As Jon Moxley strutted out to The Troggs’ Wild Thing to face Yuji Nagata on the latest edition of Dynamite, I was struck by one thing. When AEW gets entrance music right, they get it perfect.
Yes, if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it was little more than a tribute to arguably Japanese wrestling’s greatest ever heel, the man who brought the Deathmatch to the country, Atsushi Onita. But, yet again it showed AEW at their very best on the musical front, something that has been a regular occurrence of late with Orange Cassidy’s new theme of The Pixies Where is my Mind?, and Jungle Boy’s Tarzan Boy. So, why is this article called what it is? Well whilst the top 10% have these incredible songs if you peel it back a little further various main-event talents in the company have songs that simply do not come close.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRWSgHAY02Y]
Where Does AEW Fall Short?
The reality is if every song is iconic, then no songs are iconic. Simply put, not every talent can have the best song, but it is about time some of the talents on the upper side of the card had a musical refresh. The names that come to mind are Miro, Brian Cage and Matt Hardy. All three of these names have either main-evented an episode of AEW Dynamite in the last month or have featured in the most recently released AEW Rankings.
In wrestling presentation is everything, The Rock made a simple running elbow drop the most electrifying move in all of sports entertainment, and how? Well, it was because he presented it as so, and as a result, we all bought in. Entrance music is no different, it’s no good simply having a great song if the character it is being used for doesn’t match up. As a fan, you have to feel something when your favourite wrestler begins his walk down towards the ring, if not then what’s the point?
Even though all four of these talents need a change of audio, the reasons for a potential change largely fall into different categories. However, that is not to say there are no similarities between the group, for starters both Brian Cage and Miro’s themes start with their names/nick-names, a somewhat lazy trait that AEW seems to use far too often (Cage, Miro, Anna Jay, Jake Hager, Butcher and The Blade, the list goes on). It’s a strange trope that the musical production team at AEW seem to rely on far too heavily. I’m not saying it can’t work, but think about a couple of AEW’s best themes in Hangman Page and Darby Allin’s, they’re immediately recognizable and impactful. Now, picture those same themes, but instead of those opening chords you heard “DARBY ALLIN” blasting through the speakers around Daily’s Place, they’d be significantly worsened as a result.
Why They Need A New Theme?
Over the last few weeks, we have seen a shift for Miro away from Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford and video games, and into the monster heel, we know he can be. This culminated last week as Miro lifted the TNT Championship in dominant fashion. A great moment and one AEW should hasten to follow up with new entrance music.
Miro’s music doesn’t need to tell the audience he’s “The Best Man”, his performances in the ring can do that for him. This is a prime example of a song that works for his initial character, but as Miro has grown in these last few months, so too has his need for a new entrance song.
In his recent promo’s before capturing the TNT Championship, Miro would complain about how his destiny could not be avoided or ignored. Now he has the championship, a championship level them to go alongside it is a must.
Matt Hardy’s entrance music has always been a bit of an anomaly in professional wrestling. Throughout his career, Matt either seems to get the perfect music to match his in-ring performances or he falls way short nearing generic even. Both renditions of his broken theme were perfect, with his entrance at Impact’s Bound For Glory 2016 being the pick of the bunch.
Hardy is a character wrestler and in his current evolution of “Big Money Matt”, his theme music just isn’t lining up quite right. Now as the leader of The Hardy Family Office, perhaps Mr Tony Khan could purchase a licensed piece of music for Hardy, it would be simply wonderful!
Brian Cage, the FTW Champion has had a mixed time since his debut in AEW last May. Arriving as the winner of the Casino Battle Royale at last year’s Double or Nothing, Cage became the number one contender for then AEW world champion Jon Moxley. A match Cage would ultimately lose.
Since then however Cage has floated around the top of the card, including another losing championship effort for the TNT Championship against Darby Allin, but has failed to hit the peak of his potential ability.
This nearly but, not quite mentality is matched by his entrance music. It certainly is solid, yet it’s not exceptional. Cage is an imposing beast in the ring and every part of his presentation shows that except his theme.
The possibility of this change is looking even more likely of late, especially with recent hints of a potential split from Team Taz for Cage.
An honourable mention of sorts, in the case of Cody this is more wishful thinking than anything else. The reasons for his current entrance music make a lot of sense. Alongside Snoop Dogg, he was a judge on TNT’s Go-Big-Show and it was a huge marketing opportunity. And, dare I say it may have even been a way to get one over on that big company over in Stamford…
But, in the wake of Go-Big-Show’s first season finishing in March, now is the time to go back to the exceptional original from Downstait. With his current feud against The Factory heating up and Cody’s intense promo on last Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite, he deserves to have his original music back to match that intensity. Although, perhaps an even better alternative would be something more akin to Dusty Rhodes iconic Common Man Boogie, if only for one night at Double or Nothing.
The plus side for AEW is recently whenever they have changed a wrestlers song, they’ve normally got them spot on. Even more so, after recently re-watching All Out 2019, the amount of stars who have better music now than then is staggering. With all Of AEW’s accomplishments in just a few short years, it is sometimes easy to forget it’s all very new for those in charge.
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