35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (2024)

ByMaria Scinto

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (1)

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

A lot of factors affect how wrestler gets over with the audience.Sure, wrestling moves are part of it, as are mic skills and ring gear, but in order to stand out in the crowd you also need instantly recognizable theme music. As WWE's former composer-in-chief Jim Johnston said to Lucha Libre Online, a good entrance theme means "You could be three rooms away and know who's coming out into the ring." Ever since Gorgeous George introducedwalk-up music for wrestlersback in the '40s, there have been good, bad, and mediocre entrance themes. The following is a list of our favorites — and yes, we already know you're going to disagree with some, if not all, of our selections.

Advertisem*nt

While there's a slight chance that any two wrestling fans might concur on a top five list, the chance of them going 35 for 35 is akin to matching all of the PowerBall numbers (only far less lucrative). That being said, we're still going to make excuses in true heel fashion. For one thing, some songs got cut simply because we couldn't find enough info about them. For another, once you get out of top five/top ten territory, it gets super-nitpicky determining which song should come in 26th and which 27th. Our third, and best, excuse, however, is that we didn't want to deprive you of the fun of arguing with us in the comments. As Seth Rollins said to the "Sports Media" podcast,"It's all about conflict; conflict is what sells."

Advertisem*nt

35. Raven: Raven's 2nd Theme

Back in the day, WCW was notorious for their in-house themes that were thinly-disguised ripoffs of established hits and barely skirted the edge of copyright violation. Rate Your Music lists a couple of the more egregious ones, including Diamond Dallas Page's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" soundalike, Rick Steiner's remake of "Welcome to the Jungle," and Vince Russo's version of "Iron Man" (with no apologies to the Road Warriors, much less Black Sabbath). Our favorite, however, is Raven's 2nd theme, which makes very little effort to pretend it's anything other than a slightly reworked "Come As You Are."

Advertisem*nt

There's actually not much shame in stealing from this particular Nirvana composition because "Come As You Are" itself borrows heavily from a less mainstream 1984 hit, "Eighties" by Killing Joke. Killing Joke wasn't too happy and journalist Gino Sorcinelli wrote on Medium that they even considered suing, but perhaps they realized they didn't have too strong a claim to ownership since their song in turn strongly resembles The Damned's 1982 "Life Goes On." In fact, if anyone could claim to have originated the riff on which all of these songs (plus another obscure 80s hit, "22 Faces" by Garden of Delight) are based, it would be The Equals with their 1966 composition "Baby Come Back."

With so much historical precedent, WCW's own appropriation of this music seems like pretty small potatoes, but it makes for a fun story and the theme was a great fit for Raven's grunge-inspired persona.

Advertisem*nt

34. Hulk Hogan: Real American

What would such a list be without a piece of pure '80s cheesy fun? Hulk Hogan's theme "Real American" is a classic in its own way, as it will forever define a certain wrestling era in which the Hulkster was a Saturday morning cartoon hero come to life and moved to a different time slot. Funny thing about that theme, though — as noted by wrestling historian Richard Land (and backed up by a video clip he tweeted out a few years back), "Real American" was originally used as the theme for the tag team of Barry Windham and Bray Wyatt's dad Mike Rotundo. When the two left WWE to sign on with the NWA, Hogan inherited their hand-me-down music.

Advertisem*nt

Well, there's no denying the Hulk made "Real American" 100% his over the years, much to the slight chagrin of composer Rick Derringer. As Derringer told Mel, what he was really intending to do was to come up with "the most patriotic song of all time" — perhaps not a new "Star-Spangled Banner," but at least something akin to what "God Bless the USA" became. He was disappointed that his great patriotic anthem was primarily associated with pro wrestling, but in later years was excited to see it being adopted by an odd assortment of politicians including Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump. Well, as long as the royalties keep coming in, it's all good, we guess.

33. Randy Orton: Burn in My Light by Mercy Drive

While Randy Orton seems to be perfectly happy with his current theme "Voices," even after all these years, he really did not care for the previous one at all. In a 2008 interview with the now-defunct GameDaily (via ProWrestling.net), he spoke of "Burn in My Light" by Mercy Drive (as well as how he used the Nintendo Wii as part of his injury-rehabbing routine). As Orton said of the song, "I hated it from the first day I heard it. They even tried to tweak it a bit and I still hated it."

Advertisem*nt

Sorry, Mr. Apex Predator, sir, but we're going to have to disagree on this one. Sure, it's no "Voices," but it's still a pretty good piece of early '00s arena rock. The lyrics, too, are a perfect fit for the younger Orton's co*cky, arrogant persona: "Now it's time to shine, I'm gonna take what's mine, while you're burning inside my light." While we wouldn't put the song any closer to the top of this list, it deserves to sneak in close to the bottom.

32. Shawn Michaels: Sexy Boy

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (5)

Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

Few themes are as instantly recognizable, and so perfectly sum up a wrestler's in-ring persona, than "Sexy Boy," a song obviously written especially for HBK. While Jim Johnston often gets the credit for penning this song, Inside the Ropes says he actually wrote another theme for Shawn Michaels that wound up being used for D-Generation X. Instead, the musical mind behind "Sexy Boy" was that of the Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart.

