One of the few great things wrestling fans had in the 80s and 90s was the introduction of superstar theme music. The heavy metal, the smooth symphony, the glorious classical, the American contemporary; these were the sounds that identified out heroes and our villains. If there was ever a battle royal of music (referencing The Wrestling Album – 1985), professional wrestling theme music was the perfect mix of body slams and catchy instrumental beats.
In this multi-part series, I’ll highlight the best of WWE-produced wrestling music albums from 1985 with its introduction of The Wrestling Album, to the digital works of WWE: Uncaged in 2020. If you like anything I mention, send it in the comments below. I’m a big fan of wrestling music, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Part 1: Theme Music to the Beat Down
Professional wrestling music can be traced back to the early 1950s as a champions only entrance. NWA Female champion Mildred Burke started the World Women’s Wrestling Association in Los Angeles and used music as a recognized sign of her presence. Gorgeous George’s used Pomp and Circumstance as his way of matching his arrogance with a majestic affair.
Since then, music would be introduced as a way to generate heat or big pop, depending on your status. In the 70s and 80s, music would be used to promote wrestlers not just in their entrance, but in commercial advertisements, television and PPV packages, and was a way to market the local show or promotion. With the help of MTV, music in wrestling set the precedence for character development and eventually changed how professional wrestling was presented to its audience.
In some ways, music could be considered the initial boom for traditional pro wrestling to transform into sports entertainment.
It’s often debated that Sgt. Slaughter introduced Vincent J. McMahon to the idea of wrestling entrance music in the 70s for all wrestlers. The trend would pick up throughout various local promoters and by the mid-1980s, almost every WWF superstar would have a song, jingle, or sound effect to further characterize a superstar’s walk down to the ring.
Part 1 consists of the first three WWE-produced record albums. The first two were right after the WrestleMania boom of the mid to late 80s. The third album was a complete shift in presenting superstar music with its 1993 debut of WrestleMania: The Album.
1 – 1985-1993
2 – 1995-2000
3 – 2001-2010
4 – 2010-2020
(Links to these parts will be updated as they are published. So keep a lookout for those!)
Check out each album of part 1 listed by page.
2: The Wrestling Album (1985)
3: Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II (1987)
4: WrestleMania: The Album (1993)