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Entrance themes

Hey Scott. Long time reader.
You've probably fielded this one before, but I think it's worth
re-asking. How much is the importance of entrance themes in the
development of a character? Can an otherwise talented performer suffer
with lame or inappropriate music, or does it have little to no bearing
in the grand scheme of things? Are there any examples you can think of
to support your opinion?
Thanks.

Man, now I've gotta provide EXAMPLES to support my opinion?  I'm already grumpy at not being able to afford a trip to Calgary for UFC 149 tonight, don't make it worse for me.

Entrance music can be huge.  Rock never would have gotten quite the pops he did without "If you SMEEEEELLLLL...." hitting the PA system when he came out.  Hogan also had an awesome theme that held up well for nostalgia purposes later on as well.  Instantly recognizable riff and it couldn't help but get a crowd jacked up.  

As for hurting the character, yes, definitely.  Steve Austin lost a lot of his luster when the glass breaking classic got dropped for a while.  WCW was terrible for it, nearly killing Goldberg's entrance when they switched from his traditional theme to "Crush 'Em" at the end, and swapping out Sting's music for "Seek and Destroy".  But they never had much grasp of the art of entrance music in the first place.  

Comments

  1. I liked Sting using Seek And Destroy, actually.....

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  2. Typical debate: "Metallica vs. Megadeth"

    Scott weighs in: "Their WCW themes sucked"

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  3. To me ultimate warrior had the best theme music. Perfect match for the character.

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  4. I thought Seek And Destroy was perfect for Sting late in his career. Yeah, the Crow theme was cool but it didn't fit once Sting started showing personality again in '99. 

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  5. The cho cho chosen 1... Loved it

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  6. Bit of a side-tangent here, but what was the best opening for a theme?

    Austin's glass shattering?
    Rock's "If You Smellll"?
    Taker's gong? (Obvious winner, IMO.)
    Foley's car crash?
    Trish's giggle?

    Regal's steam whistle?

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  7. Nah. "Seek and Destroy" is pretty much what I associate with Sting, now. And I started watching when he was full-on Crow.

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  8.  Jericho's countdown gets a vote for me. That entrance made him a main eventer the second he walked through the door, it just took the federation and him a bit to catch up.

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  9. It actually may depend on the circumstances.  If we're talking about a run-in, I'd say Austin.  Nothing makes you feel like you're going to see a big, crazy match like Austin's glass shattering.  If you're interrupting a promo, I'd say Rock.  His "If you smelllllll..." is the perfect interruption that gets the live audience excited and allows the person in the ring to react accordingly.  If you're looking for an overall epic entrance in and of itself, I gotta go with Taker.  His entrance is one of the only ones that come to mind that the audience is completely into, while also utterly silent.

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  10.  I'll defend the seek and destroy, but goldberg needed that pump up classical theme. it was perfect.

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  11. You choo choo choose me?

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  12. Agreed, but it bothered me -- a lot -- that he continued with the Crow appearance.  I wish he had done what he did for a brief period in TNA, the Crow facepaint with a little neon flavor.  He ditched the singlet for traditional tights.  Swapped the trench coat for a glittery jacket, and added some color to the facepaint (red or green usually).  The Crow look was awesome, but it just didn't fit when he was cracking jokes and acting all excited.

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  13. As good as the glass shattering was (or anything else discussed here), nothing for me beats Demolition.

    "Here comes the Ax, here comes the Smasher..."

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  14.  Now he's ripping off heath ledger's joker, and he's probably the worst choice ever for that.   That's a bit divergent from entrance themes, but I do wonder who would be a good choice for that.  If they turned Hardy, maybe?

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  15. I think entrance music is incredibly important. Look at a guy like Rob Conway. Not that he would have taken the world by storm anyway, but that shitty music guaranteed he'd never get anywhere.

    I don't think TNA or WCW have ever really gotten entrance music right. WCW would fade one song into the next, and TNA keeps the volume too low. 

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  16. I think McMahon's theme deserves a mention as well.  The music just before "No Chance" is so recognizable.  And he's been so sporadically used the past several years that whenever you hear that music, you know SOMETHING big or unexpected is going to happen.

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  17. Lars can lick my taint, Mustaine 4 Life.

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  18. Steve Regal's "Man's Man" theme pretty much buried any cred he had.  I think Owen Hart could have done better without his wimpy ass theme.

    For examples of guys getting over on their theme without much else, look at ECW.  Sandman was a huge attraction and 80% of it was his entrance.  911 was a big lug but lit up a crowd when "Frankenstein" hit.

