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WWE: Grading the Effectiveness of Every Current Superstar's Entrance Theme

Kevin BergeFeatured Columnist IIDecember 21, 2016

WWE: Grading the Effectiveness of Every Current Superstar's Entrance Theme

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    A theme song can make or break a superstar.

    If they don't come out with the proper entrance and flair, it can be incredibly hard to take them seriously.

    Some theme songs become so popular that they actually are forever attached to that superstar's name.

    From Hulk Hogan to Stone Cold Steve Austin, a true legend can be announced simply by playing the first chord or sound of their theme song.

    Every modern superstar has a theme song, though some have better ones than others.

    Everyone knows the themes of John Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk. Most can tell you the themes of Christian and Big Show. The Zack Pack will not allow you to forget the theme of Zack Ryder. However, there are many stars who have themes that could be great or are destined to fail.

    Following are the theme songs of every current wrestler who has performed recently in the WWE along with a rating for their theme based upon its significance, effect, musicality, and general appeal.

    Note: This does not include injured stars or anyone who has not actively competed in years. There will be people with entries as singles competitors and tag teams as they have different themes. Finally the grading system is A-F where an A+ is legendary and for that superstar exclusively while an F means that the song should have never even been given to any star.

Air Boom

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    Song: "Boom" by Jim Johnston

    When this song was debuted, you knew that Air Boom was here to stay.

    It is a fairly solid theme that is important in that it really fits both stars.

    Even though Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston have their own recognizable themes (which I will talk about later), this theme is instantly recognizable for the stars.

     

    Grade: B-

A.J.

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    Song: "Let's Light It Up" by Jim Johnston (feat. Kari Kimmel)

    This is a newer theme for AJ, who used to have the theme that she now uses with her tag team partner Kaitlyn (one of two women's real tag teams in WWE).

    This theme is actually fairly well made and a bit better than some of the other pop numbers that the women of WWE currently use.

    The main thing is it fairly new and does not easily identify as a theme for AJ.

    We will see how it fits over time as it could end up being the theme she uses for a long while.

     

    Grade: C

Alberto Del Rio

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    Song: "Realeza" by Jim Johnston

    Alberto Del Rio has only had this theme since his debut, and it fits him magnificently.

    There is honestly not a single song that I could see that would work better for him.

    The theme may not be old and respected, but this is the kind of fit you would hope for between a star and their entrance from the very beginning.

     

    Grade: A-

Alex Riley

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    Song: "Say It to My Face" by Downstrait

    The band Downstrait does some of the best themes in WWE today.

    They really highlight the superstar well.

    While it is hard to tell how good this will end up being with Riley off TV screens lately, it is easy to tell that this could be big.

    I still remember some of the monster reactions it would get near its inception.

     

    Grade: B

Alicia Fox

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    Song: "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Party" by Jim Johnston

    When I think of Alicia Fox, I instantly hear her entrance theme.

    Though that entrance theme I am thinking of is not this one, it is "Shake Yo Tail" by Billy Lincoln.

    This is just so bland that it doesn't portray anything.

    It also doesn't help that this used to be Maria's old theme during part of her time in the company.

     

    Grade: D

Awesome Truth

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    Song: "The Awesome Truth" by Jim Johnston (feat. R-Truth and The Miz)

    This theme is perfect for these two.

    I did not include a separate section for R-Truth as this has become basically his own theme as well now.

    While "What's Up" only had personality and no real musicality, this really is fun to listen to.

    It is not a perfect theme, and I would never listen to it by itself. However, it exemplifies The Miz and R-Truth.

     

    Grade: B+

The Bella Twins

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    Song: "You Can Look (But You Can't Touch)" by Kim Sozzi and Jim Johnston

    I give WWE credit for sticking to this song and really making it fit the Bellas.

    That said, the song is horrible.

    It is just painful to listen to and has nothing really redeemable musically.

    It does, however, fit the Bellas.

     

    Grade: D+

Beth Phoenix

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    Song: "Glamazon" by Jim Johnston

    You know that you have a winner when it is the only theme used for a woman for their entire four year run.

    This theme is just perfect for the Glamazon, and it was made for her.

    Beth Phoenix will probably carry on in WWE for at least a few more years, and I have no doubt she will hold onto her theme.

     

    Grade: A-

Big Show

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    Song: "Crank It Up" by Brand New Sin

    This song was made for Big Show, and that will never change.

    This is a legendary theme that is generally underrated.

