The Top 10 Musical Acts Synonymous with WWE
In 1998, the World Wrestling Federation was searching for new elements to thrust the Attitude Era into the stratosphere of professional wrestling.
As fans flocked to shows across the country, the WWF learned that the one of the easiest ways to get their product over was via use of popular music.
They began the process by branding several events and shows with high profile musical acts, some of whom had previously collaborated on the WWF's Full Metal album.
In the last dozen years, several of these bands are now staples of WWE programming, having their tunes sampled and ripped for wrestlers as well as pay-per-view events and even television shows.
Remember the first time you heard AC/DC's “Highway to Hell” in salute of SummerSlam 1998? Or the unforgettable use of Limp Bizkit's “My Way” all throughout WrestleMania X-Seven?
Let's face it: the WWE knows how to properly utilize music television as a vessel for the artists and themselves at the same time.
In that line of thinking, I present to you the list of the 10 Musical Acts Synonymous with WWE. And if you're thinking I left out Jim Johnston, just know that he's disqualified altogether. Enjoy!
10. Adelitas Way
Though they are a new addition to the list, the year Adelitas Way has spent near World Wrestling Entertainment has been a profitable one indeed.
In anticipation of the release of their first album, the band shilled their single “Invincible” to several outlets in an effort to increase exposure.
WWE listened intently, booking the theme as the lead attraction for their new WWE Superstars program on WGN.
The song skyrocketed, and the band became another on the long list of “go-to” bands for WWE entrance themes.
Their latest work, “It's a New Day,” is currently being used by Ted DiBiase after originally being recorded for the Legacy duo.
It is also the name of the 10th installment in the WWE Music series. They were even long rumored to have performed a version of Dolph Ziggler's “I Am Perfection,” which would have given them three studio recordings for WWE in just under six months.
9. Alter Bridge
Quickly becoming one of the most iconic themes in WWE, Alter Bridge's “Metalingus” is known for being the rip-roaring fuel behind the Rated R Superstar Edge.
The band also provided tunes for both the 2005 Royal Rumble (“Find the Real”) and the 2007 Unforgiven event (“Rise Today”).
While that may not be the most impressive CV on the list, let us not forget that many of the members of this band came from Creed, who was also responsible for no less than two WWE themes in “Young Grow Old” and “My Sacrifice.”
8. Chris Warren
You might be asking yourself: Who is Chris Warren? If you're still stumped, then you clearly don't remember the Attitude Era very well.
Warren burst onto the scene under a WWE contract as a member of the Chris Warren Band, also affectionately known as the DX Band.
As lead vocalist, Warren sang the DX theme as well as X-Pac's theme music, “No Chance in Hell” for Vince McMahon, and the later WWF Superstars theme song.
One year later, Warren contributed his vocals to Triple H's solo theme, “My Time,” before departing the WWE altogether.
He's been the driving force behind almost all DX-related theme songs, even an ill-fated performance of “America The Beautiful” at WrestleMania XIV.
7. Kid Rock
The WWE overtly ignored Kid Rock's debut, Devil Without a Cause, when it was released in the late 90's.
But when Kid Rock came out with his second album, they went crazy by completely remaking the Undertaker in the image of an “American Bad Ass.”
Taker's biker gimmick was just the start for Kid Rock's career in conjunction with pro wrestling.
Rock would record a cover of the ZZ Top classic “Legs” for Stacy Keibler before the title track from his third album, “Cocky,” became the theme for the 2002 Royal Rumble.
And then, much like Kid Rock's career at the time, he fizzled from the scene and wasn't heard from again for five years.
When he came back to WWE, Rock provided “All Summer Long” for Backlash 2007 and had his second big stage performance for the company at WrestleMania XXV with the song “So Hott.”
Ironically, most fans agree that he should again depart after wasting 15 minutes on what was supposed to be the biggest card in wrestling history.
So by 2014, he'll be back to entertain wrestling fans again who, by that time, will see him as fresh.
6. Limp Bizkit
Name the worst hidden character in a WWE Smackdown! Video Game. If you said Fred Durst, lead singer of the band Limp Bizkit, then you know your PlayStation 2 games in and out.
The band known as Bizkit gave the WWE a lot in exchange for just that cameo, considering that one of their biggest tracks, “Rollin',” was used as part of the gradual progression of the Undertaker's bad ass persona.
Within the year, they lent another track from their critically-acclaimed album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, “My Way,” to be used for every bumper and video package at WrestleMania X-Seven.
