Tuesday, June 25, 2024
EditorialTop 20 Wrestling Entrances of the Current Era

Top 20 Wrestling Entrances of the Current Era

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Hello everyone, hope you’re doing well. Today, we’re looking at the art form of wrestling entrances and how they add to the world of sports entertainment and professional wrestling. I’d usually list a top 20 alphabetically, but this time I dared to share my hard opinions on which wrestling entrances I believe are better.

Of course, this means the rankings are subjective and you will probably want to burn me at the stake (witch!) when you see your favourites are nowhere near (or doesn’t appear at all…) the top spot. It’s fine, but be sure to know that I’d much rather see your own list in the comments than argue over trivial matters. That’s the beauty of wrestling, is that we all have our opinions and want to share them.

Just know that, I didn’t want to include entrances like The Undertaker’s, or Kane’s, or Goldberg’s, or other legends that we all know are great anyways. In the listed, you will mostly find wrestling entrances from WWE, NXT, AEW, Japan, ROH, and one from the independent scene. There are a couple of special entrances which we don’t see every week, but happen enough that I figured it wouldn’t be bad to include them. Hope you enjoy it anyways!

#20. Shotzi Blackheart

When I first saw NXT’s Shotzi roll up in a tank I thought it was pretty dumb. That was til it grew on me, and they showed a vignette of her hanging out in an actual tank. I can imagine being a kid watching NXT and thinking… I want that tank!

If I had parents with a lot of money, I’d be asking for one of these for Christmas. It’d be so awesome rolling around the neighbourhood in my own little tank… so this is why it blew a path in to my top twenty. Yes, when we look at it from an adult perspective it might be a bit silly, but from a kids point of view… I couldn’t deny it the #20 spot. It fits Shotzi Blackheart’s “Tank Girl” image to a tee.


#19. Damian Priest

One of the reasons I didn’t place this higher is because I see negativity over it. And I was wondering why… I mean, of course it’s put together and choreographed pretty well. Thinking about it though, I believe some fans don’t like it because it doesn’t suit NXT’s Damian Priest; even if his nickname is the “Archer Of Infamy”

If Stephen Amell of the Arrow was in WWE… then sure, but giving the guy an entrance where he has to pretend range a crossbow bolt to light his name up? It’s a little odd, but I guess it could be adapted later. I still enjoy the presentation though, and it sure beats him predictably walking down to the ring the same way as everyone else does nowadays.


#18. King Corbin (Throne)

The first of only two special entrances on this list includes something WWE fans first saw decades ago. Originally introduced by the “Macho King” Randy Savage, and later adapted for King Mabel and other King of the Ring winners, King Corbin has recently made it his own. Being from the UK, I love it when wrestlers believe they are royalty; especially heels who pompously look down on others.

While Savage previously did this really well, I think it suits Corbin more. And that’s a pretty big statement to make I know, but Corbin is that kinda heel. He doesn’t want to impress you, entertain you, or well… do anything to garner any modicum of respect. Corbin wants you to disrespect him as much as humanly possible, and the royal entrance serves as another outlet for you to hate him even more so. Fast forward to the 4:40 mark.


#17. Kazuchika Okada

A big part of what makes Kazuchika Okada a draw in Japan is in the presentation. I’ve often said he’s like a modern day Ric Flair for New Japan, and his entrance reflects this. Everything about it screams colour, money, and the fact he cannot be denied as a huge star. I almost left him off the list, til I remembered all the times he’s made it rain, along with the myriad of special PPV entrances he’s enjoyed over the years.

While his typical entrance is one of the simplest, it’s the way he carries himself which makes it special enough to be included my list. Did you know that he once came to the ring with a dinosaur? Check it out if you’re interested.


#16. Jon Moxley

While I’m still not buying in to his reign as AEW World Champion, i can always get behind the excitement of his entrance. Whether it’s from backstage or outside a venue, Jon Moxley strolls in and makes his way through the crowd to the ring. And what this tells us, is that he’s a rebel and people’s champion.

Moxley is not taking the usual route that everyone else does, he’s doing things his way and will let everyone get a good look at him. He marches to the beat of his own drum, and while many will say it’s too similar to The Shield… it’s not a problem. Moxley marching to the ring means business is about to pick up, which is effective enough for me to include it.


#15. Cody

I enjoy this entrance for a couple of reasons, even more so when he has Brandi Rhodes and Pharaoh by his side. Before big matches we’ll see him building suspense as he walks to the ring from the backstage area. “Wrestling Only Has One Royal Family”

It’s all about the first dozen seconds or so, after the music starts playing. Popping up from an underground platform is what makes it for me. There isn’t anything noteworthy after that, but the lead up to Cody appearing at ringside is always a highlight of any AEW show. You can tell how well it works because the crowd is buzzing as he walks to the ring.


