Pro Wrestling's Greatest Heel-Turn Theme Songs
We all know how important a good theme song is. In most cases, it can make or break the charisma or anticipation of a superstar.
Whether it is the Y2J countdown, the glass shattering, or the "gong," good theme music provokes an even greater amount of intrigue for a wrestler, as we have seen over the years.
Every now and then, a wrestler shocks the world by turning into a villain, or "heel." In some cases—to solidify their heel push—their music is changed to further shape the mood of their character.
Here are some of the pro wrestling's greatest heel-turn theme songs.
NOTE: It is worth mentioning the nWo as a group, but they will not have a slide because this list is for individual wrestlers.
Reader's Choice: Rikishi
Returning to the WWE after multiple previous gimmicks, Rikishi was utilized as the no-nonsense enforcer of Too Cool—until he put on his glasses and danced with them after nearly every match.
This gimmick started to get over, and he even received a short Intercontinental Title reign.
Rikishi propelled to main event status when he turned heel after being revealed as the one who attacked Steve Austin, claiming he "did it for the Rock."
This led to feuds with both Austin and the Rock, as well as a spot at the first and only Armageddon Hell in a Cell match in 2000.
As a heel, the fun-loving Rikishi became the "Bad Man."
1998 was truly Scott Steiner's breakout year as a singles wrestler.
After teaming with his brother Rick for most of his career, the WCW decided to turn him heel during a match with Rick against the Outsiders at SuperBrawl.
His "Superstar" Billy Graham-esque goatee, increased muscle physique, and fresh theme song made him completely different than the Scott Steiner of the early 90s.
Steiner would go on to be WCW's top guy throughout most of their short 2001 tenure, eventually losing the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Booker T on the final episode of Nitro.
Eddie Guerrero was both babyface and heel throughout his career on multiple occasions. However, his most menacing heel turn happened in 2005.
Shortly after Guerrero and Rey Mysterio won the tag team titles at No Way Out, Eddie's nephew Chavo started to persuade him into competing against his tag team partner instead of aligning with him at WrestleMania. As a result Eddie challenged Mysterio, and lost at the PPV.
Guerrero began to become jealous of Rey's victory, and eventually turned heel on Mysterio during a match against MNM on an episode of SmackDown.
In one of the most brutal spots in recent memory, Guerrero suplexed Mysterio on the steel steps, cementing his heel turn, and his new music followed.
During the final days of WCW, Booker T received a significant push, eventually being the final world champion before the company closed its doors in 2001.
After success in the WWE as IC, US, and tag team champion with multiple partners, Booker T completely changed his gimmick in 2006.
Booker T won the 2006 King of the Ring tournament, acquired a "Royal Court" of Sharmell, William Regal, and Finlay and changed his named to "King Booker," or as he would say it, "Kiiiiiing ... Bookaaaah!"
This gimmick led to a 'royal' heel theme song and, most importantly, a World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge is one of the most decorated superstars in WWE history.
He has been in many notable feuds with Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker.
He made his official heel turn in 2004, abandoning Chris Benoit on Taboo Tuesday, as well as costing Shawn Michaels an opportunity to become world champion.
After a series of themes, his heel-turn theme remained with him for the better part of his main-event tenure.
After becoming popular by being a member of Degeneration X, Triple H broke away from the faction, eventually turning heel on fellow-DX member X-Pac and joining the Corporation.
HHH solidified his Hall of Fame legacy by forming the "McMahon-Helmsley Era" in late 1999 after Stephanie McMahon turned on her father Vince and aligned with Triple H.
Triple H did not look back—he became a multiple-time world champion, and is next in line to take over the company.
Although this theme isn't the best heel theme for Triple H—in my opinion—it is what distinguished him as an entirely different heel that he previously had been.
"Do you trust me?"
This was the incredibly eerie question Jake Roberts repeatedly posed to the Ultimate Warrior. Roberts committed to assisting him in experiencing the dark side during his feud with the Undertaker by taking him through a series of tests to strengthen him.