Advertisem*nt

It's not all that common for a wrestler not named Chris Jericho to perform their own theme music, and in fact the first version of Michael's entrance did not feature his vocals. Instead, Sherri Martel was the one singing, but as Hart told Wrestling Inc., once she left WWE, Vince McMahon insisted on new vocals and insisted that Michaels himself should do the singing. HBK was reluctant at first but Hart said "I promise ya, I'll make you sing," and so he did. On an interesting side note, Hart himself was the one who performed as a backup chorus, cooing "sexy boy" in harmony with himself.

31. Edge: Never Gonna Stop by Rob Zombie

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (6)

George Koroneos/Shutterstock

While Edge's current theme is one of the all-time best in pro wrestling, his former theme was actually pretty great, too: Rob Zombie's "Never Gonna Stop," which he used from the time he left The Brood all the way up to when he adopted "Metalingus." So what was the Master Manipulator looking for when he went shopping for a new solo theme? As Edge told Revolver, "as a performer ... I need something that is going to jump me up," and seeing as how he's a devout metalhead it was obvious that country or classical weren't going to do the job.

Advertisem*nt

Instead, Edge got hold of an advance copy of Rob Zombie's 2001 album "The Sinister Urge," and WWE said he could choose one of four tracks. His choice was an obvious one due to the song's title and lyrics — as he later explained, "'Never Gonna Stop,' that's the mantra. Gotta keep going, gotta keep getting up. Little did I know that would be a recurring theme throughout my career." Although he had not yet met Zombie at the time, the two became acquainted shortly thereafter. As per this video shared on r/SquaredCircle, the Rated R-Superstar even joined his new friend onstage in full ring gear to introduce the song he'd recently adopted as his theme.

30. Jeff Hardy: No More Words by Endeverafter

Jeffrey Nero Hardy has long been one of pro wrestling's more troubled — and troublesome — antiheros, but perhaps that's what you can expect when your parents give you the middle name of one of Rome's most notorious emperors. Strange as it may seem now, Hardy once had enough pull with WWE that he made his 2020 return contingent on their obtaining the rights to his favorite entrance theme, "No More Words."

Advertisem*nt

As the Charismatic Enigma told BT Sport, "I was like, 'I'll sign for two years as long as I get my old theme back called 'No More Words.' We came to find that they owned the song so there was no reason I couldn't." Hardy, along with the theme he'd first walked out to in 2008, didn't last out the full two years, as the company gave him the boot late in 2021. While it wasn't too long before he joined his brother Matt in AEW, WrestleTalk says Tony Khan's company had to go with Hardy's previous "Loaded" theme because WWE retained the rights to "No More Words." That, however, hasn't stopped Jeff Hardy from performing the song.

29. Drew McIntyre: Broken Dreams by Shaman's Harvest

At 2022's Clash at the Castle, Drew McIntyre walked out to the ring to the strains of his classic theme song, "Broken Dreams," just as he'd teased on hisInstagram account several weeks prior to the event. Sadly, his dreams were, in fact, broken on that occasion, along with the shattered hopes of everyone in the WWE Universe who's sick to death of Roman Reigns' seemingly unending title run. What a wasted opportunity, since the lyrics would have been the perfect soundtrack for the Tribal Chief's downfall: "Out of time, so say goodbye, what is yours, now is mine."

Advertisem*nt

"Broken Dreams," performed by the band Shaman's Harvest, is a Jim Johnston composition (via Spotify) that dates back more than a decade to McIntyre's days as The Chosen One on "SmackDown" back in the 20-tweens. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite as envisioned as McIntyre ended up losing his place with the company by the middle of the decade, but he still retained sufficient fondness for his old theme that Fightful says he lobbied WWE for its eventual return after they brought him back. Here's hoping that the Clash at the Castle loss doesn't foretell the end of Drew's second big push, as in these additional lyrics from the song: "You had it all right in your grasp, but in a breath your minute passed."

Advertisem*nt

28. Ronda Rousey: Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Some of the songs on this list were composed specifically for a wrestler, while others, though pre-existing, will forever after be associated with the ones who adopted them as their own personal themes. Then there's a third category, that of songs that pretty much stand on their own apart from whoever chooses to use them. One such song is "Bad Reputation," Joan Jett's 1980 hit that for the past four decades has been seen as a personal anthem for nearly every woman who thinks of herself as a secret (or, in Ronda's case, not-so-secret) badass.

Advertisem*nt

Rousey may be using "Bad Reputation" for now, but the song will never be synonymous with her because it's really only telling one person's story, and that person is Joan Jett herself. As Jett told SiriusXM in a 2020 interview, "If you listen to the lyrics, it's autobiographical," explaining that it's about the flak she got for being a teenage female rocker in a still-misogynistic age. In this millennium, however, tough-as-nails women are more the rule than the exception, especially in the fields of sports and entertainment (and, of course, sports entertainment). It is somewhat ironic, though, in that Rousey does have a bad reputation that's probably not the kind she wants to brag about — numerous critics, among them Lady Gaga (via The Washington Post), have called her out for being a poor sport and a sore loser.

Advertisem*nt

27. Mick Foley: Wreck

After spending years as the man of many personas (okay, actually just three, these being Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind), Mick Foley debuted his final, and many would say, his best, character of all: himself, Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy. The theme Jim Johnston composed for Mick Foley, Hardcore Legend, was one that pretty much encapsulated the man himself: mad, bad, and dangerous, and yet manically exuberant at the same time.

