According to popular wrestling lore, back in the early 1980's, a young Hulk Hogan bribed an audio technician for the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) with $500 if the young techie would agree to play Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" over the arena's public address system upon his entrance to the ring.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, there have been several different accounts as to who introduced the "entrance theme" tradition into the world of professional wrestling. Some folks believe the Hogan story, while others claim that certain wrestlers had been accompanied to the ring by some sort of music long before Hulkamania was even a thought.
Whatever the case, since the 80's, entrance theme songs have gone hand in hand with sports entertainment. Aside from a very small number of wrestlers, such as Andre the Giant, who never had any sort of entrance music during his illustrious career, virtually every big-time wrestler is quickly associated with a theme song that signals his arrival.
Hulk Hogan, for instance, would go to be synonymous with "Real American" for the majority of his career. Randy Savage came out to the familiar "Pomp and Circumstance," or the song that plays at every graduation you've ever attended. These days, John Cena has "My Time is Now." Name a wrestler, and chances are, you can name their theme song as well.
That's not always a good thing.
As with anything else in this life, along with the awesome, legendary theme comes the god-awful, cringe inducing theme. That's what we're here to look back on today. While it's not so prevalent in the current world of wrestling, crappy theme songs used to be the norm.
Everybody had to have a theme, and back when wrestling was nothing but a bunch of crazy characters populating the rosters, everybody had to have a theme to match their gimmick. While some of these character-specific themes weren't necessarily terrible, almost all of them were unintentionally hilarious.
So turn your speakers up high, put your laughing boots on, and let's take a look back at the six lamest theme songs in wrestling history!
No. 6 on our super-lame countdown is "Hard Time," the entrance theme for The Big Boss Man.
Though he was known by a plethora of other gimmick names (The Guardian Angel, The Boss and Big Bubba Rogers, just to name a few), Ray Traylor was best known as the World Wrestling Federation's resident correctional officer in the 80s and 90s. In what was a sea of ridiculous gimmicks in wrestling at the time, oddly enough, The Big Boss Man wasn't much of a stretch.
Yep, Ray Traylor actually was a correctional officer at the Cobb County Correctional Institution in Cobb County, Ga.
His entrance theme, on the other hand, fit right in with the aforementioned sea of ridiculousness. When he first entered the WWF as a heel, he used his manager, Slick's, "Jive Soul Bro" theme. Once he turned face in at the dawn of the 90s, though, he switched over to the much lamer theme song we have here; "Hard Times."
Don't get me wrong, old school fans would still mark out for this song in 2011, so they most certainly marked when it was current. The Big Boss Man was one of the most over wrestlers in the early 90s WWF, and his song went right along with him.
That still doesn't change how obviously lame it was.
"If you ever take a trip down to Cobb County, Georgia, you better read the signs, respect the law and order. You'll serve hard time. You'll be servin' hard time. You know the Big Boss Man will make you walk the line. Better watch out, boy, or you'll be servin' hard time."
Naturally, they call the man who enters the ring to our No. 5 theme "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes.
Before he went on to greater fame as Goldust in the WWF, Dustin Rhodes was competing under his real name (sort of) in World Championship Wrestling. His nickname, "The Natural," was a play on the fact that he was born into professional wrestling by way of his legendary father "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.
It's hard to believe, given how outrageous Goldust turned out to be later on down the road, but Dustin Rhodes was a fairly bread-and-butter babyface during his time in WCW.
He was one of those wrestlers who just wanted to "go out there and have a competitive, fair contest to see who the better man is, brother, and climb one more step up that ladder to the world championship."
Seriously, that's pretty much a verbatim transcription of his entire WCW lifespan.
At least we got this awesomely lame theme song to go along with his decidedly non-awesome run with Ted Turner's 'rassling company. This theme, appropriately titled "The Natural," was actually a part of WCW's Slam Jam album from 1993. That's right, WCW created full length songs in homage to their talent roster, then made them enter the ring to those same hokey tunes.
"They call him 'The Natural.' He's natural as can be. Yeah, they call him 'The Natural.' It just comes naturally. He's the son of a son and a son of a gun. The hoss do the rodeo bulldog, that's the natural one."
No. 4 on the countdown belongs to WCW's own Little Richard impersonator, Johnny B. Badd.
For those of you who were fortunate enough to be spared from this truly awful gimmick, let me bring you up to speed. Johnny B. Badd was a Little Richard (a rock and roll pioneer who was completely irrelevant long before this gimmick took flight) impersonator who also happened to be a professional wrestler. That's the long and short of it.
Let that sink in a little bit.
I don't have any idea as to exactly why anyone would ever think that a wrestling Little Richard lookalike would ever be a successful gimmick, but somebody in WCW's front office must have thought exactly that.
They took Marc Mero, a former Golden Gloves boxer, and turned him into this abomination. Amazingly, profit did not follow directly.
At least, at first, Johnny B. Badd was supposed to be a heel. Someone who looked and acted that stupid was easy enough for fans to hate without a specific reason.