    It is a good song and a perfect fit for the big man regardless of whether he is a heel or a face.

     

    Song: A+

Brodus Clay

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    Song: "Rip It Up" by Josh Powell & Marc Williams

    Brodus Clay has been using these theme during his time in WWE Superstars.

    I really hope that when he debuts on Raw that he gets a better theme.

    This theme does not work as a theme song.

    The song is not catchy or clever, and it does not even intimidate.

     

    Grade: F

The Chickbusters

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    Song: "Right Now" by Tyler van den Berg

    The Chickbusters, for those who don't know, are Kaitlyn and AJ, and they are the only tag team in the women's division outside of the Bella Twins and possibly the Divas of Doom.

    The song here is high energy and fits both stars and their name.

    The song used to be just AJ's song, and it fit her well when she had it.

    As a song by itself, it is a bit annoying, but it works as a theme.

    The main problem is nobody who only watches Raw or SmackDown would even recognize it yet.

     

    Grade: C+

Christian

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    Song: "Just Close Your Eyes" by Story of the Year

    This song whether by Story of the Year or by Waterproof Blonde has always been one my personal favorite entrance themes.

    It is so great that WWE couldn't change it when Christian turned heel.

    It just fits him to perfectly and is a veteran theme that will never change.

     

    Grade: A+

CM Punk

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    Song: "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour

    How do you improve on the coolest theme in the business?

    You buy the royalties to a real song.

    While I still love "This Fire Burns," this song is just amazing.

    Not only does it now exemplify CM Punk, it also is an awesome song on its own terms.

    It is not quite at legendary status yet, but it might get there.

     

    Grade: A

Cody Rhodes

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    Song: "Only One Can Judge" by Jim Johnston

    It is basically a remix and instrumental of "Smoke & Mirrors" by TV/TV, but it is somehow more.

    It really represents this darker Cody Rhodes.

    I will say that I believe he will get an even better theme down the road, but right now this works for him.

    It is also just a good song generally.

     

    Grade: B+

Curt Hawkins

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    Song: "In The Middle of It Now" by Disciple

    This theme has grown me as I listen to it more.

    It is still fairly bland, and it will not stand the test of time. However, it is not horrible.

    Curt Hawkins deserves to be on TV, and this theme is decent enough to be used if he is given a chance.

     

    Grade: C

Daniel Bryan

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    Song: "Flight of the Valkyries" by Various Artists (mix of "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner done by Jim Johnston and various other)

    I know that some will disagree, but I think that this song is perfect for Bryan.

    Maybe I am just blinded by the awesomeness of the original, and the fact that someone finally made it fit as a real theme.

    Perhaps I am just a blind Daniel Bryan mark who thinks we should all like it because Bryan wants to use "Valkyries" as his theme.

    All I know is Bryan needed something to stand out, and this is unique and much more him than "Big Epic Thing" ever was.

     

    Grade: B

David Otunga

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    Song: "All About the Power" by Jim Johnston

    This song has been tossed around quite a bit, and it has never really stuck.

    Why?

    Because it is really bad.

    It just has nothing in it that makes it noticeable or adds to the personality of the star.

    Sadly for David Otunga, he got stuck with the theme after he and McGillicutty drifted apart.

     

    Grade: D

Dolph Ziggler

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    Song: "I Am Perfection" by Downstrait

    This theme was always good for Dolph Ziggler, but the remix by Downstrait actually might be the mix that Ziggler needed.

    It is a great song, and it sounds like a main event theme.

    It has personality and has a inherent coolness factor.

    The fact that Ziggler has had this long is a good sign that the song itself will stay with him for a while.

     

    Grade: A-

Drew McIntyre

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    Song: "Broken Dreams" by Shaman's Harvest

    Is it possible to ruin a song by cutting off a total of 10 seconds from it?

    With "Broken Dreams," that is almost true.

    "Dreams" is a great theme on its own, and it might be one best pure songs to ever become an entrance theme.

    The original opening for the song was great, and it felt unique for McIntyre.

    The new "jobber" cut has gotten rid of that opening which has instantly dropped some of the flair of the song.

     

    Grade: B- (B+ with opening)

Evan Bourne

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    Song: "Born to Win" by Mutiny Within and Jim Johnston

    Other than the name being a cruel irony for Evan Bourne, this is a great theme.

    The opening immediately declared the presence of Bourne.

    The rest of the song is great and high octane just like Bourne himself.