#14. Robert Roode

We haven’t seen this for a while, but there was a time not so long ago that it was hailed as one of the best entrances in WWE. Glorious in fact! Standing on a revolving pedestal with the lights on bright, Robert Roode gives us Mr. Perfect & Rick Rude vibes with the way he moves to the ring.

The problem here… is that aside from his run in NXT, Roode is not working as a main event player. So the entrance doesn’t suit a mid-carder, and so long as Roode is working in that capacity, it will always fail to deliver its true intention. Only when Roode makes it to the main event again, will his glorious entrance get the recognition it deserves.


#13. Dexter Lumis

Creepy! But I really love that NXT is actually using Dexter Lumis, because I was a fan when he worked for Impact Wrestling as Samuel Shaw several years ago. NXT have got this gimmick nailed, and his entrance is so perfectly weird and out there. It’s like nothing else in the business… well, ever?? Can we remember anyone who looks like they just escaped from a mental clinic? I’d believe it if they said that was the case.

He’s so far gone in to this character that as a viewer, it reminds me of the old days when we couldn’t separate the real people from their gimmicks. Shaw is lost in the character of Dexter Lumis, and his entrance couldn’t be any better. I’m sure The Undertaker and others are very proud of the commitment.


#12. Aleister Black

There’s still a long way to go for Aleister Black, but the most important thing is that his entrance is one of the most unique in WWE history. It’s Gothic, loud, demonic, and done so well that he could time warp back to the Attitude Era and pair up with The Undertaker in the Ministry Of Darkness.

Sitting down in the ring highlights his calm demeanor before the inevitable brutality, which you could say is like “the quiet before the storm”. Black is readying himself for Black Mass, and everything about his entrance serves as a warning to his opponent. I’d like to see what a special entrance of his looks like in a main event of WrestleMania.


#11. Dalton Castle

The only Ring Of Honor entrance on this list consists of Dalton Castle’s tribute to Freddie Mercury, Queen’s song “I Want It All”, along with “The Boys” supporting him with their peacock feathers and gay flamboyance.

I’m still a little surprised he’s stuck in Ring Of Honor at this point, as there’s clearly entertainment value to be had there. Regardless, I think that Dalton Castle without his entrance would be a travesty. It wasn’t right when he did away with his boys too, so I’m glad they returned. Wrestling is supposed to be a show, and Dalton Castle gives us one.


#10. Tetsuya Naito

Slowly trundling his way in to the top ten is New Japan’s Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito. Now, I know those who are unaware of him will be like “what the hell kind of entrance is that!”, but let me assure you that it’s by design. Naito made the cool, I don’t give a f*** attitude famous long before Orange Cassidy introduced it to AEW.

As the leader of the Los Ingobernables stable, he’s often projected a leadership style befitting of a crime boss. However, Naito doesn’t care about prestige or working too hard. Upon his entrance, he will make his opponent wait… for a very long time. Naito will stroll down to the ring like a sloth on a bad day. When he finally gets to the ring, he will throw his title to the floor like he can’t be bothered to work the match.

And this is done to get in to the heads of his opponents. The mind games are by design and it all begins the second his music hits. Imagine being Hiroshi Tanahashi in the entrance below… you’d soon get pissed off. His entrance theme is crucial too, because if the music was slow and calm it would make sense… but because it’s fast and loud, it gives the impression that Naito’s slow walk takes longer than it actually does.


#9. Io Shirai

Arguably the best women’s entrance in the business today belongs to NXT’s Io Shirai. The dark atmosphere, the flashes, and the way she throws her body around, gives us a sense of manic energy. Best done after Io turned heel, the entrance was a far cry from what we had seen from her before.

The transformation was essential and seriously well done, showing again that WWE can repackage superstars the right way. I’m looking forward to seeing how her entrance evolves over the years, but I also think it’s a shame other women wrestler’s don’t get entrances like this. In the video below, Io Shirai does not use her usual theme for this special entrance.


#8. Grado

“Just Like A Prayer” -Madonna. There’s only one Grado. Sure, he’s one of those who can evoke strong emotions either way, but it cannot be denied that his entrances in ICW are some of the most exciting. Dancing away to Madonna, everyone in attendance can’t help but sing along as Grado heads to the ring.

And what’s not to love? I mean, I do think you probably need to be Scottish to fully appreciate it, but in what other show would we ever see a room full of men singing a Madonna song almost word for word? It doesn’t happen, not unless you’re seeing Grado live. When he got to Impact Wrestling and couldn’t use Madonna’s song… it just wasn’t the same. Why did she have to screw Grado?? It’s free advertisement.