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  19. A classic era Metallica song versus a terrible era Megadeth song... no match... Stink and Metallica all the way...   Now if it was Hangar 18 or somsething.. much different. 

    Crush Em was just done as promo for a the new Megadeth album.. no other reason

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  20. Yeah, I enjoyed it too.  "The Crow"-esque music worked up still Starrcade 1997 when he was shrouded in mystery.  After that I think it just seemed sort of odd.  "Seek And Destroy " would have worked the rest of the way, with a little Wolfpack on the side.  Speaking of the Wolfpack, were there ever two more out of place, awkward members than Lex Luger and Sting

    Goldberg was another story -- everything about his music and entrance was iconic.  The changes they made to it in WCW and the WWE were both unnecessary.

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  21. The correct answer to best entrance will always be that of Gangrel and the Brood.  I really wish that run lasted longer than it did.   At least we got Edge and Christian out of it.
    ( They even used the music for Cena's opponents in the second Fred movie on Nickelodeon.)

    Now THAT would be a cool Heath Slater opponent.  The lights go out and he rises from out of the stage in the middle of a fire ring.  Maybe a wrestling vampire would've worked better when Twilight went big. 

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  22.  Aren't they all buddy buddy again after doing the Big 4 or whatever it was called? Or are they on the outs again?

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  23. I think Mustaine said he wrote "Crush 'Em" to be a song for when a hockey team comes out to the ice because he's a big hockey fan, and then ended up selling it to WCW. I think Mustaine doesn't have a clear grasp of what makes an exciting entrance song, because "Crush 'Em" had a really long intro that took forever to build.

    Speaking of Megadeth and wrestling: normally I'd never feel this way about an instrumental, but I actually think the instrumental version of "Trust" from the ECW cd is better than the version with lyrics. The instrumental sounds like the score to the climactic scene of a sci-fi war movie. The lyriced version sounds like what Mustaine must sound like when he's trying to get laid. And NO ONE wants to hear that. 

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  24.  The really annoying thing with TNA is that they do have some stuff that would work- Samoa Joe, Angle, Bobby Roode, James Storm and Jeff Hardy are all great themes, if they would just get cranked up.

    RVD's TNA theme is absolutely horrible, though.  how friggin' hard is it to find a band that can rip off Pantera properly?  Call the slash tones or something, just get someone that can rip off Walk properly and you'd probably double his pop. 

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  25. Some other ones- I enjoyed both War Machine by Kiss and Thug Superstar by Cypress Hill, both for Tazz.  Eddy's "Viva La Raza" theme was absolutely killer, and I'm always a little sad that he didn't get a chance to be as huge as I thought he would be.
    Also, blah blah blah My Time.

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  26. I think I'd rather go deaf than listen to Metallica.

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  27. I'm not very educated in terms of music and instruments, which has basically left me completely clueless as to exactly what to CALL that music/sound at the beginning of Vince's theme. Is it just a guitar riff? Some sort of electronic techno beat thing (as in, an artificially-created sound effect)? Some other instrument?

    Because I've always been fascinated with it, it's like a deep, foreboding version of dragging a stick across a wooden fence, or driving over those little ridges on the side of the road.

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  28. I've actually always loved Owen's themes, I think he's had some of the best songs of any wrestlers.

    Especially his "Black Hart" theme, with the metal "clank" in it.

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  29. Ooh, that slowed-down version of "Viva La Raza" was awesome, too - loved that annoying beeping intro.

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  30.  Won't happen, they'd have to pay to call him "Gangrel" again because they didn't own the name.

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  31. Lars was supposed to debate this point, but he was too busy fucking Connie Nielsen on a pile of cash. 

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  32. 2 that I didn't see mentioned:

    The old school Iron Man (Black Sabbath) for the LOD back in the day is probably my favorite of all time.  

    I always liked Shane-O'-Mac's Here Comes the Money.  

    I think a missed opportunity (especially back when wrestlers could use music without necessarily paying for the licensing would have been the theme from the Halloween movies.  I can't believe no one ever used that, it could have been badass.  

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  33. Actually the Samoan Swat Team used the theme from Carpenters' Halloween. I remember hearing it the first time at Halloween Havoc '89

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  34. That's something that WCW was always very inferior to the WWF at - good theme music. I've rarely hated any of the music that WWE has ever put out (I absolutely hated the X-Factor theme, though) but there's really only a handful of themes that WCW ever came up with that I thought wasn't generic or boring. I loved the NWO theme (except that narrator voice could get annoying), Sting's dark theme after he returned at Starrcade '97, DDP's, Dungeon Of Doom's, Hulk Hogan's, Goldberg's, and maybe literally only about 2-3 others.

