Pro Wrestling is a sport based on theatrics and crowd reaction, so it’s no shock that entrance theme music is such an important part to every show.
The timing needs to be right, the mood needs to be right, and the wrestler himself has to be right—but most of all, the song has to be right to create a truly memorable entrance.
In counting down the top-25 professional wrestling theme songs of all-time, we should keep in mind the three main keys to a great theme song:
1. The song’s quality by itself
2. How well the song fit the character
3. The song’s contribution to memorable entrances from the wrestler
Perhaps the best stable of the 21st Century, Evolution filled a void that many wrestling fans had been missing since the days of the nWo back in World Championship Wrestling.
Motorhead has become a fixture of Triple H’s entrances, but “Line in the Sand” helped create a harsh, but still “above the rest” mystique around all four members of the group—Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Dave Batista included.
Although they were the biggest heels in the business at the time, the level of “cool” that this group had was only matched by how well this theme song fit them.
The entire Kurt Angle character was built off of the kind of “like me or dislike me—but you will respect me” idea that made guys like Chris Benoit famous in the past. To highlight this idea, the WWE used “Medal” to bring memories of Angle’s historic Olympic gold medal victory in the 1996 Olympics.
Most theme songs are best fit for either a heel or a baby face character, but Kurt Angle’s worked for him no matter what he was portraying.
Though he later used variations of the theme, the original remains the most memorable and best fitting song he ever used.
Not many pro wrestlers can sing the lyrics to their own theme song and do it better than anyone else.
It’s not that Ted DiBiase had a particularly great voice, but the diabolical laugh and the “Because the Million Dollar Man—ALWAYS gets his way!” line could not have been delivered any better by anyone on the planet.
In stark contrast to DiBiase’s real-life personality, his on-screen “Million Dollar Man” personality has to be considered one of the best, most believable and entertaining heel characters in history.
This theme song has truly stood the test of time.
It’s not very often that a pro wrestling company is willing to invest a bunch of money in a mid-card wrestler like Gangrel. But in the late 90’s, they did just that when they re-built their entire entrance ramp to create a special section that rose up and became surrounded in fire.
Behind the theatrics was a theme song that helped create one of the best entrances ever. The demonic whispering at the beginning and the harsh organ were a very believable and entertaining touch. It worked so well, in fact, that when Edge and Christian joined him to create “The Brood,” the theme song stuck for all three of them.
The gum-slap, the over-the-shoulder towel catch, the slow walk to the ring, the flowing locks of golden hair, and the unbelievable in-ring ability. As the name indicates, Mr. Perfect was just that—perfect.
The epic feel to this theme song fit Curt Hennig about as well as could possibly be imagined. As soon as that first note hit, you knew that you were in for a treat. Though he had other theme songs in WCW and throughout his career elsewhere, the one we will all remember is the one that helped make him one of the most iconic wrestlers of the 1990’s.
Rest in Peace, Curt. We miss you.
What if I told you that a theme song had its own entrance song?
And that it worked?
After years as one of the lead baby faces in WWE, The Rock had become a Hollywood movie star. Many fans took his lack of face-time in the WWE as a sign that he no longer cared about the fans or the sport. WWE capitalized on this mentality by their fans when they brought him back with a new attitude.
No longer was The Rock the baby face we remembered—he had become a bigger-than-life Hollywood icon who didn’t care what any of the fans thought about him as long as they were spending their money to see his movie.
Along with that came a re-creation of one of the most recognizable and attention-grabbing theme songs of all-time. The “Hollywood Remix” of the Rock’s theme song matched his new gimmick perfectly.
As a professional wrestling fan like myself, at some point in your life you probably asked someone, “Why do they play Macho Man’s theme music during high school graduations?”
The level of iconic value that this song had in pro wrestling is immeasurable. Even if you only heard it once or twice, it’s forever entrenched in your memory with thoughts of Randy Savage walking to the ring and yelling, “Oooh yeah!”
Though it often received mixed reactions of boos and cheers from fans due to Savage’s ongoing character changes, “Pomp & Circumstance” is a sure-fire top-25 theme song of all-time.
“Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!”
Although not a great song to listen to by itself, it’s hard to deny the memories that come along with this theme song. Bill Goldberg’s entrance is something that many of us will never forget.