During the last test, Roberts locked Warrior in a room full of snakes, and said, "Never trust a snake." It was later revealed that Roberts, Undertaker and Paul Bearer were in cahoots all along.
His new theme song that followed was one of the most maniacal, but yet beguiling themes ever.
After being a very popular tag team in the late 80s into 1990, the Rockers began to experience some dissension when Shawn Michaels' ego became increasingly noticed.
Michaels reached his breaking point during an episode of Brutus Beefcake's Barber Shop. After blaming Jannetty for a recent tag team loss, the two seemingly reconciled. Seconds later, Michaels superkicked Jannetty and threw him through the glass window on the set of the show.
Sherri Martel, better known as "Sensational Sherri," began to manage Michaels and was the vocals of his initial heel turn theme song. This was relatively short-lived, as Michaels become the vocalist of the second version.
Michaels has maintained this theme song ever since.
Going into 1997, Vince McMahon slowly began to come from behind the announcer's table to make his actual position in the company—President and Chairman of the Board—public.
During this time, he was involved in angles with a disgruntled Jim Ross and Bret Hart, who felt he was being mistreated by McMahon. This led to the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" at Survivor Series 1997 due to Bret Hart signing with WCW.
McMahon's most memorable feud was with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Vince promised Austin that he would have "No Chance in Hell" in winning the Royal Rumble, even making a theme song out of it for the PPV.
The theme song fit McMahon's character so much that it become his personal theme song and has stuck with him to this day.
The Undertaker character is arguably the best gimmick in wrestling history.
Debuting in 1990, his mysterious and intimidating presence as a heel led him to quickly become WWE Champion after just one year with the company.
The Undertaker surprisingly took his "dark side" character a different direction, eventually becoming a babyface in 1992. The Undertaker remained a face for most of his career, minus a couple of heel turns along the way.
His most drastic heel turn was the inception of his "Big Evil" gimmick. 'Taker had repackaged himself in 2000 after a long hiatus due to injury, shedding his Gothic persona and revealing a biker gimmick.
In 2001, the Undertaker turned heel on Jim Ross, and further repackaged himself by cutting his hair and changing his theme song from "Rollin" to "You're Gonna Pay."
Steve Austin pulled one of the greatest swerves in WWE history at WrestleMania 17.
After years of intense feuding, Austin aligned himself with Vince McMahon at the PPV after McMahon interfered in their match with the Rock, eventually causing Rock to lose the match. This was shocking to many, as Austin was undoubtedly the top babyface of the WWE.
Austin was way too over too stay a heel for a long period of time, though. After remaining heel during most of the WWE vs. WCW/ECW "Invasion" angle, Austin slowly became a face again at the end of 2001.
Austin had a series of heel themes during his short run, but this was the most popular.
The Rock is one of the most successful babyfaces in WWE history.
However, after an initial heel turn to join the Nation of Domination in 1997 and another heel turn to join the Corporation in 1998, he turned heel for a third time in his WWE career in 2003.
The Rock started to receive criticism from the fans and wrestlers for "selling out" and making movies. This led to a cocky, smug heel turn by the Rock and subsequent "Rock concerts" in Sacramento, Calif., and Toronto.
Rock's short-lived 2003 heel turn gave a very comedic, but arrogant side of himself that worked very well.
In arguably the most shocking heel turn of all time, Hulk Hogan turned his back on the WCW at the 1996 Bash the Beach, aligning with the "Outsiders," Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, and forming the "New World Order," or nWo.
During his heel turn, Hogan showed traits of himself that was never seen before by childhood fans while he reigned supreme in the WWE.
Hogan's WCW heel turn lasted less than three years, and he became a babyface again in 1999. The WWE tried to reform the nWo as heels in 2002, but to no avail. Hogan quickly became a babyface, notably after his WrestleMania 18 match against the Rock.
Hogan walking to the "Voodoo Chile" song while playing his air guitar further added to his nWo cockiness and elitist mentality.
What are your favorite heel turn themes? Comment civilly below.
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