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  35. the Dudley Boyz had an amazing opening as well.

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  36. You bite your tongue sir, "Man's Man" is the greatest song ever written. Also, Regal did pretty well after that with that instrumental he used forever.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12IXqSMUECA 

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  37. I think that it is definately important. Look at all the generic rock themes we have these days. Nothing stands out. Generic theme hits and then someone walks out with generic trunks. Look the same, feel the same.

    Having something slightly different can help. Use the Rumble for example, entrance theme needs to stand out there, not be generic that people are struggling to distinguish wrestlers from each other.

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  38. what bothers me is that today they try to give everybody (minus R-Truth last year, which was a great exception) a cool theme. instead of using the cheap way to get heat by letting a lot of the heels using themes that the crowd won't "get into".

    I mean, stuff like Diesel first theme, the one from Mantaur, the heel Crush one or even the Demolition Fuji-era heel theme were never getting anyone pumped - and they shouldn't!

    I am by now means saying that no heel should have a catch theme, but I think it works best when it is less common.

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  39.  Just an ominous keyboard tone, multi-tracked a few times.

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  40. I'm shocked no one has mentioned the theme song that was THE ONLY REDEEMING QUALITY of the wrestlers that were attached to it...

    "OH YOU DIDN'T KNOW?! YOUR ASS BETTA CALL SOMEBODDDDDDY!"

    As for themes hurting characters, any Asian that ever came out to "random Japanese music" was pretty much doomed to fail in the US as WWE and WCW BURIED the idea of a strong Japanese wrestler, with the last really great one being Ultimo Dragon.

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  41. Exactly.That's the only reason anyone loved the NAO. One of the most insane pops was when Road Dogg came out for the 2000 Rumble when his theme didn't have the lyrics, but MSG still went OH YOU DIDN'T KNOW, etc. That was so awesome.

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  42. But there's a Futurama reference in RVD's theme....I think. Unless he does use something called a Van Crushinator.

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  43. That's what TNA needs more of, recognizable themes. Say what you will about WWE's Downstait et al., entrance music, they all start with something that makes you instantly know who it is. I've been watching TNA for about three months now, but unless it's a top guy, I still have to wait for the guy to appear on camera to know who's coming down because I can't recognize most of their themes.

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  44. In that case, I stand corrected.  

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  45. Quite ironically, TNA had a lot of recognizable themes from 2004 until about 2007; Team Canada, AJ Styles' 2nd theme, America's Most Wanted, Rhino, Christian Cage, Raven, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe's inital theme, Abyss and Monty Brown all come to mind. Not sure why this stopped, also not sure why Kazarian has had like 20 different entrance themes even though his 2004 music was his only good entrance theme.

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  46. I feel almost embarrassed that my favorite TNA theme is RVD, since a lot of TNA fans I know think it sucks. But the main hook is callback-worthy and anything that feels like a Futurama reference (Van Crushinator) makes it OK by me. Dundundundundun....ROB VAN DAM!

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  47. For all of the complaining about TNA missing the boat when it comes to entrance music, they at least got it right with Sting.

    Ironically, right now I'm glancing at Ring Of Honor and dear god is Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin's theme music horrible. Mike Bennett's got a good theme at least.

    And Charlie did a pretty good heel promo with a great line: "Shut up, greatness is about to speak."

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  48. supercharged was fucking tits!

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  49. Yeah, Goldberg was the ONLY guy that music was ever a good fit for.
    When Pat Tanaka used it before him, it just looked and sounded really awkward.

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  50. The original Goldust theme sort of sounded like a Halloween ripoff.

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  51. to all you jabronis who didnt like wcw theme music.

    MX
    hollywood blondes
    sid vicious
    any japanese wrestler sans muta
    mutas 89 theme

    i can go on and on.

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  52. William Regal jumps to mind as somebody who falls into this category.  His theme is great, but it's not the type of thing you hear and feel inclined to jump out of your seat (opposed to, say, Miz).  Great observation.

    Kinda goes back to what I said in the Raw open thread.  There's this need to be mainstream instead of doing things completely in house.  Is there any reason why somebody at Alex Riley's level needs a band doing his theme music?  It used to be a big deal if an outside band did your theme.  Now it's the norm.

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  53. Scott

    You should be thanking your lucky stars that you didn't waste money going to UFC 149.  Easily the worst UFC show I've sat through.  

