMahon at the beginning of this week's episode of RAW. Vince has that sound byte at the beginning that is reminiscent of the THX Intro, and it's like the fans get louder as the fade goes up. Vince had 'the walk' going, he made fun of Big Johnny; the crowd went nuts and it all started with 'No Chance.'
I'm not saying everyone should have a sound clip at the beginning or have the lights go out because that would get repetitive. My point is that while there is a good debate on what good music is, you may agree that the best music is hard to come by. Just ask Vladimir Kozlov, he didn't get any music.
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(Tweet your choices for your favorite "classic" themes for the fan voted portion of the "Old School Music Spotlight," coming soon!)