The band reached a peak at the same time as the WWF/WWE, so when they returned two years later for WrestleMania XIX, the landscape had changed on both fronts.
Their live performance of the pay-per-view's theme, “Crack Addict,” was a poor excuse for their previous efforts and they would provide only one more track to the company.
That song, “Build a Bridge,” provided for the 2003 Survivor Series, may well be the last time any Limp Bizkit song was relevant, even in the microcosm of professional wrestling.
In case you didn't know, Vince McMahon loves AC/DC. Seriously. Didn't you think there was some correlation between AC/DC tracks and WrestleMania themes?
Though AC/DC has never formally recorded a track for World Wrestling Entertainment, that hasn't stopped the boss from using their content consistently since 1998 with “Highway to Hell” at SummerSlam.
By the time they recorded the album Black Ice, the world was back in love with AC/DC, McMahon very much included.
He used “Spoilin' for a Fight” as the theme song to the 2008 Survivor Series before using “War Machine” and “Shoot to Thrill” for WrestleMania XXV.
Then, one year later, AC/DC again received top billing for providing “Thunderstruck” to the soundtrack of WrestleMania XXVI.
Well, this was an obvious selection. Since the year 2000, the heavy metal gods Motorhead have been synonymous with not just the WWE, but superstar Triple H.
First, they provided Hunter's iconic theme, “The Game,” for WWF The Music: Vol. 5. After a few live performances of that very song on wrestling TV, they would be called upon again to record “Line in the Sand” for the new Triple H-led stable Evolution.
When it was time to upgrade for Helmsley's King of Kings gimmick, Motorhead again providing a metal track by the same name.
Motorhead even got into the fun of providing a theme for a WWE Pay-Per-View when their song “Rock Out” headlined Unforgiven 2008.
3. Drowning Pool
“Let the bodies hit the floor.” Did you ever get tired of hearing it, because the WWE didn't.
Originally licensed in 2001 for SummerSlam, the WWE milked Drowning Pool's biggest hit for more money than Drowning Pool ever could.
Every ECW introduction and event that year (and again in 2006 and 2007) was opened with this heavy tune that found itself on the banned list following 9/11.
That didn't stop the WWE from keeping Drowning Pool around, however, after they used other hits from their first album like “Sinner” and “Tear Away” for Vengeance 2001 and WrestleMania X8 respectively.
Drowning Pool even entertained wrestling fans to a few live performances of their WWE-themed songs “The Game,” a cover for Triple H, and “Rise Up,” the theme to SmackDown!
In 2004, Drowning Pool made one final gift of their song “Step Up” for WrestleMania XX before “Bodies” resurfaced for years to follow.
2. Rick Derringer
Don't think we've forgotten about the contributions of Rick Derringer on this list. After all, Derringer is the Godfather of pro wrestling entrance themes from mainstream acts.
Derringer found exposure and success with his hit “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo,” not to mention he had credits for an extensive library with Edgar Winter, Steely Dan, and Alice Cooper.
But Derringer was most noted for three things in the pro wrestling world, the least of which was helping Mean Gene Okerlund cover his solo hit.
Truth be told, Derringer provided two of the greatest entrance themes of all time. The first was for Demolition, a hard rock, borderline-metal track that always got a crowd reaction and was higher quality than most themes of the time.
His other addition? Hulk Hogan's iconic theme “Real American,” which to this day, is the most memorable wrestling theme of all time.
It doesn't seem like the most obvious of selections, but believe it or not, the hard rock band Saliva must really, REALLY be wrestling fans.
Since 2001, Saliva has provided 11 different tracks to World Wrestling Entertainment for temporary and permanent use.
It started with the use of their most famous song, “Click, Click, Boom” at No Mercy 2001. Then, they recorded themes for both The Dudley Boyz (“Turn the Tables”) and Chris Jericho (“King of My World”) while also providing live performances at WrestleMania X8 (“Superstar”) and Survivor Series 2002 (“Always”).
Perhaps their biggest contribution to WWE Theme Music was “I Walk Alone,” the longstanding theme to former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Batista.
They also allowed WWE to use “Survival of the Sickest,” “Ladies and Gentlemen,” “Hunt You Down,” and most recently, “Time to Shine” for various pay-per-view events.
And finally, padding out their WWE checklist, they performed “Don't Question My Heart,” the last theme song for ECW on SyFy.