The Importance of Entrance Music
by, 05-18-2011 at 03:51 PM (4564 Views)
Entrance music is one of the most downplayed area's of a wrestlers persona. If you look at a wrestler and assess his character, you will look at his physique, mic skills and charisma, ring ethic etc. But the first thing that alerts you to a superstar is the entrance theme.
Out of the current generation, I don't really know what to say regarding the entrance music. It is about 90% generic and crap nu metal (if thats still what it is called) that is a hindrance to the wrestler himself. I remember when a new character would appear for his first match and if he had good music I would notice him right away. Entrance music was always good for several years, and in many cases still is, but is not good as it used to be, much like the entire business.
The Attitude era was when everybody had a different persona for one and a unique (if sometimes generic) entrance theme. But even the generic entrance theme's were decent fare, think Hardcore Holly, a rip roaring riff with his catchphrase at the time "How do you like me now". This was the line that would seperate him from the other seemingly generic themes, and the one line let you know who it was. Others I could include would be "WHAT DOES EVERYBODY WANT? HEAAAADDDD"
In the 80's and the 90's wrestling themes were very largely in-house produced, probably around the 99% mark. All the themes were designed exclusively to fit the character they were meant for. Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold, I could go on and on but I won't. There is a trend in blogs (at least in mine to date) to concentrate solely on main eventers. The main men are more memorable no doubt but everybody else had a part to play. In relation, their music let everybody know they were there.
Vader Time, The Brood, Legion of Doom, Nation of Domination, Hardyz, Mankind, Kane, Million Dollar Man's iconic laugh and many other great themes of that era were specifically created for the character. I used to think, at the time, that Steve Blackman's theme was a bit bland, but now, I realise how good it was and it was the perfect fit for his character, fast and ferocious but quiet and underplayed as was his gimmick.
Generally the music was always in house, but when there was a superstar of great value they would often look externally for something that would suit, and fit in with the grandeur of him. Think Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper. Well known songs throughout the world, though you probably wouldn't know from where. You would have heard these in movies, tv shows and ads completely unrelated to wrestling.
As the 90's brought about the Monday Night Wars and the change in company power, wrestling music started changing with the times. Now to promote your biggest assets, more mainstream sounds came in to play. The group that changed entrance music in a wrestling role forever, the NWO. NWO had a sample of Jimi Hendrix, and alas, the theme that will always be in your head when you think of the group. Here is a link to the song, listen around the 40 second mark, it's not a huge part of the song itself but the sample you all know and love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goRYGuP4bY4
To make Hogan stand out from the rest of the NWO, He had to get his own theme himself. Something similar, but completely his own. A warm welcome to Voodoo Child. If you want to make your characters seem cool, Hendrix is a good way to go about things, and more apt if it's related to the music of his faction.
WWF didn't have as much money to play around with as WcW at the time, so couldn't lavishly spend on music royalties. They found an unknown band however to record a theme for their rivalry the nWo, DX. The band are poor as musicians, and I certainly couldn't name them,but their offensive sound was perfect for the offensive stylings of DX. The DX music was a big part of what made them hugely over.
WcW experimented with much more outside music for their stars for the last 5 years, with Sting, DDP and several others using well known songs. I however, won't go into detail as I never really got in to WcW and couldn't write with proper insight about that company.
Sporadically,PPV had their external music for a few years. AC/DC's highway to hell was a good promotion to Summerslam 98, Armageddon 2000 had a version of sweet home alabama, and even though I hate them, My Way by Limp Bizkit was a big part in making WrestleMania X-Seven so epic. This song here, is what changed the wrestling industry in relation to it's music.
I will post again tomorrow, and you'll see where I am going with this then.
G'luck various Peeps and Kaneanites!