WWE Music and the importance of it
Music is a way to communicate with people. It’s a way to get the audience pumped up. A wrestler’s theme song is an extension of their characters and a way for them to help connect to their audiences. The World Wrestling Entertainment uses a huge variety of music, and not just in their Superstars and Diva’s entrance music, but in a way to sell a Pay-Per-View, a way to pay tribute to some one special. I want to take a look at some of the contributers to the music in the WWE as well as some talents own mixes.
Jim Johnston is the musical genius behind hundreds of WWE superstars and diva’s entrance music. He’s been working in the WWE since the 1980’s and has composed themes for The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, and the theme to the 1988 movie No Holds Barred, starring Hulk Hogan. Johnston began his career working for MTV and VH-1 creating bumpers and commercial cues. He has admitted to suffering from stage fright as well as a fear of live audiences. Johnston is still pumping out some of the awesome theme songs for the superstars and divas, and producing the WWE’s many soundtracks for the fans.
Selective Discography For Jim Johnston
- The Wrestling Album -1985
- Piledriver: The Wrestling Album 2 -1987
- WWF Full Metal -1996
- WWF Aggression -2000
- WWF The Music Vol. 5 – 2001
- WWF Forcible Entry -2002
- WWE Anthology -2002
- WWE Originals – 2004
- WWE Theme Addicts: Vol. 6 – 2004
- WWE Wreckless Intent -2006
Another master of the wrestling themes is a man that everyone knows and loves. A man who not only worked as a manager of many successful staples in wrestling history, but he also started off in his own band, The Gentry’s. Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart has composed many of the 80’s superstars theme music. He worked on the Honky Tonk Man’s, Shawn Michaels, Bret Harts, Legion of Dooms, The Fabulous Rougeaus, Hulk Hogans and many more. The Gentry’s had a million selling record with “Keep On Dancing” from the 1960’s. Jimmy Hart was inducted in the 2005 WWE Hall of Fame.
Another one of the talented musicians in the wrestling family is RAW’s ring announcer, the lovely Lillian Garcia. She has recorded Torrie Wilson’s theme for the WWE Anthology album in 2002, and has also recorded a song for the WWE Originals album in 2004. She is often singing the American National anthems at the beginning of shows. I have actually even seen her sing the Canadian National Anthem at a RAW a few years back, and I have to say, she could have out done any other Canadian musician Her voice is full of power and emotion. After September 11th, Lillian sang an emotional rendition of the American National anthem at the September 13th edition of SmackDown. She is also currently working on her own album which will hopefully be released this year. Lillian has worked along side Latin recording artist Jon Secada, as well has co-wrote songs with writer Meridith Brooks. To check out more on Lillian check out her website; liliangarcia.com.
Jeff Hardy has a unique sound all his own. After leaving the WWE in 2003 he worked with the band Burnside 6 and together formed the band Peroxwhy?gen alongside fellow wrestler Shannon Moore. A band with a unique sound, a mix of punk and electronica. While working in TNA, Jeff Hardy used his own music as his entrance theme called “Modest”. The song is an original mix, just like the wrestler himself. Peroxwhy?gen currently has their own myspace page.
Amy Dumas, formally known to the wrestling world as Lita, has her own musical project, a band called the Luchagors. You can check out this aspiring Punk band on myspace. They are currently working on their first CD. Good luck to Amy!
You can’t mention wrestling and music without mentioning Fozzy. Former WWE superstar, Chris Jericho is the front man of a heavy metal band. They have a total of 3 albums, the first one mostly covers, the second one a mixture of covers and their own music, and the third album is completely their music alone. I personally own all three Fozzy Cds and they are some of my favorites. Chris Jericho left the WWE to ncentrate on outside projects, including Fozzy, as well as acting. Chris Jericho and Fozzy have their own MySpace pages.
And what list would be complete without the current WWE Champion, John Cena. On May 10, 2005, the first CD of John Cena was released. “You Can’t See Me” debut on the Billboard Charts at Number 15, and at number 3 on the rap charts. The album released three singles, “Bad Bad Man”, “Right Now”, and “The Time Is Now”. Also the song “If It All Ends Tomorrow” was featured in Cena’s first ever movie, The Marine. Despite the fact that his talent in the ring suffers greatly, his musical ability shows greater promise.
Many well known names in music have contributed in the entrance and Pay-Per-View music. Artist like, Lil Kim, P.O.D., 3 Six Mafia, Boy Hits Car, Finger Eleven and Eighteen Vision all contribute to a long list of outstanding musicians. All songs are still written and composed by Jim Johnston.
Many bands have contributed multiple times. Saliva, Motorhead, Drowning Pool, are among the top contributers.
