"Man in the Box"
"Come Out and Play"
"Also Sprach Zarathrusta"
If you're a wrestling fan, you can immediately associate them to wrestlers, the song and the superstar, indelibly linked for all time. (And if you don't know, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, the Road Warriors)
They're perfect fits for the characters, and they're all important in defining who that character is. Do you think Hogan would have been as huge if he came out to "Endless Love" or "Raining Blood," hm? Probably not. But also, would he have been as huge if he came out to "Wind Beneath My Wings" or something of that ilk? Sure, it would be fitting to the Hogan character; he was the wind beneath the fans of millions and millions of Hulkamaniacs. But it's also not aggressive, it's not grandiose, it's not... a wrestling theme song.
So what is a wrestling theme song? And why do some e-fedders have problems picking good wrestling theme songs?
I know I'm probably going to come off like a jock or a metalhead here, but really, isn't wrestling a "sport" that appeals to jocks, meatheads, metal freaks and the mullet-sporting crowd in its most basest form? And by the violent nature of the in-ring product and the theatrical bestowment of glory as a result of what happens in the ring, even if some or even many of wrestling fans don't like the things that stereotypical wrestling fans like, shouldn't wrestling theme songs be on the aggressive, theatric, lively side?
I mean, I know we tailor our characters in this hobby to what we like. But whenever I see a SweetJesusFunk list "Nutshell" as a theme song, or Sebastian Dodd list "Stellar" as his, it boggles my mind. In the case of Dodd, "Stellar" is an inadequate song on all levels. What's Dodd's character? He's an arrogant, pompous jerk who thinks he's better than everyone. What's "Stellar" about? It's about a guy who is telling his girlfriend how good her girlparts make his peepee feel during happy time. How does "Stellar" start out? Very quiet riff, romantic mood... it's like Dodd is trying to seduce his opponent rather than intimidate him or make him aware of how great Dodd is. Yes you get some distortion-laden heavy metal-esque riffs in the chorus, but the lyrics read "How do you do it, make me feel like I do. How do you do it, it's better than I ever knew." Totally a misfit.
So what constitutes a good e-fed theme song? I look for a few things.
- Does it fit the character?
Like, does the theme song mesh with what the character's all about? If the character is a tax accountant turned wrestler, what Pink Floyd would be a better fit for him, "Money" or "Interstellar Overdrive?" The choice is easy. Of course, this is not a complete requirement, especially with characters who aren't heavily gimmicked.
- Does it have a killer intro?
Does it have something memorable to hook the audience at the beginning of it, to make the crowd shriek in delightment or toss the beer you just spent $6.50 on with no mind at you? Songs like "Highway to Hell," "Whatever," (the OLP song for Benoit, not the Godsmack song) "Real American," "Also Sprach Zarathrusta"... memorable intros, they get a crowd riled up. They're a lot better to use than songs with generic punk guitar songs, or folksy songs, or songs that begin with quiet words.
- Does the song have 'oomph?'
I was going to ask if the theme song had aggression, but really, songs that aren't balls out heavy metal work well as theme songs too. Just take a gander at "Zarathrusta" or "O Fortuna" or whatever various techno theme songs are used. But what those songs have in common is that they're vibrant, they're lively, they get a crowd tapping its toes or moving its feet or headbanging. The song has to have life.
Just by example, let's take a look at Jericoholic Anonymous, my flagship character, and I'll break down why I picked the theme song I did, "Eat the Rich" by Fozzy.
JA's character, by nature, is that he's a giant, huge fan of Chris Jericho. It's not his whole character, but it's a part of it. So a song by Jericho's band fits the character perfectly. The introductory riff is electric, it's somewhat unique and it's an attention grabber. And it's an aggressive song with great, lively lyrics that capture further JA's character, the dreamer who's always had to fight adversity to get where he's at today. I think it's a perfect fit.
You can feel free to disagree, but I feel it's the perfect theme song for JA. Soemtimes getting the right theme song is a thoughtful process. Sometimes it's easy.
But when you get it right, it can help make your character that much more memorable.