    It is recognizable and has lasted through Bourne's many different paths in WWE.

     

    Grade: B

Eve

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    Song: "She Looks Good (V3)" by Jim Johnston

    This song fits Eve generally though I don't understand why WWE needs to have songs for the women that are entirely meant to show off their sexuality.

    This latest version of Eve's song though is the worst edit.

    As a pure song (not as a theme), it is more distinctive; however, when it is blasted as a entrance theme, it simply does not work.

    It certainly fits Eve but so did V1 and V2 which were better edits.

     

    Grade: C

Ezekiel Jackson

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    Song: "Domination" by Evan Jones and Jim Johnston

    This song is the perfect fit for Ezekiel Jackson's current persona if he were a heel.

    However, he is a face who comes off wrong especially with this theme.

    I can hear this on a dominant heel Jackson but not the friendly Zeke.

    The song itself is fairly bland.

     

    Grade: C-

Heath Slater

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    Song: "One Man Band" by Jim Johnston

    I don't have much to say about this.

    This song is supposed to make Heath Slater come off as a dastardly heel.

    Instead, he comes off (thanks to the song) as a small country guy I would associate with Jesse (aka Slam Master J before he was released).

     

    Grade: F

Hunico/Epico

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    Song: Unknown

    This theme is brand new, and I have no idea who it is by.

    I will say it fits this new heel stable perfectly.

    The song itself sounds decent by itself as well.

    We'll see as time passes whether this theme sticks.

     

    Grade: C+

Jack Swagger

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    Song: "Get On Your Knees" by Age Against the Machine

    This is a solid song that really fits Swagger.

    It gives off his cocky persona without overemphasizing his patriotism which are highlighting in the titantron.

    The song itself is a solid effort by the Rage Against the Machine tribute band, Age Against the Machine.

    Solid work.

     

    Grade: B

Jinder Mahal

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    Song: "Main Yash Hun" by Jim Johnston

    A fairly uninspired effort by Johnston.

    It is fairly bland and not extremely effective.

    Though coming from the guy whose only other attempts at "Indian style" music were Great Khali themes, I guess this would be expected.

    It could be worse for Mahal. He could just been given a generic rock song.

     

    Grade: D

John Cena

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    Song: "The Time is Now" by John Cena and Tha Trademarc

    I may catch some flack for this, but I believe this song has truly hit legendary status.

    It embodies John Cena entirely.

    When you hear those three chords, you instantly know who is coming out.

    Years after Cena retires, those chords will cause a massive reaction in the crowd if he comes back for a short appearance.

    It is Cena, and the song is not that bad on its own.

    Even if Cena turns heel and changes his theme for that time, he will always be known for this song.

     

    Grade: A+

John Morrison

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    Song: "Ain't No Make Believe" by Stonefree Experience

    This song is fairly solid though I will always know Morrison for his days under "Paparazzi" as Johnny Nitro.

    The main thing that makes this song unique is not even about the song but the entrance.

    Without the slow motion work in the entrance, this song would probably not have lasted nearly as long as it has.

    It still is Morrison's song, and no one will ever be able to use it after him.

     

    Grade: B-

Johnny Curtis

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    Song: "I Told You So" by Jim Johnston (feat. Flatfoot 56)

    This is just so bland.

    It doesn't even convey much of anything as a song.

    I certainly couldn't link to a particular star though Johnny Curtis barely even gets any screen time anywhere.

    He is not going anywhere fast with this theme.

     

    Grade: F

JTG

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    Song: "Bringin' Da Hood T U" by Jim Johnston

    This theme was fine for Cryme Tyme, but it simply doesn't let me know who JTG is now.

    He is supposedly a heel though his theme makes me think he wants to relive his "glory days" in Cryme Tyme.

    Honestly, it's just a confusing mess.

     

    Grade: D

Justin Gabriel

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    Song: "The Rising" by Jan Cyrka and Tony Bricheno

    This is a fairly catchy song, but it is not much as far as a distinctive entrance theme.

    Seriously, it has nothing that really makes it stand out.

    Justin Gabriel needs something more substantial to make him stand out than this.

     

    Grade: C-

Kaitlyn

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    Song: "Let's Go" by Hollywood Records

    This is really a bland theme.

    It has nothing that really makes it stand out amongst any other woman themes.

    It is just kind of there.

     

    Grade: D+

Kane

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    Song: "Man On Fire" by Jim Johnston

    Though not quite as bone-chilling as Undertaker's best themes, this is still a great work that exemplifies Kane.