The walk from the back, the bulging muscles, the bald head, the sparks flying at his body, the smoke blowing out of his nose, the fireworks...
It was all part of what made the Goldberg character something that none of us will ever forget.
Looking back at the early 90’s, it’s hard to believe that an over-the-top, baby faced commentator named Vince McMahon would eventually become perhaps the biggest villain in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment.
But it happened.
McMahon’s sinister plots to destroy “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in any way possible were accompanied by phrases like, “balls the size of grapefruits,” “guaran-damn-tee,” and “no chance in hell.”
The “No Chance in Hell” theme song was subtly perceived by many viewers as the theme song that their boss would have had if he or she was a pro wrestler and it was successful at getting some of the biggest boos in the history of the sport.
What Triple H did for the WWF during his run in the late-90’s as the leader of D-Generation X and in pursuit of his first WWF Championship should never be forgotten.
Helmsley was involved in countless epic matches with The Rock, Mankind, Steve Austin, Kane, and others, using “My Time” as his entrance music to all of them.
Whether heel or face, “My Time” was a great and literal interpretation to the idea that it was Triple H’s turn to be the WWF Champion.
No tag team in the history of the sport has ever had the kind of fan appeal that the Legion of Doom had during its run in the WWF.
When Hawk’s voice hit the speakers and yelled out, “Ohhh what a rush!,” everyone in the stadium went absolutely crazy. The kind of crazy that was normally reserved for the Hulk Hogans, Ultimate Warriors, and Steve Austins of the world.
Most wrestlers have their fans and they have their critics, but Hawk and Animal somehow transcended that—they were loved by one and all.
Their theme song was a wonderful match to the powerful, dominating characters that the Legion of Doom portrayed for decades.
It just took the start of the first line, “If ya smell-la-la-la-la!,” for fans to lose their minds cheering for The Rock.
Perhaps the greatest, most entertaining all-around talent the wrestling industry has ever seen, The Rock needed a song that would highlight his amazing skills on the microphone while not going overboard and making it sound comedic.
This theme song was later remixed a few times and the original “Do You Smell What The Rock is Cooking” version came first, but the version that brought the crowd to its feet the most was definitely this one.
Everyone has his or her own opinion about Triple H and the way he carries himself behind-the-scenes in WWE, but no one can deny the reaction that Triple H received on January 7th, 2002, when he returned from injury.
Though this entrance would have been exciting with any song, a big part of what made it truly memorable was “The Game” playing in the background as the lights flickered as Triple H emotionally played to the crowd that has been missing him for many months.
The first ECW theme song to make this list is one that wasn’t originally created for the wrestler, but fit him even better than any song that would have been written for him could have.
I have to admit that Rob Van Dam is my personal favorite wrestler, so my opinion may be slightly biased on this one, but the way that the crowd reacted to Van Dam’s entrances is something that is rarely seen in pro wrestling.
The crowd chanting, “Re-spect! Walk!” is something that I will never forget watching and being a part of.
It’s hard for a theme song for work for so many different wrestlers for such a long time, but the D-Generation X theme song is something that was used in the late-90’s as well as the late 2000’s, both times to great success.
The D-Generation X theme song was originally created for Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna; but it was later used by a couple different variations of the group that included X-Pac, Billy Gunn, and “Road Dogg” Jesse James.
No matter which version of the group it was, the ovation that they received during their entrance was among the biggest “pop” of the night, every night.
Very few, if any, have ever struck fear in the hearts of his foes like The Undertaker.
With just one toll of the bell, everyone knew that there was going to be a war and that The Undertaker would very likely be burying someone’s head into the ground with a Tombstone Piledriver.
The number of amazing, memorable entrances that The Undertaker had using this theme song is still growing and it has its own place in the professional wrestling history books.
The larger-than-life character that is Ric Flair could have one theme song for his long, triumphant strut to the ring.
It has been decades and the music still matches Flair to perfection.
Whether he’s limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, chick stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, or just being a son of a gun; it’s hard to see Ric Flair and not think of his amazing entrance music.
The group that saved professional wrestling certainly had a memorable entrance.
The confident, rebellious, fresh nature of “Rockhouse” helped change the entire pro wrestling industry. No longer was wrestling about over-the-top gimmicks and good versus evil. The nWo was the first time in history that a group of heels were truly cheered by a good amount of the fan-base.