Advertisem*nt

"Wreck," an instrumental piece, is actually Jim Johnston's second car crash-inspired piece. The shattering glass from Stone Cold Steve Austin's "I Won't Do What You Tell Me" (which appeared on 1998's "WWF The Music: Volume 3") is meant to be that of a car that was just involved in an accident. Foley's entrance theme, which featured on the 1999 follow-up "WWF The Music: Volume 4," makes it even clearer right from the outset that some poor motor vehicle has just met an unfortunate end: brakes screech, metal meets metal, and yes, more glass is heard breaking in the background. At this point, an aggressively upbeat tune, complete with hand claps, kicks in and Foley, himself somewhat of a cheerful wreck by this point, bounces out onto the stage.

Advertisem*nt

26. Malakai Black: Ogentroost by Amenra

Malakai Black has one of the most legitimately spooky entrances in all of pro wrestling — scarier, even, than Undertaker in his prime because, Undertaker drew on familiar horror movie tropes. All that stuff Black's got going on, however, from the entrance in darkness to the horned mask (via Twitter), black robes, and messed up eye, all combine to create an ambiance that he tells CBS Sports was inspired by his real-life (and very disturbed) childhood. What really takes the terror over the top, though, is Black's absolutely insane entrance music.

Advertisem*nt

As the lights go out before Black takes the stage, the first thing we hear are dark, ominous chords, but then things get louder and heavier and tension starts to build ... and dear lord, why all the screaming? As Amenra are singing in Flemish, a language similar to Black's native Dutch, English speakers can't exactly piece together what's going on through the lyrics, although the band tells Revolver that it has something to do with a mother's love and trust — but it sounds more like a soul in the worst kind of torment to us.Well, we daresay the House of Black could teach the Wyatt Family a thing or two about how to scare the absolute hell out of (or rather, into) any opponents who dare to take them on, and the music's a big part of it.

Advertisem*nt

25. Bray Wyatt: Live in Fear by Mark Crozier

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (12)

WWE/Facebook

While the terms "unique" and "one of a kind" are thrown around pretty lightly these days, both can be applied to the many incarnations of Bray Wyatt with no hyperbole intended. For nearly 10 years, from his days as the leader of the Wyatt family to his time spent hosting the Firefly Funhouse, Wyatt had creepy, atmospheric theme music that suited him perfectly. While technically he had two different themes — Mark Crozier's "Live in Fear" from 2012 through 2019 and Code Orange's "Let Me In" up through the end of his WWE run — these songs are essentially two different versions of the same composition.

Advertisem*nt

As Crozier recalled on the "Rain Stops Play" podcast (h/t Fightful), Wyatt found his song (then entitled "Broken Out In Love") online and used it as his entrance in Florida Champion Wrestling. When he made it to WWE's main roster, the company offered to buy Crozier's song outright (and on the cheap, as he tells it). Still, Crozier wasn't a big name at the time, so he thought he might as well take the deal for publicity's sake. He does sound a bit miffed, though, that Agent Orange, who were friends of Wyatt's, re-recorded a heavier version of his song that was subsequently adopted by WWWE, although he did at least get a co-writing credit. While both versions are great, we're going with Crozier's here to even out the balance a bit. (Also because we still miss the Wyatt Family.)

Advertisem*nt

24. Sting: Seek and Destroy by Metallica

Back in the early '90s, Sting was saddled with one of the cheesiest themes ever known to pro wrestling: "Man Called Sting,"a song The Wrestling Roadshow says can be (dis)credited to the never-to-be-heard-from-again Jimmy Papa and the Grand Theft All-Star Band. While this song had such unforgettable lyrics as "He does this, he does that, he's big as bull and quick as a cat," Sting must have grown tired of coming across like a Hanna-Barbera superhero. Just as he ditched his neon-colored ring gear for his more familiar monochromatic look, he also opted for a somewhat harder-edged theme: Metallica's 1982 hit "Seek & Destroy."

Advertisem*nt

WCW always went with a live version of "Seek and Destroy" as Sting walked out to the ring, and they had no shortage of these as the song's been a staple of the band's set lists for the past four decades (though at the time it would only have been a decade and a half ... tempus fugit, even for Icons). When "WCW: Mayhem — The Music" came out in 1999, the version Metallica contributed to the album was the one they'd recorded at Woodstock '99. In fact, this track may have been one of the few good things to come out of a regrettable, forgettable festival that, in Rolling Stone's succinct characterization, "sucked." The festival was awful, WCW itself had a few issues by then, but the song's a banger and Sting's a legend.

Advertisem*nt

23. Triple H: The Game by Mötorhead

Triple H is a man of many nicknames, the best known of which is obviously Triple H itself ("Hunter Hearst Helmsley" is a bit too much of a mouthful for any ring announcer, after all), but he's also gone by the Cerebral Assassin, King of Kings, and even the fairly obscure Terra Ryzing (as he tells Barstool Sports, this last one originated with Killer Kowalski). His second-most popular nickname, however, is one he shares with his long-time entrance theme, "The Game."