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  54. Some other good picks: The Masters Of The Powerbomb, Z-Man, Diamond Studd's 1st theme, Vader's 1990 theme and his 2nd and more recognizable theme, The Skyscrapers theme (I'm obviously a fan of that), Lex Luger's 1st and by far best theme, The Steiner Brothers' 1991 theme, Rick Rude's 1991 theme, Pretty Wonderful, The Artist, Jeff Jarrett's 1999 theme and I'm surprised nobody has brought up Harlem Heat yet but I'll give their awesome music a mention. Anyway, those are just a few examples.

    And I'm probably in the minority but I really liked Bret Hart's last WCW theme, it was a much better fit for him than his other WCW themes were.

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  55. Doctor FunkopolisJuly 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The last two Horsemen themes were beyond epic, even though the final one was essentially an alternate take on the previous song.


    Still think those two were the most cinematic themes in wrestling.

    In fact, I challenge you to actually listen to either of them while doing something mundane. See how awesome it becomes.

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  56. I loved Dusty's 'common man' WWF theme. Did he have a legendary one in NWA?

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  57. 149 was easily the worst show of the year, might be the worst show in the modern era of the UFC.  The prelims were pretty fun so that probably saves it from "worst ever" status but not by much.

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  58. Well, when you start running out of bodies, it's hard to put together a good card with replacements. I think UFC may need to think about the number of shows it's putting on.

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  59. They had Kevin Fertig and Ariel as vampires in 2007 right in the heart of the Twilight book craze and about a year before the movie craze.  They did nothing with them.

    Then again this is the same company that had Zack Ryder during the entire Jersey Shore pop craze and they did nothing with it other than a 1 off joke about him asking Snooki if she wanted to see his situation.

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  60. Something I've noticed for a while is that some of the TNA Knockouts have way more recognizable and appropriate themes than the men. Not saying that they are awesome songs or that you have to like all of them, but they instantly identify who is coming out. Mickie James has "Hardcore Country"; Tara has "Broken...Broken"; Velvet has the Beautiful People theme that has been around for years; Winter (I don't even know if she is still there) had an opening line saying something about Winter; Madison has something about being the queen. I don't remember Kong's, but I'm pretty sure it was good, and I think ODB's is pretty recognizable as well, though I can't think of what it is off the top of my head.

    All of those songs fit the women perfectly and the songs seem to actually go with their characters, which is a stark contrast to the themes of a lot of the male wrestlers in the company. I think it has gotten better over the last year or so, although I can't think of any specific examples.

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  61. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLjClOGNO6A
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BecXbZ86y6I

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  62. Yeah Iron Man would have worked well in the late 90s too, it makes great interruption music. Too bad Russo took it (or a rip off of it rather) for himself.

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  63. Yeah they used it at a COTC around then too. Very cool.

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  64. Mustaine would retaliate, but he's too busy not being a pathetic shell of his former talent that's sold-out more often than Tickle Me Elmo's.

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  65. I think they're chill, but Mustaine is um, how do you say, uh, kinda unstable.

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  66. I still think it's hilarious that White Wolf and WWE have had business dealings.  Weirdest cross-over ever.

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  67. Those are all excellent ones.  I think most of the WCW themes were on par with the WWF themes until late 1992/early 1993 when they did the WCW Slam Jam album.  The awesome Steiner's theme became "Steinerline", Sting's great theme (I can't recall the title) became "A Man Called Sting" and they changed Rude's awesome Black Cat rip-off to "Simply Ravishing" which was awful.  Luger's theme was great too until his 1995 comeback.

    From 1995 on they used way too much generic music though, although there were some strong themes.  Besides the ones mentioned, I always liked Rey Mysterio's first WCW theme.  Also the Ultimate Warriors theme -- it was going to be hard to follow up his original theme, but that one was suitably epic.  Chris Jericho's WCW theme was a little generic, but instantly recognizable.  Savage's guitar reworking of Pomp and Circumstance was not my favorite, although it seems to have a lot of fans.  I always liked the Meng/Faces of Fear theme as well.

       

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  68. Injuries are always going to happen but even some "weak" cards can have a very high entertainment value.

    I think Faber/Barao had a pretty decent chance of being a crappy fight so I'll ignore this one.  Sometimes I think I'm the only one who realizes that Faber is completely 100% washed up since he can't take guys down anymore. 
    Ebersole/Head should have been at least decent with Ebersole bringing some wacky hijinks.  It sucked.
    Jordan/Kongo should have been a quick knockout either way.  It was terrible.
    Lombard/Boetsch should have been either a great fight or quick knockout.  Both guys are supposed to be berserkers.  Boring decision nobody could have seen coming.