While they didn’t act like baby faces in any way, the nWo's tough guy attitude was something that many fans could either relate too or wanted to relate to.
This is certainly a theme song that will go down in history.
Many fans will remember this moment as being the single biggest “pop” in the history of the sport. Just listen to the crowd’s reaction as the word “Jericho” pops up on the screen.
Though he had a loyal following in WCW, Chris Jericho was never considered main event material until he came to the WWF and received the reaction he did from the fans. Looking back on it, WCW missed out on one of the best overall wrestlers of the past 20 years, simply because they didn’t think they could get him over to the majority of fans who they believed wanted giants as their champions.
This simply was not the case, as the WWE proved numerous times, and his impressive ring entrances were certainly a big part of his aura.
To quote comedian Dave Chappelle, “Nobody wants to get their ass beat to a soundtrack!”
The only wrestler to have his theme music play throughout his entire matches, New Jack’s use of “Natural Born Killerz” is the kind of thing that pro wrestling memories are made of.
It seemed like his appearances were regularly unscheduled, but they always seemed to come at the perfect time. If there was a lull in the action or if there was a group of heels beating up an under-manned group of baby faces—it was only a matter of time before you heard the rocket falling from the sky, signifying the arrival of “The Original Gangster.”
You could make the argument that this theme song made New Jack’s entire career. And it certainly made for some memorable moments.
There is absolutely nothing like listening to “Real American” while trying to get pumped up. The memories associated with this song are the kind that put smiles on the faces of everyone who talks about them.
Whether it was body slamming Andre the Giant, delivering the big leg drop on Sergeant Slaughter and King Kong Bundy, or saving the entire country from the grips of The Iron Sheik; it’s hard to look back on Hogan’s career and not have “Real American” playing in the back of your head.
It was silly, it was corny, it was Hulk Hogan, and it was the best.
It was WrestleMania 12 when Shawn Michaels made what is perhaps the most memorable entrance in the history of professional wrestling before his memorable “Iron Man” match with Bret Hart.
Though the song was originally sung by Sherri Martel, like the Million Dollar Man before him, Shawn Michaels helped create his own character by singing and perfecting his theme music.
Michaels is the ultimate showman and his entrances are some of the best that we have ever seen. His music has stuck through countless different storylines, whether heel or face, and has to be considered one of the best of all-time.
No custom theme song ever produced has been so widely loved by pro wrestling fans as is the one created for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
The no nonsense, in-your-face attitude of Steve Austin was something that fans couldn’t get enough of and his theme song personified that attitude.
As Austin once said, “When you hear the glass, it’s your ass,” and he made true on that promise, unleashing hell on everyone in his way.
Not only is this a great pro wrestling theme song, but some would make a case for this being one of the greatest songs of all-time, period.
"Voodoo Child” was an excellent fit for the rebirth of “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan and it’s a great song to listen to in itself.
After years as the biggest baby face in the sport, WCW took a huge risk when they turned him heel. They had high hopes, but I don’t think anyone could have expected the level of success that the nWo would have, nor the effect Hogan would have as the company’s new top heel.
The history of professional wrestling was forever changed the night that Hulk Hogan gave the big leg drop to Randy Savage.
It simply doesn’t get any better than this.
If you were an ECW fan, you probably expected to see this song here, but that doesn’t make it any less memorable.
The Sandman’s entrances to the ring in ECW were like their own event before the match. As the crowd belted out the lyrics to “Enter Sandman,” The Sandman would proceed to make his entrance through the crowd. Drinking beer, pouring beer into fans’ mouths, smoking cigarettes, waving a Singapore cane in the air—The Sandman made history by making the fans part of the show.
His theme song and the entrances that went with it are among the fondest memories that any ECW fan has from the company that we loved so much. If you don’t believe me about “Enter Sandman” being the greatest theme song of all-time, go back and watch the re-mastered ECW One Night Stand pay per view even when the WWE had to dub over the original audio from The Sandman’s entrance. With “Enter Sandman” out of the equation, the entrance seems very forced and just doesn’t carry the same feel to it that the does with the real song.
A worthy number one to a list if there ever has been one.