Advertisem*nt

Triple H didn't take his nickname from the song, but instead Motörhead composed it just for him. As he explained the story to MTV News, he needed a new theme for a heel turn, but none of Jim Johnston's valiant efforts struck him as quite the thing. Triple H says he wanted his new theme to be "more raw, more gritty," so he kept bugging Johnston to "Think Motörhead." Finally a no-doubt exasperated Johnson fired back, "Why don't we just get Motörhead to do it?" Well, they did, and the rest is epic wrestling theme history. In fact, the best part of this theme might be the fact that it suits Triple H even better now in his new role as WWE's head honcho, with such prescient lyrics as "It's all about the game and how you play it, it's all about control and if you can take it." Yep, The Game is winning, and winning big these days.

Advertisem*nt

22. Randy Orton: Voices by Rev Theory

Randy Orton has had the same theme song for almost 15 years: "Voices," a collaboration between Jim Johnston and performers Rev Theory (via SportsKeeda). The song plays up on Orton's persona as someone totally deranged who'd go to that dark place where his voices would tell him to unleash the uber-violent Viper. As per the lyrics, "I hear voices in my head, they counsel me ... they tell me things that I will do, they show me things I'll do to you ..." (We shudder to imagine what those things might be.)

Advertisem*nt

Once Orton teemed up with Riddle in RK-Bro, though, he seemed a lot less angry and even a little goofy. It's been fun seeing him get in touch with his inner bro, and we're hoping Face Randy will stick around a while longer. Who knows how they'll book him once he comes back, but real-life Randy has mellowed out quite a bit. He speaks of his theme song in "WWE Evil," admitting "the more I hear it, the more it kind of dawns on me that maybe I was hearing voices." While he says that in the beginning the voices were critical, telling him he'd never be as good as his dad, that's all changed. "Now," he says "I feel if someone were to ask me what are the voices telling me, I think the answer would be that I'm ... content, that I'm happy with who I am."

Advertisem*nt

21. Mark Henry: Some Bodies Gonna Get It by Three Six Mafia

Mark Henry had some horrible storylines back in the day, like fathering 77-year-old Mae Young's bouncing baby hand. When they finally let him go ahead and be a badass, though, he was a legit scary guy and needed a theme to match. Three 6 Mafia's "Some Bodies Gonna Get It" is a musical ode to the mayhem Henry unleashed in his prime: "Somebody gon' get they ass kicked, somebody gon' get their wig split, beat 'em up, beat 'em up, break his neck, break his neck."

Advertisem*nt

While Juicy J and DJ Paul already had a Best Original Song Academy Award under their belts ("It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from 2005's "Hustle and Flow") by the time they appeared on "SmackDown" to perform Henry's theme, they seemed even more thrilled by that gig. As WWE.com tells it, they said "We are so hyped right now ... We went out there as fans of the WWE itself and then there were all the WWE fans cheering for us, it was crazy, and the crowd was off the hook." While Three 6 Mafia were apparently dying for a chance to come back and perform at another WWE show, a rumored appearance at WrestleMania 29 was dropped, and when Mark Henry left the company, their window of opportunity closed for good. (Unless they hit up AEW ...)

Advertisem*nt

20. Lucha Bros: Zero Miedo

"Zero Miedo," the theme for the Lucha Brothers and for Penta el Zero M himself, is a macaronic rap, the first of two times you'll see that word on this list. It's only the refrain that's in English, however, as the bulk of the lyrics are Spanish. The English translation (as per Bandcamp) seems a bit awkward, but you've got to love the spirit behind such flexing: "You are going to know that why the bad guys are the best, we attacked you in the air, or with a submission hold, you going to have to ask for a blessing." ("Bad guys" even when they're in face mode ... sure, why not.)

Advertisem*nt

The surprising part of this song may just be who's doing most of the rapping. As per AEW'sFacebook page, it turns out to be Lucha Brothers manager, Spanish announce table stalwart, and QVC pitchman Alex Abrahantes! Sure, he's no professional musician, but he puts his whole heart into it and the result is a theme that gets the crown as pumped as the wrestlers themselves as even the non-Spanish speakers are able to join in on the chant of "Zeros up — M's down."

19. Rey Mysterio: Booyaka 619 by P.O.D.

Rey Mysterio's lucky number is obviously 619 –- not only is this his rope-swinging signature move, but it's also the area code of his beloved hometown. San Diego returns the love, so much so that in 2018 they declared June 19 (6/19) to be "Rey Mysterio Day" (via The Mix). 619 is also part of the name and the refrain of the entrance theme Mysterio has used since WrestleMania 22, with the song being a shoutout not only to SD's favorite son but also to the city he calls "mi pueblo."

Advertisem*nt

"Booyaka 619," by the San Diego-based P.O.D., has macaronic lyrics, which basically means they're in two languages (the Christian Science Monitor points out that centuries-old Christmas carols as well as modern rap songs make use of this technique). Now that we've got that pedantic musical trivia out of our systems, the main reason we love this Spanish/English song is because it presents our favorite luchador like a comic book superhero: "Flash up on the scene like a brown crusader, blowing up screens like Space Invaders." Plus there's that fun little homage to the "Cops" theme "Bad Boys." Of course the song fits Mysterio perfectly — as P.O.D. frontman told Slam Wrestling, they consider him "one of [our] homies." Mostly, though, it's just that Rey Mysterio is awesome, therefore, any song about him is, too.

