by Eddie Perez, guitar player and writer at musicianauthority.com
Any true WWE fan knows that the wrestling itself isn’t all that goes into a great performance–the showmanship and fanfare are huge components to a great match as well. Enthusiastic announcements and hype help the audience enjoy the show that much more, and WWE Wrestlers’ entrance songs take that excitement to a whole new level.
One of the most exciting moments for wrestling fans is when the familiar entrance songs of their favorite fighters blast through the speakers, gearing everyone up for a thrilling show from their most beloved wrestling stars. Long-time wrestling fanatics are sure to remember these 5 iconic rock songs popularized by WWE Wrestler’s entrances from the 90’s and enjoy the trip down memory lane!
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Jim Johnston – I Won’t Do What You Tell Me)
Arguably renowned composer Jim Johnston’s most famous piece, “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” opens with a well-known sound of shattering glass that’s enough to make fans around the world jump to their feet and go wild for Stone Cold Steve Austin.
During a behind-the-scenes interview, Stone Cold Steve Austin revealed that he wanted to take a very hands-on approach to the creation of his entrance theme. He played a CD featuring “Bulls On Parade” by Rage Against The Machine for Jim Johnston as inspiration for the kind of sound he wanted.
The goal of the iconic shattering glass intro of the entrance song was to capture all the auditory power and energy of a formidable car crash–communicating to the audience that Stone Cold Steve Austin was just as much of a wild card!
2. D-Generation X (Jim Johnston – Are You Ready?)
Jim Johnston killed it once again in terms of crowd hype by getting audience members everywhere pumped with the opening song “Are You Ready?” which punctuated the green and black wrestling outfits of D-Generation X with a powerful blend of rap and rock guitar elements.
As one of the more controversial WWE factions, D-Generation X was introduced with a fitting theme song that conveyed a strong message of defiance and passion for resisting conformity. The slow buildup of the dual drumbeats was particularly effective at raising the energy of the crowd to the point of mania by the time D-Generation X entered the ring–and encouraging them to defy some rules of their own.
3. Shawn Michaels (Jimmy Hart & JJ Maguire – Sexy Boy)
Jimmy Hart, otherwise known as “The Mouth of the South”, touts his collaborative work on Shawn Michaels’ entrance theme as the musical accomplishment that he’s most proud of. The powerful, quirky theme song “Sexy Boy” has featured a number of singers during its time, including Sherri Martel, Vince McMahon, and even Shawn Michaels himself for a time!
After Shawn Michaels took a break from wrestling between 1998 and 2002, he was asked if he wanted to go with a newer, heavier theme song to herald his return. He liked “Sexy Boy” enough to respond: “No. I came in with this song and I want to go out with it.”
4. The Rock (Jim Johnston – Know Your Role)
Another of Jim Johnston’s masterpieces, “Know Your Role,” got audience members pumped for the entrance of third-generation celebrity Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson by bringing back the classic entry line of “Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” that was featured in his earlier entrance song. This familiar line was particularly effective at riling fans with its aggressive message that The Rock’s opponents needed to mind their place in the ring.
“Know Your Role” hybridized elements of The Rock’s earlier themes with new sounds across a few different versions of the same entrance song that evolved from 1999 to 2001. In 2001, The Rock was suspended by Vince McMahon, and returned later with volume 4 of “Know Your Role” for a powerful comeback.
5. Brock Lesnar (Jim Johnston – The Next Big Thing)
Brock Lesnar’s theme song is modeled after his own nickname, “The Next Big Thing,” which was given to him by his agent Paul Heyman shortly after his wrestling debut, and the instrumental entrance theme is meant to hearken to the way Lesnar’s raw power speaks for itself.
Carrying all the foreboding energy of Brock Lesnar’s potent intimidation factor and aggressive, beast-like demeanor, “The Next Big Thing” features powerful instrumental beats that are effective enough to get fans pumped without the use of any vocals. Brock Lesnar later exchanged “The Next Big Thing” for “The Next Big Thing V2,” which closely maintained the purely instrumental “danger” element from the first entrance theme.
90’s Rock Entrance Themes to Remember
When you consider the fact that a WWE Wrestler’s entrance song is meant to hype up the audience and make each fighter memorable, each one of these top 5 rock WWE entrance songs from the 90’s is a glowing success.
Any wrestling fan is sure to feel a sense of nostalgia as they listen to these energetic, heavy guitar sounds that have grown on people since the 90’s and recall their favorite WWE Wrestlers’ crowning moments!