Ruby Riott and 8 WWE, AEW Superstars Overdue for New Entrance Theme Songs
Entrance themes are important to the performance aspect of sports entertainment. Not only do the opening notes tell fans who is coming out, but the songs should also represent the stars' characters.
With one ringing of a bell, everyone knew The Undertaker was on his way to a path of destruction, which was magnified considerably with his ominous walk to the ring.
R-Truth is fun-loving and happily raps positive lyrics on his way out, while King Corbin's theme mixes a regal flair with his darker side. And it's not just The Inner Circle who sing "Judas" by Fozzy when Chris Jericho comes out.
However, not everyone in WWE and All Elite Wrestling have themes suited to their personas. Some could stand to get upgrades.
Let's take a look at eight wrestlers from AEW and WWE who are overdue changes to their entrance music.
When Ruby Riott came to the main roster in November 2017, she was paired with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan to form The Riott Squad.
The group had no unifying theme and never found one, either. They were simply a trio who happened to hang around with each other, look different from one another and practically never win any matches.
When they split in April 2019, Riott retained the themem and Logan even continued to use it for a while on Main Event. With the latter leaving WWE earlier this year, the former had the music to herself, but it's time for something new.
It's too associated with The Riott Squad, and the further the group's ex-leader distances herself from that, the better. Otherwise, if she teams with Morgan again, it will just feel like they are missing a member.
It's also generic and has no lyrics—a recurring reason on this list for wrestlers needing updated music.
Just as Apollo Crews got new music when he won the United States Championship, a new tune for Riott would give off the perception she's on course for a push rather than reliving the old days that weren't all that glorious.
Bo Dallas hasn't been seen on WWE television in months, and he's also lost his B-Team partner, Curtis Axel, who was released in April.
Axel could be replaced with someone else, but it likely wouldn't have the same magic. Dallas could also try to keep it going by referring to the B in B-Team as standing for "Bo" and calling his supporters The B-Team for cheering him on, which would be fittingly pitiful for his loser character.
However, a better scenario would be having Dallas repackaged and the theme tune nixed in the process.
It would be great to see him sign with The Robert Stone Brand in NXT and work within the black-and-gold brand to simultaneously retool himself and teach the rookies. He could even become a serious contender again if his repackaging is done well.
But Dallas is never going to be anything but a jobber if he keeps The B-Team thing going, and the song makes no sense if he's a singles act.
'Hangman' Adam Page
AEW doesn't have many entries on this list because the company hasn't been around long enough for most themes to have overstayed their welcome. However, one person who has needed a new tune from virtually the start is "Hangman" Adam Page.
This is no disrespect to the song itself, though. It's catchy and has enough energy behind it to work well.
But "Ghost Town Triumph" by Vincent Pedulla is a royalty-free music loop that lasts only 63 seconds before it repeats itself. As a generic production, nothing is stopping anyone else from licensing it and applying it to any random cowboy-themed advertisements in the future.
Longhorn Steakhouse could run a commercial tomorrow that uses this, and it would fit perfectly while undermining Page's credibility.
AEW should create its own in-house music that is owned by the company. Then this theme could be purchased for use in video packages and promos going forward.
When Bayley ditched the ponytail and turned heel last year, she needed a new theme to reflect her character overhaul. Sadly, WWE gave her the painfully bland "Deliverance" as her new song.
None of it speaks to her character, which explains why she's still not developed anything in her entrance that goes with the song. She just walks to the ring holding her title belts and talking over it.
The theme is so generic that it could fit any number of Superstars. If it were given to Austin Theory, for instance, no one would bat an eyelid.
Bayley is obnoxious and loud whiner, yet her music doesn't reflect any of that.
WWE should give her a theme that is less of an energized guitar riff and more befitting of the character The Role Model is supposed to be.
Shorty G isn't overdue for a new theme. He's overdue for an upgraded version of his song.
"Elite" has been with him since his American Alpha days and is a fantastic, triumphant entrance theme. It's great, but it lacks a punch.
The Hardy Boyz and "Loaded" are a packaged deal, but when Jeff Hardy went into a singles role and was pushed to the main event, WWE made a similar song to that called "No More Words." It took the overall melody, rhythm and feel of "Loaded" and tweaked it enough while adding lyrics so that he felt like a bigger deal.
The same happened to Batista. His original theme was instrumental, but when he got lyrics added to his song, fans were able to recall it better.
Chad Gable should ditch the Shorty G name and get an updated version of "Elite" that can incorporate lyrics to signify he can be taken more seriously going forward. Maybe that will be what WWE needs to stop losing sight of pushing him.
Perception is reality. If his theme gets a boost in credibility, so will he.
Some entrance themes in AEW are forgettable, whereas Emi Sakura's song is unforgettably bad.
The beginning of it is actually more than fine. She draws inspiration from Freddie Mercury for her ring attire and in how she carries a microphone to the ring, so the song starts with a reference to "We Will Rock You" by Queen.
Then, it abruptly switches over into what sounds more like the loading screen of Street Fighter or some early '90s arcade game. A few seconds later, it switches again into a slightly different sound that would be more fitting for the background track of a Six Flags commercial or the end credits to a cheesy game show.
It's been nearly nine months since Sakura has appeared on AEW. But if and when she returns, AEW should invest in producing a new theme for her that has a unified sound and plays more into the rhythm of "We Will Rock You."
Dolph Ziggler has had his theme for a long enough time that it's become synonymous with him, which would make it hard to switch it up.
However, plenty of wrestlers have had new themes despite being in similar situations. Seth Rollins has used a new one in recent months after everyone was used to "The Second Coming" for years. Randy Orton had "Burn in My Light" and transitioned to "Voices" later on.
Nothing is inherently bad about The Showoff's theme, either. In fact, it's a solid song that suits him. The trouble with it, though, is that it reflects an attitude Ziggler's character has had for so many years that he's grown stale. The theme is a constant reminder of that.
It would be nice to see Ziggler go through some changes where he's no longer cutting promos about being the most gifted athlete in the ring who doesn't get enough respect. Then a new theme to reflect whatever change in personality he has would be welcome.
The worst-case scenario would be that he goes back to using "Here to Show the World" and things revert back to the status quo.
Nikki Cross is still using the theme of her former faction, Sanity. That group's been disbanded long enough that this has become much more her specific song rather than something that evokes thoughts of the team, but it's time to move on.
As the years have passed, Cross has deviated more and more from her wild side.
She's still unhinged in many ways, but she's been portrayed more as hyper, eager and overenthusiastic than deranged. Often, she's passionate about giving Alexa Bliss praise or talking about coffee rather than causing chaos.
If WWE wants her to do nothing but continue sprinting to the ring and running the ropes before each match, it's fine to keep this and not try anything new. But if WWE wants to take her character in any other directions, it would be best if she stopped coming out to something so frenetic.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.