Advertisem*nt

18. Ruby Soho: Ruby Soho by Rancid

Of all the wrestlers on this list, Ruby Soho is unique in that she actually took her ring name from her theme song. As you may recall, in WWE she wrestled as Ruby Riott and headed up the Riott Squad, but she couldn't keep that name once the company let her go in 2021. She didn't mind losing the Riott so much, but Ruby came from a favorite song of hers, the '90s pop-punk hit "Ruby Soho" by Rancid. Well, luckily for her, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen is a huge wrestling fan — as in, so huge he co-hosts the "Wrestling Perspective Podcast."

Advertisem*nt

Shortly after Soho's WWE release, she appeared as a guest on Frederiksen's podcast and the subject turned to her ring name in her post-WWE career. He suggested she call herself Ruby Soho since she loves the song, and her response was pretty priceless: "Stop! You can't say that to me and have me not lose my mind right now!" Frederiksen told her all it would take was a group text to the rest of the band and he could (and obviously did) get her the permission to do so, and she replied "Oh my god! Yes!" A year later, the band would appear live at AEW's Double or Nothing to play her to the ring, tweeting that it was an "absolute honor and privilege" to do so.

17. Darby Allin: I Fell by Wicca Phase Springs Eternal

While Darby Allin takes his ring name from two hardcore punk legends, Darby Crash and GG Allin, both his style and his entrance theme are more postpunk/goth. His entrance theme "I Fell" by Wicca Phase Springs Eternal seems to suit Allin perfectly with lyrics like "I painted my face white, and then it turned out red" along with the refrain "I fell, so did you" that could be referencing his signature Coffin Drop. No surprise, really, considering that Allin himself actually helped to write the song.

Advertisem*nt

Wicca Phase is a solo project of a musician named Adam McIlwee, himself no stranger to coffins. According to Interview magazine, he actually writes his songs in his family's funeral home. He's also enough of a wrestling fan to have appeared on a Voices of Wrestling podcast discussing "WCW Monday Nitro." Allin, however, seems to have initiated the collaboration. As he told Fandom, "When we got the freedom to do whatever, when it came to AEW and the music, I was like, 'I don't want no corny ass s**t wrestling song.' ... I want something that my friends or like skaters or whatever would actually jam out to." As for the results of the McIlwee/Allin songwriting tag team, Allin says "I feel like we did a good job with that ... To have a song that I helped create, it means a lot."

Advertisem*nt

16. Jungle Boy: Tarzan Boy by Baltimora

Every time Jungle Boy, makes his entrance, AEW fans all start waving their arms and rocking out to "Tarzan Boy," a bouncy '80s pop hit by an Italian band that inexplicably chose to call themselves after Maryland's own Charm City. (Maybe they were really into Natty Boh and crab cakes?)

Advertisem*nt

In an interview with Fightful, Jungle Boy admitted he'd never heard the song before it was suggested to him by Joey Janela, but he feels that it really helps him get ring-ready now. He says he used to get so anxious he'd sometimes throw up before a match, but now the music chases away his nerves and he's ready to rumble. It was no trouble for Tony Khan to secure the rights to the song, which he then gifted to the young wrestler for Christmas in 2020. Song co-composer Naimy Hackett was pleased to discover how her old song was finding new life. As she told SlamWrestling, "It's a wonderful feeling to see people enjoying i[t] and singing along." She's also now a big fan of Jungle Boy (who isn't?), saying "I've seen his shows on video, and I look forward to seeing one in person -– he's wonderful, and the song is the perfect match!"

Advertisem*nt

15. Steve Austin: I Won't Do What You Tell Me

The glass shatters, and the crowd goes wild ... It could only be The Texas Rattlesnake, whose imminent arrival is heralded by his signature song "I Won't Do What You Tell Me" (or possibly the later Disturbed remix entitled "Glass Shattered," but for the purposes of this list we're conflating the two since they're essentially the same composition). Jim Johnston is the man responsible for coming up with one of WWE's most instantly recognizable entrances, although he did so at the request of the Stone Cold one himself. As Steve Austin told the "Talk is Jericho" podcast, he wanted something with thesame feeling as Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" and he went straight to Johnston and asked if he could manage this.

Advertisem*nt

Johnston already had in his own mind, as he told Sports Illustrated, that Austin's theme "needed to capture someone who entered a room and made you think, 'God only knows what happens next.'" While the Rage Against the Machine song served as his inspiration, the final product is something completely different. It starts with a driving, urgent bass line, then layers on the sound of a car accident complete with broken glass before upping the ante with sirens and even an explosion. In Austin's own words, "It's just the perfect music for the perfect setup for the perfect pop for any kind of dire situation or circ*mstance — goddamn that's when we need Stone Cold."

14. Undertaker: Rest in Peace

If you've read ahead, you might notice that Taker gets two songs in the top 15? Why? Because he is awesome and has the music to match. In fact, if it weren't for his short-term use of the chilling Johnny Cash "Ain't No Grave" (a song that probably had a few people looking over their shoulder for the recently-deceased Man in Black when it came out), "Rest in Peace" may well have come in a couple of spots higher on the list.

Advertisem*nt

This latest, greatest version of the Deadman's iconic entrance music starts with his signature tolling bell, then repeats it three more times before segueing into a cheery little ditty known as the Funeral March (although its more formal moniker is "Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor" by Frédéric Chopin). "Rest in Peace" is classic Jim Johnston at his finest. As Johnston told WWE, at first he wasn't sure how to approach composing a theme for Undertaker, but then he realized "Okay, it's a dead guy ... it should be something sad and mournful," although he also brought in the organ, the heavy bass notes, and the creepy choir to make Undertaker's entrance as cinematic as possible. Johnston goes on to explain how the music works in the context of the Phenom's entrance: "In the backdrop, just like a film, is this soundtrack that's happening ... it's an incredibly powerful thing."

