Walk That Aisle: The Importance Of Music In Wrestling
Can you imagine what a bore wrestling would be without flashy entrances, theme music, and pyro. Imagine if every wrestler walked straight down the aisle to no music. They wouldn't get half the crowd reaction that they get now, and wrestling would be some what of a bore without the wrestler entrances to get the crowd, and even the wrestlers themselves hyped up.
Gorgeous George is credited as the first wrestler to truly utilize entrance music during the 1940s and 1950s. Back then, his theme music was "Pomp and Circumstance" (the graduation song). This song has since been more famously used by "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and a remixed version is even used today by "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal.
Since Gorgeous George's time, wrestling theme music, and entrances as a whole have evolved. Nowadays, wrestlers have unique theme music that only they can be identified with.
Any wrestling fan knows that "My Time is Now" is John Cena's theme music that he performed himself. If Shawn Michaels were to one day make his way to the ring to a tune other than "Sexy Boy," I would be willing to bet that he would lose a significant chunk of his fanbase. Okay, maybe not, but it definitely wouldn't feel the same.
Some wrestlers change their music as often as women change shoes. Williams Regal usually switches to more peaceful English melodies, but somehow he always returns to the menacing theme that he currently uses.
Even Triple H has gone through his share of entrance music; although he has stuck with his "The Game" music, by Motörhead, for a while now. One would never believe that Triple H once used to enter the ring to symphony music during his "Connecticut Blueblood" days. He has had songs performed by the Chris Warren Band and Run-DMC, however, he seems to prefer Motörhead above all others.
If Triple H makes his way to the ring more than one time during a show, don't be surprised if he uses two different Motörhead songs in the same night.
The most famous composer of wrestler theme music is, without a doubt, James A. Johnston. Responsible for the theme songs of The Rock along with hundreds of other wrestlers. Over the years, famous musicians have decided to join in on the fun of composing theme songs for wrestlers.
The Undertaker, of all people, once had theme music by Limp Bizkit ("Rollin'") and Kid Rock ("American Bad Ass"). Batista makes his way down the aisle to "I Walk Alone" by Joey Scott of Saliva. Rey Mysterio currently uses P.O.D.'s version of "Booyaka 619", and even Rob Zombie performed Edge's old theme, "Never Gonna Stop."
My favorite wrestler, CM Punk, currently uses Killswitch Engage's "This Fire Burns." This theme fits him, but I prefer his theme in the independents, "Miseria Cantare" by AFI. It's not often that your favorite wrestler uses music from your favorite band.
All this music would be nothing without entrances to go along with them.
Ric Flair has walked down many aisles over his thirty-five plus years as a wrestler. For as long as I've been alive, unless he was coming out with a faction, Flair has always walked down in an elegant robe to the same symphonic tune and pyro, depending on the occasion.
His days with the WWE are over, but Gangrel had one of the more memorable entrances. With the TV screen filtered red, Gangrel would rise from his platform, encircled by flames, and make his way down the ramp with a goblet in hand.
He would reach the ring stairs, then take a sip from his goblet, and spit a mist of "blood", similar to Triple H spitting water during his entrance. Gangrel also had one of the better theme songs during his time with the company.
This man never once had pyro in his entrance, and yet, once the fans heard his voice in the beginning of his theme song, the loudest pop of the night would occur. The Rock, would walk down to his energetic theme, and once he hit the ring, he would raise a fist to his millions and millions. The presence of The Rock in wrestling today would overshadow all others, including Triple H.
Entrances are also a great way to make a first impression. The most memorable debut in my opinion was Chris Jericho's. On August 9, 1999, the clock that had appeared on the titantron for weeks finally completed its countdown, and after a brief light show, WCW's Chris Jericho said for the first time, "Welcome to Raw is Jericho."
To this day, Raw is still Jericho. Jericho's return in 2007 actually ranks as second on my list of entrances to mark a wrestler's debut, or in his case, return.
There are also the classic entrances done only on special occasions. Videos of Shawn Michaels' entrance at Wrestlemania via a cable and his usual flashy entrance attire can still be seen. More recently John Cena has been known to make quite an entrance at Wrestlemania.
There was his gangster themed entrance three years ago in which OVW talent, and future World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk, was part of the entrance as one of the men in suits that drove Cena's car. Then there was Cena drifting into Ford Field in Detroit the year after.
What would wrestling be without theme music and flashy entrances? Crowds would not be as excited for matches, and there would be nothing to indicate the arrival of your favorite wrestler other than an announcer's voice. Music and unique entrances are a major part of pro wrestling, and wrestling would not be the same without them.
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