Saliva was first heard back in 2000 when they lent their song “Click Click Boom” for the WWE Pay-Per-View “Unforgiven”. Then they not onlygot to share their sond “Always” for the WrestleMania 18 theme with Drowning Pool, they also performed live at the event in Toronto. When the album, WWF Forcible Entry came out in 2002, Saliva lent their voices and musical talent to perform the new song for the Dudley Boyz, called “Get The Tables”. It didn’t stop there with entry themes as recently as 2006 when reckless Intent came out had them doing Batista’s entrance music, “I Walk Alone”. At “Unforgiven” in 2004, their song, “Survival of the Sickest” was the Pay-Per-View theme. This year at WrestleMania 23, Saliva has tag teamed once again with the WWE to promote their new album, “Blood Stained Love Story” with the song “Ladies and Gentlemen” as the theme song.
In February 2003, a brand new band was featured for the No Way Out Pay-Per-View in Montreal. Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” was the first band the WWE promoted who had a female lead singer, Amy Lee. Shortly after this Pay-Per-View, Evanescence boomed all over the air waves, and quickly became one of the top selling bands of this era. Although they only lent that one song to the WWE, Evanescense was well worth the mention.
Another multiple-contributer band is Drowning Pool. With the use of the bands break-out song “Bodies” used for the theme to the 2000 Summer Slam Pay-Per-View in Raleigh, North Carolina, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley’s theme during the Invasion year, and now it is currently the new ECW opening song. Their song “Sinner” was the theme song to the December Pay-Per-View, Vengence. In 2002 on the Forcible Entry CD, Drowning Pool did a cover of Motorhead’s “The Game”, which was the theme song for Triple H. That same year at WrestleMania 18 they shared the stage with Saliva performing their song “Tear Away”. Two years later they contributed again at WrestleMania 20 with “Step Up”. Currently the band supplies the WWE with SmackDown’s opening theme song, “Rise Up”.
Thanks to Randy Orton, the band Mercy Drive made and impact in 2004 when they supplied the music “Away” for a tribute video for Orton after he won the World Championship in Toronto. The band is currently doing Orton’s theme song “Burn In My Light”.
You can’t talk about music of the WWE without mentioning this legendary band, Motorhead. At WreslteMania 17 in the Houston Astrodome, Motorhead performed Triple H’s theme, “The Game” live while Triple H walked to the ring. When Triple H recruited one legend, and two rookies to form the faction “Evolution”, there was no one better to perform the theme song “Line In The Sand” then Motorhead. That theme song is one of the best WWE theme songs in history. That ticking of the clock always indicated that Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton were on their way to the ring to cause trouble. At WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, Triple H’s entrance became a questionable yet highly talked about part of 2006. He entered the event clad in a Conan The Barbarian type get up, complete with him perched on a throne. Motorhead supplied the new, kick ass theme song approperately titled “King Of Kings”.
Kid Rock has also supplied nuerous pieces of his music. The Undertaker used Rocks’ “American Bad Ass” in 2000 when he returned from a lengthy hiatus at Judgment Day. The music helped “Taker morph his image from the dead man to the biker bad ass that closely resembles the real Mark Calloway. Kid Rock”s song “Cocky” was the Pay-Per-View theme for The Royal Rumble in 2003. Stacy Keibler also used his cover of the ZZ Top classic, “Legs”. One of the best historical video packages that played tribute to the ever changing WWE was a series of emotionally charged momentes througout the years of the WWWF/WWF/WWE done to Kid Rock’s “Lonely Road Of Faith”.
There has just been so many incredible bands and artist who have contributed over the years. Rob Zombie contributed “Feels So Numb” for a Pay-Per-View and “Never Gonna Stop” for Edge’s theme song. Other bands who also deserve an honorable mention are:
- Finger Eleven – Kane
- Our Lady Peace – Chris Benoit/Jeff Hardy Tribute
- Lil Kim – Trish Stratus
- Naughty By Nature – Shane McMahon
- KillSwitch Engage – CM Punk
- Alterbridge – Edge
- Marilyn Manson – The SmackDown theme/Tribute to the Brother’s of Destruction
- The Union Underground – RAW Theme
- Papa Roach – Current RAW Theme
- Fozzy – No Way Out
- ShineDown – WrestleMania
- Peter Gabriel – WrestleMania
- Limp Bizkit – Undertaker/WrestleMania
- Creed – tribute videos
- Garbage – Torrie Wilson
- No Doubt – Diva’s Tropical Pleasure UPN Special
- Sheryl Crow – Trish Stratus
Thanks to the World Wrestling Entertainment, my music tasts have broadened. I was introduced to so many awesome bands in the 21 years I have been a fan. It will forever keep changing. With the promotional tool that the WWE hs become, many up and coming artists could sky rocket to stardom with this incredible company behind them. The music that we hear each week on television or in person, gets our heart pumping and our excitement bursting to get out. So whether it’s the first few bars of Jeff Hardy’s music, or the “You Think You Know Me’ just before Edge bursts through the steam, you anticipate your favorite superstars. I guarantee you, the next time you are watching wrestling, (especially TNA) muted on your television, you will find that your heart doesn’t pound quite the same.