Advertisem*nt

13. Shinsuke Nakamura: The Rising Sun

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (24)

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Shinsuke Namakura's "The Rising Sun" may be one of CFO$' most enduring hits, proving them worthy successors to predecessor Jim Johnston. It became such a popular crowd sing-along that, as per SportsKeeda, when Nakamura turned heel in 2020 WWE took this theme away from him to prevent his getting such an easy pop. They replaced it with a new theme called "Shadows of a Setting Sun" that, while it had an edgy energy of its own (and in the opinion of many YouTube commenters was even more badass than Nakamura's face theme), was less familiar so didn't get quite the same crowd reaction.

Advertisem*nt

Before most fans were able to learn the lyrics to Nakamura's new heel theme, he turned face once more and "The Rising Sun" returned as well. Nakamura himself was pretty psyched about it, tweeting "YeaOh!! #therisingsun is back!!" and fans shared his enthusiasm. How could they not? In the words of Nita Strauss, the guitarist who played Nakamura into the ring at WrestleMania 34, "That theme song is undeniable ... you can't not scream that song at the top of your lungs when you hear it."

12. Minoru Suzuki: Kaze Ni Nare by Ayumi Nakamura

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (25)

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Musical irony is a trope that has been very effective in movies and video games — think the pairing of "ultraviolence" with calm classical compositions in "A Clockwork Orange" or chirpy retro tunes serving as counterpoint to the post-apocalyptic mayhem in the "Fallout" series. It's not as widespread in wrestling, but not unknown, and one of the best examples may be Minoru Suzuki's use of the song "Kaze Ni Nare" by the husky-voiced Ayumi Nakamura.

Advertisem*nt

Suzuki himself is a legit badass, but the lyrics of the song are all about being a lonely warrior gazing sadly at the stars, flying like a bird into a storm, and similar wistful imagery. Sweet, but it's the cognitive dissonance that's the real kicker. One r/Squared Circle member describes it perfectly: "The conflicting messages between this beautiful ballad being sung while our beloved murder grandpa walks to the ring has always been a favorite of mine."

11. Ilja Dragunov: Comrades of The Red Army

Ilja Dragunov, the former NXT UK Champion known as the Ring Czar, comes across as somewhat of an old-school Cold War throwback heel despite the fact that he was born after the collapse of the Soviet Union (plus, as the Daily DDT reveals, he actually grew up in Germany). In WXW, r/SquaredCircle recalls him walking out to "Soviet March" from "Red Alert 3," but when he was signed by NXT, he got a new theme,"Comrades of the Red Army."This song's got a whole "Enemy at the Gates" vibe to it with its stirring martial music and a choir belting out such sentiments as "The call of our motherland makes us march with cheer and joy, we're brothers, we are proud to be defenders of this country." (The lyrics are not entirely applicable to Dragunov as he mostly wrestles solo, but then, they're singing in Russian anyway so who's to know?)

Advertisem*nt

This theme song, however, was discreetly dropped from WWE programming in April 2022 due to the war in Ukraine (via WrestleTalk). His new theme is a less-controversial, but also less interesting, composition called "Czar's Horsem*n." WWE did not, however, manage to expunge Dragunov's former theme from WWE 2K22, so "Comrades of the Red Army" lives on in this virtual venue.

10. nWo Hulk Hogan: Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix

If someone mentions the name of Hulk Hogan, you probably picture him first in his red and yellow ring gear and his cheesy "Real American" theme starts earworming its way through your brain. And yes, the song we hate to love (and love to sing out loud when no-one's listening) does have a place lower down on this list. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, however, had a much cooler theme for his heel incarnation. As a member of nWo in WCW and even on his return to WWE in 2002, he walked out to the ring to the accompaniment of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child."

Advertisem*nt

So how did WCW first get the right's to Hendrix's hit, a song that was chosen (via the Daily Express) as having the greatest guitar riff in history? As Eric Bischoff told Andrew Pope on the "Pickin' It Out" podcast, "I cut the deal with Jimi Hendrix's sister for $100,000 a year for worldwide rights." Those rights were not granted in perpetuity, however.As members of Reddit's r/SquaredCircle lament, WWE has overdubbed the footage with this track in all the video they own, although of course numerous YouTube bootlegs still exist.

9. The Road Warriors: Iron Man by Black Sabbath

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (28)

WWE/YouTube

There's no denying that early metal classic"Iron Man" is pretty epic, so much so that the Los Angeles Timeshas named it the best wrestling theme of all time, but it's likely that only hardcore wrestling fans will hear the opening bars and immediately think of Hawk and Animal. Nor does the song actually refer to the Marvel superhero of the same name, although it has been used in the movie franchise. Instead, the doom-laden lyrics tell the story of a man who time travels to the future, sees that it's all messed up, and comes back to warn everyone. A freak accident turns him into metal, though, and this takes away what little credibility he might have had. He gets pissed off when no one will listen to his message, so ironically he winds up causing the very apocalypse he meant to ward off. Very heavy. Very metal.

