Every wrestler deserves a good entrance. And every good entrance deserves a good theme.
Men like The Undertaker and Triple H have made an art form out their entrances.
Wrestler theme music during an entrance really took off in the ‘80s, when the WWE was coming into its own on the national scene.
More often than not, the WWE uses Jim Johnston and their in-house production team to create songs themselves. Sometimes this team will create songs for major recording artists to perform.
But sometimes a song by a non-WWE artist fits a superstar perfectly.
Ranked by how memorable and how well the song conveyed who the wrestler was, here are the 10 best theme songs by non-WWE artists.
Randy Orton—“Voices” by Rev Theory
This song about multiple voices in the singer’s head summed up one of Orton’s strengths. Wrestlers and fans never know just what they are getting when he steps in the ring.
Evolution—"Line in the Sand" by Motörhead
Looking forward and looking back, the best of both worlds. The song fit perfectly.
Rob Van Dam—“Walk” by Kilgore
The pounding, high-intensity cover of the Pantera hit was perfect for RVD’s hard-hitting, high-intensity style.
For a monster like Kane, a theme song needs to be as demonic and evil-sounding as he is.
“Slow Chemical” by Finger Eleven is a creepy song with a driving beat. You know where the song is going to take you, you don’t want to go, but can’t resist either.
The pace is slow and deliberate, which matches Kane perfectly. The Big Red Machine can take the time to stalk his victims, letting their fear build, because he always finds them.
Hulk Hogan’s shocking and unexpected heel turn in 1996 came with a complete image makeover.
Gone were the yellow and red, the pandering to the fans.
Gone was his long-time staple theme song, "Real American" by Rick Derringer.
The new Hogan was black and white, huge ego and attitude and a brand new theme song.
The opening cords of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix were sharp and precise, just like Hogan’s new image. The first few chords were all it took to get the fans booing…and on their feet.
"Real American" is easily one of the most recognizable theme songs in wrestling history.
In the ‘80s, this song represented everything Hogan stood for: justice, loyalty, respect. He was the guy who fought for what was right.
The song was so closely tied to Hogan the chords the WWE used to open the song—which came after a few opening lines—sent fans into a frenzy.
“I am a real American. Fight for the rights of every man.” —Rick Derringer, "Real American"
And Hogan did.
If there were such a thing as wrestling royalty, it would be Ric Flair.
The most decorated world champion in wrestling history wouldn’t be complete without an epic theme song.
The choice of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss, also known as the “Theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey,” was pure magic.
The opening horns, followed by the pounding drums, are grandiose, presenting a larger-than-life image.
That was Flair.
The hair, the robes, the women, the titles. Nobody did it better and nobody lived larger than the Nature Boy.
When Lemmy Kilmister snarls, “It’s time to play the game,” something awesome is about to happen.
Jim Johnston wrote this song for Triple H. But the recording by Motörhead truly blends it with the persona of Triple H.
The beat is pounding and direct, the guitars grinding…much like Triple H’s assault in the ring.
Nothing else but a heavy metal tune about being the best at what you do would suffice for the Cerebral Assassin.
The Undertaker’s reinvention as a tough-as-nails biker included a brand new theme song that had nothing to do with death.
It was a complete turnaround from anything he had done.
In the process, Undertaker started anew in the WWE. His new persona and theme song made him an even more intimidating wrestler.
‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig had everything to be a superstar.
Style, charisma, good looks and athletic ability. He carried it all off with a swagger and an attitude that could have easily rivaled Ric Flair.
His theme song from the film Exodus, was grand and majestic, a sweeping mix of music and emotions.
That was what Mr. Perfect was. Equal parts majestic and grand, he played off the fans' emotions. They hated him because they wanted to be him.
Any other theme song would have been an injustice.
WWE.com lists this song at No. 1 on their greatest theme song list, and it’s easy to hear why.
The pounding drums and stinging guitars drove the fans into a frenzy, much the same way that the Rated-R Superstar Edge did.
The song starts off sounding reckless, about to fall apart. But then pulls itself together into a tightly woven rock anthem.
Edge was much the same way. His persona could swing one way or the other. He always seemed a bit on the edge of chaos.
But when the time came to get in the ring, it all came together.
‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage was one of the biggest names in professional wrestling.
He’s known just as much for his feud with Hogan and his love affair with Miss Elizabeth as he is for his catchphrase, “Oh Yeah!”
Just like many of the other themes on this list, Savage’s use of "Pomp & Circumstance" gave his character a sense of class and greatness.
Where his biggest rival used a rock song, Savage brilliantly used this song to proclaim he was a step above and beyond all the others in the WWE.
WWE Champion CM Punk has so many sides to him, this song about using media to create a hero is perfect.
According to Princeton.edu, a cult of personality is hero worship created by media and propaganda.
“I sell the things you need to be.
I'm the smiling face on your TV.
I'm the cult of personality.
I exploit you, still you love me.
I tell you one and one makes three.
I'm the cult of personality.”
—Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"
Punk personifies this with his mix of pipe-bomb monologues, self-praise and blending of fantasy and reality. His Straight Edge Society also showcased this.
The catchy chords and lyrics blend perfectly with Punk’s pseudo-real personality.