    While "Slow Chemical" is much more his defining theme, this is still up there and announced his presence.

    Not sure though why Kane has not gone back to "Slow Chemical" yet.

     

    Grade: B+

Kelly Kelly

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    Song: "Holla (2nd Remix)" by Desiree Jackson

    What song defines WWE's need for the women to show off their sex appeal in their themes more than other?

    This would be my pick.

    It is just a bad song that really should have been replaced the moment Kelly started getting a push.

    The sad part is that this will probably remain the defining theme of Kelly Kelly for the rest of her career. Of course, Trish Stratus never really had a great theme either in "Time to Rock N' Roll".

    It has to be given some credit for being Kelly's song. It connects to her.

     

    Grade: D+

Kofi Kingston

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    Song: "S.O.S." by Jim Johnston and Collie Buddz

    This song has been Kofi Kingston's song for his entire career in the WWE.

    It really shows off his gimmick as a fun loving guy.

    It does have the problem though that it may hold him back a bit if he moves up the ladder to main event.

    A change of theme could actually catapult him to the main event with proper build up.

     

    Grade: B-

Mark Henry

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    Song: "Some Bodies Gonna Get It" by Three 6 Mafia

    This song has never fit Henry as a face, but his heel run especially right now is perfectly complimented by this theme.

    He has a serious award winning band who made him a theme that he can finally hold onto.

    This will be the theme that defines Henry's career at the end though he does not have much time left to make this theme truly legendary.

     

    Grade: B+

Mason Ryan

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    Song: "Here and Now or Never (Instrumental)" by The Heroes Lie

    I don't know yet how well this song will fit Ryan.

    It is a good song though it felts as if it missing something.

    Perhaps it needs a new mix including some vocals.

    All I know is that it will probably help elevate him before he get a new theme all his own.

     

    Grade: C+

Michael McGillicutty

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    Song: "And The Horse He Rode In On" by Reluctant Hero

    This is another attempted theme for the son of Mr. Perfect that simply will not work.

    The vocals are fairly annoying, and the backing music is bland.

    Not sure where this will lead McGillicutty, but it won't be up.

     

    Grade: D

The Miz

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    Song: "I Came to Play" by Downstrait

    This is easily the best work done by Downstrait so far for WWE.

    This is probably one of the best themes made in years.

    It fits the Miz perfectly and has been personalized.

    When The Miz eventually turns face, this song will probably remain and become even bigger.

     

    Grade: A

Natalya

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    Song: "New Foundation" by Jim Johnston

    This song plays off the classic theme "Hart Attack" for Bret Hart, and it is really more of a tribute than anything.

    It is well-made and plays off Natalya's lineage; however, it might be best for Natalya to try and find a theme that fits her exclusively.

    At this point though it is really the second best woman theme in WWE, which is a plus.

     

    Grade: B

Primo

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    Song: "Oh Puerto Rico" by Vinny and Ray, Marlyn Jiménez, and Jim Johnson

    This theme is somewhat catchy but does Primo no favors.

    He will not be taken seriously with this song at all.

    Hopefully, he will start building himself up again by standing behind Hunico and Epico with their theme.

     

    Grade: C-

Randy Orton

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    Song: "Voices" by Rev Theory

    This song is beyond a doubt the most over song in WWE.

    The reactions it gets every time it is played are huge.

    Sure, it is partly the monstrous popularity of Randy Orton, but they are almost one entity at this point.

    The song is phenomenal and almost legendary.

    In a few years, this will be the theme that Orton will always be known for.

    At this point, I still vaguely remember the also great "Burn in My Light".

     

    Grade: A

Rey Mysterio

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    Song: "Booyaka 619" by P.O.D.

    Rey Mysterio has had so many great themes that could have easily defined him, but this was the one that truly stuck.

    While there are a few other themes he had through the years that were great, this one will live on and be remembered for Rey Mysterio.

     

    Grade: A+

Rosa Mendes

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    Song: "Excess All Areas" by Benga Boys

    If Rosa strove to be anything more than a valet, I would probably say that she needed a new theme.

    However, this theme plays its role to perfection.

    It exemplifies her character and what she stands to be.

    I am not trying to knock her ability, but, until she can pull off some basic wrestling moves, this is probably the best theme she deserves.

     

    Grade: C+

Santino Marella

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    Song: "La Vittoria è Mia" by Jim Johnson

    Not sure if this song is perfect for Santino Marella or horrible.