However, after a while, the front office decided that people might want to cheer Little Richard onto victory inside the squared circle, and so they turned him into a babyface. He even won a championship or two, to the delight of no one in particular.
Either way, much like Dustin Rhodes' "Natural" theme song, we were treated to this masterpiece on WCW's Slam Jam offering. The Hall of Lame was built for themes like this.
"Here comes Johnny B. Badd. You don't wanna make him mad. He's as pretty as a picture. He looks just like Little Richard! Don't be fooled by his looks. He's got a mean left hook. So, if you don't wanna end up sad, don't mess with Johnny B. Badd."
Don't ask me how, but the No. 3 spot belongs to yet another wrestling law enforcement agent, The Mountie.
The perfect foil to a newly-turned face Big Boss Man, The Mountie was WWF's heel police officer. This time, unlike with Ray Traylor who actually had a background in corrections, Vince McMahon decided to just randomly insert an already established wrestler into the role of this new gimmick.
Jacques Rougeau, who, along with his brother Raymond, had previously risen to fame as a member of The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, was the lucky man fitted with the uniform. Instead of being your everyday American cop, however, Rougeau was placed in the role of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer...hence, The Mountie.
His catchphrase? "I am The Mountie!" Yeah, thanks for the info, Jacques.
Whoever was in charge of assigning theme songs for the old, silly WWF gimmicks came through with shining colors on this occasion. Much like the Big Boss Man, The Mountie also had his own personalized entrance theme, the kicker being that Rougeau himself was the one behind the microphone. What followed was truly one of the lamest, yet strangely addicting songs you'll ever hear.
"I'm The Mountie. I'm handsome, I'm brave, I'm strong. I'm The Mountie, and I enforce the law. You can try to run, but you can never hide. 'Cause The Mountie always gets his man!"
If you want to know the name of the team responsible for the No. 2 entry in our lame-off, just listen to their theme. It literally says "American Males" about five million times throughout the course of the two and a half brutal minute duration of the song.
If you can't figure out who's coming to the ring when this music kicks in, you probably rode the short bus to school.
The American Males, Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Scotty Riggs, were a WCW tag team in the mid-90s. As obviously homoerotic as the duo was, for some reason, WCW announcers would have had you believe that they were big-time lady killers by night. Seriously.
Fortunately for this writer, I don't remember exactly how or why these two men formed a tag team, why they were so "American" nor why they had the amount of success they had.
What I do remember, much like everyone else who ever saw the team compete, is their theme song. While this isn't the lamest song on the entire list, it's easily the worst, mainly because it's supposed to be taken seriously, but also because the vocals are sheer torture on the ears.
"American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males!"
I'm sure a few readers are going to have a problem with the No. 1 song on this list of lamest wrestling themes. I'm also sure that the problem is going to lie with the person who comes out to the theme, rather than the theme itself, because while Shawn Michaels is one of the greatest legends in the history of professional wrestling, "Sexy Boy" is still the official Webster's definition of the word lame.
Following the breakup of The Rockers, which saw him toss his former partner Marty Jannetty through a plate glass window, Shawn Michaels officially became "The Heartbreak Kid" in the early 90s.
Originally, during the first days of his new heel persona, Michaels was led to the ring by "The Sensational" Sherri. His entrance music quickly changed from the old Rockers theme to a song called "Sexy Boy," which was actually performed by Sherri. Down the road a bit, Michaels and Sherri parted ways, and "The Heartbreak Kid" was in need of a new theme song to reflect the split.
Instead of simply getting a new song, the WWF brass just had Michaels sing "Sexy Boy" himself.
In all fairness, the new version of his theme wasn't that terrible. In fact, it was fairly addicting, not to mention pretty fitting of the character Michaels was now playing. What makes the song lame is the fact that Michaels continued using the same song for the entirety of his career.
Sure, it's iconic at this point, but that doesn't change the fact that for the past 10 years, he's been a middle aged (and severely balding) man who comes to the ring accompanied by the words "I think I'm cute, I know I'm sexy, I've got the looks that drive the girls wild."
In 1994, it was cool. In 2011, it's semi-creepy, and it's the No. 1 lamest entrance theme of all time.
"I make 'em hot. I make 'em shiver. Their knees get weak whenever I'm around. They see me walk. They hear me talk. I make 'em feel like they're on cloud nine. I'm just a sexy boy. I'm not your boy toy. Eat your heart out, girls! Hands off the merchandise!"
(Authors Note: No, I do not have a better idea as to what Shawn Michaels should've used instead. I'm just saying, the song's still way lame.)
I hope you've enjoyed this list as much as I've enjoyed recalling the lame songs within.
If there's anything I've missed, something you disagree with or a song which you think is even more lame than "Sexy Boy" and "American Males," please let me know.
Until next time, if you see me comin', better run for cover. Girls, you don't need a weekend lover. Mmmm...enjoy these lame theme songs!