Advertisem*nt

Besides its connection to the Road Warriors, "Iron Man" has another link to pro wrestling in that Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne is now a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. While Osbourne doesn't seem to have ever performed "Iron Man" live at any wrestling events, he and Captain Lou Albano teamed up to manage the British Bulldogs at WrestleMania 2. He must have enjoyed the experience as he subsequently made several appearances on both "Raw" and "SmackDown" over the course of the next 20+ years.

8. Undertaker: Ain't No Grave by Johnny Cash

Many of Undertaker's themes over the years have been in-house instrumental compositions and some of these are pretty awesome — the best of these comes a few spots further down this list. For sheer stick-in-your-head quality, though, you can't get much better than a classic Johnny Cash song like "Ain't No Grave." Taker didn't actually use this theme for too long. As Whiskey Riff recalls, it primarily featured in the run-up to his match with Triple H at WrestleMania 27 and it fit in with the Phenom's returning to more of an Old West gunslinger-type persona.

Advertisem*nt

The song itself has quite a spooky vibe to it. For one thing, the version Undertaker used was recorded by the Other Man in Black shortly before his death and released posthumously. Cash himself was not the song's composer, though. As per Praise Broadcasting Network, this nearly 90-year-old gospel song was penned by a preacher named Claude Ely who claimed to have come up with it out of the blue when he lay in bed (almost) dying of tuberculosis at the age of 12. While he did rise from that particular deathbed, we presume he's long gone by now, and Cash himself has stayed in his grave, as well. The Deadman, however, has cheated death time and time again (long may he continue to do so).

7. Bryan Danielson: Ride of the Valkyries

While many wrestlers wisely avoid talking politics –Kane being an obvious exception — it's not difficult to see that the Big Red Machine's former tag team partner holds rather different views. Bryan Danielson has been "mostly vegan" for a number of years, and his Twitter bio describes him as an "amateur environmentalist" as well. It's interesting, then, that the entrance theme he's best known for is a classical composition even more mired in controversy than "Land of Hope and Glory." While "Ride of the Valkyries" is a pretty epic piece of music, it also has the dubious distinction of being one of the greatest hits of Richard Wagner, the 19th century German composer who had Adolph Hitler as his number one fan (via The Collector).

Advertisem*nt

As Danielson admits in his autobiography "Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania," "I've always had questionable taste in entrance music." One of his best-known past themes is Europe's "The Final Countdown," a song he used in the indies even after learning it had been voted the worst song of all time. WWE could not afford the rights to this abysmal-but-expensive song, and as The Sportster reports, neither could AEW. AEW is instead using Elliott Taylor's "Born for Greatness," a song that incorporates a few bars of "Ride of the Valkyries" before devolving into a generic trap beat about 30 seconds in. We, however, much prefer WWE's more straight-up adoption of Wagner's royalty-free operatic air.

Advertisem*nt

6. Randy Savage: Pomp & Circ*mstances

When Macho Man Randy Savage stepped into the ring, he did so to the strains of the music that Americans all associate with high school graduations, although fans in England were more likely to be wondering why on earth he was going with the song they know as "Land of Hope and Glory." As one confused British Redditor put it, "It would be like William Regal coming out to America The Beautiful," only perhaps a bit more controversial as the words of this anthem are now seen as an odious ode to British imperialism. As iNews reports, many in this day and age would like to see the song canceled.

Advertisem*nt

Actually, the tune — Sir Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circ*mstance March No. 1" -– was first used by a different (and equally non-British) wrestler, Gorgeous George. Classic FM tells us that The Human Orchid was one of the first wrestlers to have an entrance theme, and he strutted into the ring to this same classical composition. While Savage used the theme throughout much of his career (let's all agree to forget his WCW theme "What's Up, Mach?"), he would come in time to feel guilt over appropriating his predecessor's theme music. Whether due to this issue or to the fact that he was just sick of the tune, the Macho Man left instructions with his brother Lanny Poffo that the march not be played at his funeral.

Advertisem*nt

5. CM Punk: Cult of Personality by Living Colour

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (32)

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

When CM Punk made his AEW debut seven years after quitting WWE, his hometown crowd nearly lost their minds as "Cult of Personality" began to play. As perUltimate Classic Rock,Punk first used this song in 2011 when he returned to "Monday Night Raw" after his infamous pipe bomb promo. Two years later, Living Colour would play him into the ring with a live performance at WrestleMania 29. While Punk had been able to use this theme in UFC, fans weren't sure whether it would follow him to AEW. PW Insider, however, disclosed prior to Punk's return that WWE never owned the song, they just leased it for the final years of his tenure and didn't renew it after he was gone. Needless to say, Tony Khan and his deep pockets had no problem securing the rights to use it.

Advertisem*nt

While the lyrics "Look in my eyes, what do you see? The cult of personality" seem to epitomize Punk's fanatic following, this song actually came out in 1988 when the future Chick Magnetwas just 9 years old. As lyricist Vernon Reid told The Ringer, the song's title comes from a book by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but its political provenance has nothing to do with why Punk chose it as his personal anthem. The Best in the World, it seems, has a sentimental streak — as per this 2020 tweet, "Cult of Personality" was his Little League team's song.