    It fits him somewhat as a comedy figure, but he permanently stereotypes him, and it is really bad music on its own.

    I can't believe that any Italian musician wouldn't hear this and laugh, so maybe it is doing its role properly.

    Who knows? It is an anomaly.

     

    Grade: C

Sheamus

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    Song: "Written in My Face" by Sean Jenness and Jim Johnson

    The theme is good.

    That is simply what it is, good.

    It fits Sheamus well though much more as a heel.

    He could really use a more solid Irish theme for his face run though.

     

    Grade: B-

Sin Cara

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    Song: "Ancient Spirit (Remix)" by Jim Johnson

    This theme has really created Sin Cara's entire gimmick.

    There is a mystique and mystery to Sin Cara that is captured best in his theme.

    In time, Sin Cara will grow from it and get something more exciting.

    However, right now, this theme is ideal.

     

    Grade: B

Tamina

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    Song: "Anarchy" by Lindsay Jehan and Peter Northcote

    This theme is just cool.

    I don't know if it does much for Tamina if anything at all, but it works as a song.

    It is hard to determine what it really does for Tamina, who has not been allowed any time to really develop as a character.

     

    Grade: C

Ted Dibiase

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    Song: "I Came From Money" by S-Preme

    This theme is extremely catchy.

    It sounds like a heel theme to me, but it seems to really work for Dibiase as a face.

    It is good that Dibiase finally found a way to work his way out of his father's legacy through his theme music at least.

    For right now, this theme is a good work that could really elevate Dibiase.

     

    Grade: B

Trent Barreta

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    Song: "White Noise" by Jim Johnson

    Poor Barreta.

    He simply does not stand out at all.

    He is the perfect jobber.

    He can sell. He can fly. He is small enough to throw around.

    His theme basically tells you that whole story. It is a bit childish and not remotely interesting as a long term theme.

     

    Grade: D-

Triple H

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    Song: "The Game" by Motörhead

    Do I even need to explain how legendary this theme is?

    No, I didn't think so.

     

    Grade: A+

Tyler Reks

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    Song: "Tyrannosaurus" by Jim Johnson

    This is exactly the kind of theme a big monster heel should have.

    It is threatening, mysterious, and dangerous.

    I wouldn't want to get into the ring with a guy with this theme.

    Sadly, Tyler Reks has not really been elevated by this theme.

     

    Grade: C+

Tyson Kidd

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    Song: "Bed of Nails" by Ronnie Stone and Neil Griffiths

    I like that Tyson Kidd is trying to separate himself from the Hart legacy attached to him from his tag team time, but this theme is not working.

    It sounds way too generic.

    I could see any star coming down to this.

    None of them would really stand out.

    The theme needs to change to allow Tyson Kidd to stand out because his new hair style sure isn't helping him and neither is his booking.

     

    Grade: D+

The Usos

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    Song: "Alga" by Jim Johnston followed by "So Close Now" by David Dallas

    Right away, I will tell you that I think "Alga" and the Siva Tau the Usos perform to the song is phenomenal.

    It is distinctive and cool.

    The main thing to be questioned is if "So Close Now" is a good follow up.

    Personally, I think it is a solid addition. By itself, it would probably be a bit too bland, but all together it works.

    The Usos have the theme. Now they need the push.

     

    Grade: B

Wade Barrett

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    Song: "End of Days" by Jim Johnson

    When this was the theme for Corre, I didn't get it.

    It never really stood out.

    Now on Wade Barrett, it just totally fits.

    He is elevated by this well-made theme, and it should help him in the long run though "We Are One" was cooler.

     

    Grade: B

Yoshi Tatsu

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    Song: "J-Pop Drop" by Tom Haines and Christopher Branch

    Okay, this is probably the worst song you could ever give a star because it means that they will never be taken serious.

    However, it is still an addictive song to listen to.

    It just gets in your head and won't stop.

    It is simply infectious, but I cannot ever condone it as theme song ever.

     

    Grade: D-

Zack Ryder

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    Song: "Radio" by Watt White

    This song fits Ryder so well because he makes it fit.

    It is a part of his gimmick as much as the sunglasses and the hair.

    However, this is not a song that will ever allow Ryder to be taken seriously.

    At most, it will lead him to midcard gold.

    If he wants more, he will need a new gimmick and a new theme; however, it is the perfect fit for him right now.

     

    Grade: B

    ***

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