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There’s a whole generation of pro-wrestling fans that have no idea that wrestlers made their entrances set to popular music. That used to be one of my favorite aspects of pro-wrestling. There were certain guys that I liked or hated because I liked or hated their entrance music. These days, the vast majority of pro-wrestling entrance themes are in-house creations (with most WWE songs being penned by Jim Johnston). Back in the ’70s and ’80s, wrestlers (and management) picked popular songs that felt appropriate for their characters. Instead of paying for music licenses, the WWF/WWE started writing in-house songs that they could sell. It makes total sense on a business level, but I still miss wrestlers using “real” music. (To be fair, ECW used real music prior to landing on TNN and several indie promotions continue to do so today.)
Let’s take a look back at some popular songs used as pro-wrestling entrance themes back in the day.
Hulk Hogan “Eye of the Tiger” — Even though I sometimes use “Real American” as my ringtone, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is still my favorite Hulk Hogan entrance theme. It’s a high-energy song and it always got the crowd going. Plus, it’s a nice homage to Hogan’s appearance in Rocky III, which helped take his career to a new level.
Junkyard Dog “Another One Bites the Dust” — JYD was awesome. Queen was awesome. Ergo this pairing was awesome.
Kerry Von Erich “Tom Sawyer” — Lyrically, this pairing made total sense. Before he was “The Texas Tornado,” Von Erich was “The Modern Day Warrior.” Musically, it wasn’t the most riveting entrance them, but I love Rush and I was a mark for Kerry in the WCCW days.
The Road Warriors “Iron Man” — Before the WWE neutered them and made them the lovable Legion of Doom, The Road Warriors were — by far — the most bad-ass tag-team in the world. Using a bad-ass Black Sabbath song was an outstanding choice.
The U.S. Express “Born in the USA” — Another appropriate pairing, the tag-team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo was pushed as a couple of all-American boys. Too bad they never turned into cowardly heels and used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Jimmy Garvin “Sharp Dressed Man” — Something of an ’80s Gorgeous George, “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin was a flamboyant wrestler that wore tacky robes and had an outstanding ’80s perm…that could almost pass as a ZZ Top beard.
Rick Rude “Smooth Operator” — The Ravishing One could do whatever the hell he wanted, which apparently included walking to the ring to a Sade song.
Bruiser Brody “Immigrant Song” — Wrestling marks know that Brody was one of the original “monster” wrestlers that has influenced today’s monsters. It’s a shame that he was murdered by a shady promoter before the big wrestling boom. Still, he’s a legend and using a legendary Led Zepelin song totally works.
Lord Humongous “War Machine” — Before Taz used this Kiss classic as his ECW entrance music, Lord Humongous used it in Mid-South Wrestling. For those of you not familiar with Lord Humongous, it was a masked persona used by several wrestlers, including the man that would become “Psycho” Sid.
Midnight Express “Chase” — Of course the Midnight Express used a track from the movie Midnight Express. It actually worked really well as a pro-wrestling entrance theme.
The Steiner Brothers “Welcome to the Jungle” — There are many wrestling fans that have no idea that Scott Steiner used to be the smaller Steiner brother. They probably didn’t know that they marched to the ring to this Guns n’ Roses song too.
Austin Aries “Personal Jesus” — Yeah, this isn’t from the classic era, but I’m putting it here because he’s a pal and the song fits. He didn’t like the idea of using Depeche Mode for his entrance music, but saw that it made sense for his Ring of Honor character. The crowd loved it too.
Anyway, those are just some of my favorite real songs used as pro-wrestling entrance themes. What are some of your favorites? Kindly list them in the comments section when you have a chance.