4. Jon Moxley: Wild Thing by X

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (33)

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Anyone who saw AEW's 2022 Double or Nothing will surely have vivid memories of the aptly-named Anarchy in the Arena match that pitted the Jericho Appreciation Society against the Blackpool Combat club, Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz. Setting the tone for the first 10 minutes was Mox's theme "Wild Thing" as it played on an endless loop until an enraged Jericho destroyed the soundboard to silence it (via The Ringer).

Advertisem*nt

Jon Moxley and "Wild Thing" seem like a perfect match, but he's only been using it as his entrance for the past two years. Apparently it was meant to be a one-time thing, a tribute to Japanese hardcore legend Atsushi Onita who'd also used it as his theme. The first time Mox walked out to "Wild Thing" AEW played the original Troggs version of the three chord classic, but when it went over well with the crowd Tony Khan then bought the rights to the more hard-edged version by L.A. punk band X. (This is the same version that's used in "Major League," a movie that features WWE Hall of Famer Bob Uecker.) While "Wild Thing" doesn't get the same crowd singalong pop as "Judas" does, it's pretty close — and it definitely doesn't make anyone think of Kevin Owens. Mox himself is the real Wild Thing, and he does, in fact, make everything groovy ... in an ultra-violent and extra-bloody sort of way.

Advertisem*nt

3. Roddy Piper: Bonnie Lass of Fyvie

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (34)

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

And now for something completely different: the third spot on our list goes not to a rock anthem but to a Scottish folk song that once heralded the arrival of the one and only Roddy Piper. Piper used several different bagpipe tunes throughout his career, sometimes all in the same entrance — at WrestleMania 7, he limped to the ring to a medley of "Bonnie Lass of Fyvie," "Green Hills of Tyrol," and "Killiecrankie," while at WrestleMania I he was piped in by a band playing "Scotland the Brave." Since we can't go with all of the above, we chose the first-named song as Piper's greatest hit on account of the story it tells.

Advertisem*nt

The bagpipe version of "Bonnie Lass of Fyvie" is, of course, an instrumental as no-one could possibly sing above the sound of the pipes. The song itself does have lyrics, though, and it tells a tragic tale of an army captain who was rebuffed by a pretty girl since she didn't fancy the life of a camp follower. The poor guy, who may have been a wee bit oversensitive for a soldier, subsequently died of sorrow en route from Fyvie to Auchterless (as perGoogle Maps, there'sless than five miles distance between the towns). In a far more bloodthirsty American variant called "Fennario," though, the vengeful captain instead returns to burn down the entire town in a heel move of which Piper would surely approve.

Advertisem*nt

2. Edge: Metalingus by Alter Bridge

In the number two spot, we went with Alter Bridge's "Metalingus," a song that will always be associated with the Rated R Superstar. Perhaps it's not such a coincidence that Jericho's and Edge's epic rock anthems should be back-to-back on this list, since as Edge told Journey of a Frontman in a 2013 interview, "Chris and I always knew that we had similar taste in music ... we can sit there and talk music for hours."

Advertisem*nt

As to how Edge chose his theme, there is, of course, a story behind it. When WWE's right to use Rob Zombie's "Never Gonna Stop" ran out, they went with a Jim Johnston creation called "You Think You Know Me" that Edge says he never really liked. He really wanted to get another Rob Zombie song and WWE was trying to make this happen, but then they didn't. Fortuitously Edge met up with Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and his new buddy played him a song off what would become Alter Bridge's first album. Edge immediately asked, "Dude, can I use that when I come back?" (He was out with a neck injury at the time.) He used it until he retired in 2011, and then when he made his triumphant return at the 2020 Royal Rumble he came out to a huge pop -– and to "Metalingus" once again, a song whose lyrics about fighting through adversity (as per Tremonti himself) fit him now better than ever.

Advertisem*nt

1. Chris Jericho: Judas by Fozzy

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (36)

David A. Smith/Getty Images

While determining numbers two through 35 on this list was a bit tricky at times, we will say that number one was a slam dunk. What else could it be but "Judas" as sung by Le Rock Star Chris Jericho plus a cast of every single AEW fan in attendance at any given show? (And most of us watching at home, as well.) It's the greatest singalong since Handel's "Messiah," and we don't even have to wait for Christmas! In fact, "Judas" seems to be transcending its status as a wrestling theme and becoming a general sports anthem, as witness its being played at this British soccer match.

Advertisem*nt

As to the story behind the song, a persistent rumor dating from the time of its 2017 release is that the song is about Kevin Owens, Jericho's former bestie whom he faced at WrestleMania that year. In fact, Fightful even imagines that the lyrics are meant to be delivered from Owens' POV. They do realize, though, that "innocence personified" can't possibly refer to Jericho, so they posit the bizarre theory that the song is meant to be addressed to Sami Zayn instead. Seriously? He's more like annoyance personified. Whoever the true Judas may be, we're going to go right on singing this song even (or especially) when the Wizard yells at us and tells us to stop.

35 Best Entrance Themes In Wrestling History Ranked - Wrestling Inc. (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Maia Crooks Jr

Last Updated:

Views: 6250

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Maia Crooks Jr

Birthday: 1997-09-21

Address: 93119 Joseph Street, Peggyfurt, NC 11582

Phone: +2983088926881

Job: Principal Design Liaison

Hobby: Web surfing, Skiing, role-playing games, Sketching, Polo, Sewing, Genealogy

Introduction: My name is Maia Crooks Jr, I am a homely, joyous, shiny, successful, hilarious, thoughtful, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.