#7. Minoru Suzuki

For a guy known for delivering endless amounts of carnage, he sure has one of the calmest entrance themes ever. Minoru Suzuki’s entrance is like a polar opposite to what I described about Tetsuya Naito’s above. Suzuki is explosive in the ring, so his tranquil music lures us in to a false sense of security.

Not only that, but the lyrics have been a fan favourite for years. Suzuki always makes sure he gets to the ring in time for the fans to sing KAZE NI NARE!” in unison. I love audience participation in wrestling, even more so as part of an entrance. And this is why I think Suzuki has the best entrance in New Japan, and it will likely remain so til his retirement.


#6. Darby Allin

Seriously though, how did this not happen sooner? Why did it take til 2019 or whenever it was that he started doing it… for someone to skateboard down to the ring? You’d think someone would have done it twenty years ago when skateboarding was one of the coolest things you could do, but I guess it’s better than never?

We all know that if anyone tries copying it, they’ll always be compared to Darby Allin. And that’s what we need from entrances in the current era, we need more unique experiences and not simply watching wrestlers walk to the ring with no motivation to stand out. Dare to be different like Darby Allin? There’s nothing wrong with giving something a shot.


#5. Hangman Page (Horse)

The highest ranked special entrance is Hangman Page cantering in on a horse like something out of the Wild West. He originally did this early on in AEW’s life on a horse called “Hunter Horse Helmsley”, but it sadly died some time last year. In the recent Stadium Stampede match, Page made his way to the ring on a horse once again.

And no, I don’t know the name of this one, but the best thing about it is he got rid of Sammy Guevara for a while. Considering Page likes “Cowboy s**t”, this was as cowboy as one can get on a wrestling program. And the more often they can do it, the cooler it will be. Because who doesn’t like horses, right??


#4. R-Truth

“What’s Up?!” If you told me we’d still be appreciating R-Truth’s musical talents in 2020 I’d say you be trippin’. But here we are, and R-Truth is still rocking the mic and doesn’t look like hanging it up anytime soon.

Longevity is what makes R-Truth’s entrance rank so high, because his talent has reached several generations of wrestling fan. Everyone knows the routine by now, and you must have a soul made of ice not to sing along… or at least do the “What’s Up?!” at the end. The kids love everything about it, and for the rest of us, R-Truth has become a legend in this business.


#3. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

After the little Firefly Fun House music, everything shuts down and all you can see are the words “Let Him In”. The rest speaks for itself… “Yowie Wowie!”


#2. “Le Champion” Chris Jericho

Is anyone a little glad we won’t be hearing Sammy Guevara butchering Chris Jericho’s theme? In case you want to sing along, here’s the lyrics:

[Intro]
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming
[Verse 1]
You are beautiful on the inside
You are innocence personified
And I will drag you down and sell you out
Run away
I am cold like December snow
I have carved out this soul made of stone
And I will drag you down and sell you out[Pre-Chorus]
Embraced by the darkness, I’m losing the light
Encircled by demons, I fight

[Chorus]
What have I become? Now that I’ve betrayed
Everyone I’ve ever loved, I pushed them all away
And I have been a slave to the Judas in my mind

Is there something left of me to save
In the wreckage of my life? My life
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming

Judas in, Judas in my mind
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming
I’m becom-, I’m becom-, I’m becoming

Judas in, Judas in my mind
Judas in my mind

[Verse 2]
Oh, this guilt is a heavy cross
There is blood on the path I walk
And each step I take is haunting me
[Pre-Chorus]
Embraced by the darkness, I’m losing the light
Encircled by demons, I fight[Chorus][Bridge]
Judas in my mind
Judas in my mind

[Chorus]


#1. “Fall & Pray!” Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett)

I cannot begin to describe how much effort WWE put in to making this entrance, because it surely took a long time to refine. The main thing is it absolutely delivered, and many fans are already saying this is one of the best entrances they have ever seen. And we’ve only seen it in the Performance Center, so imagine what it will look like in a stadium of 40,000+ people at WrestleMania? The potential for Karrion Kross & Scarlett is limitless now, and much of it can be attested to this. “Fall & Pray” is the epitome of asserting dominance through fear, and it’s safe to say we’ve never seen it done this way.

The greatest thing about it, is if Kross had signed with AEW or anyone else then this wouldn’t have happened. When WWE gets it right they can produce magic, and my only worry going forward is they cut back on it too much. They already scaled back on the lip syncing from Scarlett after some fans felt it was a little cringeworthy… although she’s the one who sang the theme. Will it be too scary to be shown regularly to children on the main roster? Can “Fall & Pray” stand the test of Vince McMahon? This will be the ultimate test. Although if The Fiend can pass it, then surely there’s no worry? Thanks for reading, and see you again soon!

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