Think about your favorite wrestler. What is the easiest thing that you can identify him with? His entrance theme.
In this era of PG wrestling, so many things have been sacrificed for money and mainstream acceptance.
From pay-per-view names, to wrestlers' freedoms to improvise on their characters, and to something as simple as blood in a match. But what many people seem to bypass is the generalization of the entrance theme.
Gone are the days when you would hear an opening note and instantly know who was going to walk out through the curtain.
A glass shattering meant we were going to see Stone Cold Steve Austin raise hell. A car screeching meant we were going to say hello to the bad guy.
And who did not get up from their seats when the first few notes of the Ultimate Warrior’s song blasted trough the speakers?
So many themes, so many great characters, so many memories.
Up until a few years ago, themes still had some originality, but fast forward to present day and we got a library of entrance songs that are hard to distinguish from one to another and do little to connect fans to the wrestler.
Legacy, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, and Sheamus. All such different characters, but listening to their themes, it is hard to tell one from another. All have the same sound, and the lyrics could easily be switched between songs and no one would notice.
Call me old-fashioned, but to me an opening theme should be able to tell me who and what the character represents without even seeing him or hearing him speak without using words.
There are some few themes that stand out, but even as great as Orton’s, Edge’s, and Jericho’s themes are, they don’t leave a mental footprint that you will remember 20 or even 15 years from now.
You will never forget The Hitman’s opening guitar sound. The Undertaker’s bell will give you chills every time you hear it, and you will definitely smell what The Rock is cooking when you hear him say his opening line.
Do you think Stone Cold would have been such a mythical wrestling figure if he would have had a generic rock song? Would The Rock have been as electrifying with someone else singing his famous catchphrases? Would Mick Foley’s hardcore reputation be damaged by having generic lyrics in his song instead of guitars and cars crashing?
Perhaps people enjoy the new trend of entrance themes that sound like general rock or hip-hop. After all, WWE soundtracks always have a strong showing on the charts.
Maybe it is the fact that fans from "The New Generation" and "Attitude" eras have moved on, and I am one of the few people left and the product is no longer targeting me.
I would encourage you to go on-line and hear old themes from the 1990s or 1980s. Listen to how each song personified the character. Listen to the originality of each track.
Listen to a dying art. Jim Johnston is being replaced by rock bands and rappers. A very sad truth.
All I can do is hope that one day WWE will go back to making entrance themes and not songs. For now, however, I will plug in my headphones, turn up the volume, and remember…
Remember what entrance themes should be.
Remember what wrestling was.