    So yeah I mean injuries robbed the card of star power; having Big Nog instead of Jordan would have been much better.  But still a lot of these fights were supposed to be better and instead were awful.

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  69. A great 'interrupt the people speaking' theme was also Kane's theme.  You knew some shit was going down once that music hit.

    One that would have been awesome in the late 1990s would have been Jake's "Trust Me" theme.

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  70. According to Wikipedia, he used the Hank Williams Jr. song "You Can't Judge a book by it's Cover" in the NWA, and then Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" in WCW.  

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  71. uhm... Yokozuna?

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  72.  All of RVD's moves, when properly called, are "Van ___ inator." "Van smashinator" is a hip toss.

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  73.  Something I've always wondered, because I've never really seen too much of the old NWA: when Dusty was doing the Midnight Rider gimmick, did he actually come out to "Midnight Rider" by the Allman Brothers? It would have only made sense, and that's one of my all time favorite songs so I think it'd be pretty cool.

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  74. Always thought Eddy's WCW music was better than any of them.  Do do do doodoo do...

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  75. The Samoan Swat Team used the Halloween theme.

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  76. Nevermind.  

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  77. Winter's theme was awesome.  Good enough I looked it up on Youtube.

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  78. Yeah it was a rough one. One of the duller ones I've seen. Time to drop faber back to the mid card.

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  79. As much as Vince tried to bury Dusty, he game him a great theme.

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  80.  ....more cowbell?

    Or are you suggesting that Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden recorded the "American Dream" song? Because I'd love to hear that.

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  81.  Steinerliiiiiiiiiiiine!!!!!

    American Males! American Males! American Males! American Males!

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  82. Aside from Austin, no one could top the interrupting greatness that was Muhammad Hass--AHLAYALAYALAYALAYALAYALYALAYALLAAAA....

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  83. I wonder if Jericho's Evenflow ripoff theme would have worked for anyone, or Jericho as a character was enough to make it HIS theme, where DDP's Smells Like Teen Spirit ripoff theme was exclusively his due to the "Self High Five!" over the opening riff.

    I always loved Psicosis' and La Parka's WCW themes

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  84. I don't know if they're still using pre-existing songs, but when they did ROH guys usually had some pretty outstanding themes. The only thing that ever struck me as odd was Austin Aries using Manson's cover of "Personal Jesus" instead of Christopher Daniels.

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  85.  That always made me think of the lion king music.

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  86.  Have to agree with Mr. Hood. Even Dana was talking crap about this event.

    I'm not sure if it was worse than the Indy card though. Crocop/Mir sucked ass.

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  87.  UFC should stand for 'Ultimate Fucking Crap!'

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  88. I did, too. The riff is great. It didn't fit the character at that time to a "t", but it was a good piece of ring music.

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  89. It always sounded like a mash of keys on a church organ to me. A keyboard sound of some sort, though.

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  90. I beg to differ, but differences are fun.

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  91.  They don't anymore. That would have been better for Daniels but he was pretty locked into using "Disposable Teens". Their new themes are pretty inscrutable. A lot of guys still use their OG themes out on the indies, I know the Briscoes came out to "Gimme Back My Bullets" when I saw them, but with the banjo & "Reach for the sky, boys" sting they have in their current song.

    Nothing, now or ever, tops Danielson's "Final Countdown".

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  92.  I can never remember whether everything WCW had was stock music or if Jimmy Hart did some of the themes, but that's a classic example of the Jimmy Hart Version of a song, in that case "Lowrider".

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  93. This may sound like blasphemy to some, but I actually preferred the knock-off version - don't know why, just feels like there's a little more "oomph" to it.

    Worst example of Jimmy Hart's supposed "talent" has got to be DDP's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" knock-off, though.

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  94. I always thought Randy Orton suffered for never having good solo music. I mean the guy loves stuff like Pantera and they have him coming out to the pussiest fakemetal garbage. Burn In My Light and Voices are both horrible, you're supposed to think somebody tough is coming down when you hear that? Edge falls into the same category.

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  95. Or Jericho's "Even Flow" or Raven's "Comes as you Are"...Why didn't Raven get the Even Flow??  Weird.

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  96.  LOL.  American Males might be the most annoying theme ever.  Either that or the Nasty Boys "sung" WWF/WCW themes.  WE'RE THE BOYS!  WE'RE THE BOYS!

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