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The Top 50 North American Pro Wrestling Entrance Themes, Ranked

on April 08, 2018, 1:00pm
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Happy WrestleMania 34 day, folks! As you gather to celebrate the biggest pro wrestling event of the year in the United States, and gird yourself for what’s rapidly becoming an all-day marathon of WWE’s best and brightest, the mind often wanders to the pageantry of the show. WM has been one of the industry’s biggest events for decades, and remains among its very greatest in the world, and the spectacle that the show has consistently offered over the years is one of its highlights.

You can’t have a great spectacle without some great entrance music, and in that spirit, a few members of the CoS staff have come together to rank our favorite entrance themes. Longtime readers will recall that there was previously a themes ranking on this site, courtesy of Ernest Wilkins, but we decided to change things up for this year’s occasion. We’ve banned all pre-existing songs, unless they were recorded for a specific talent, so sayonara, “Cult of Personality” and “Enter Sandman”. We’re also relegating this to North America only, so please keep that in mind when you come to yell at us about the lack of Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito on here.

So sit back, come along with us, and reminisce about some of the greatest entrance music to ever grace wrestling stages throughout this fine nation. Of domination. (That one’s not on here, though, sorry about that.)

–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Film Editor

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50. American Males (WCW)

Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm – “American Males

Buff Bagwell and Scotty Riggs debuted as WCW’s suspender-sporting American Males in 1995, but their synth-heavy, impossibly cheesy theme song sounds plucked from a bargain bin ‘80s beach comedy. That said, it was absolutely perfect for these chiseled, self-obsessed dumbos, who probably wrote the nonsensical lyrics: “If they wanna talk to you, you better not listen/You might wind up in critical condition/Ha-ha, American Males!” Oh, dear. — Randall Colburn
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49. Mr. Ass (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Ass Man”

Alright, so. If we’re operating on the idea that the purpose of a great wrestling theme is to introduce you to who the entrant is and what they’re about, “Mr. Ass” is a deeply confusing song. Sure, it’s hardly the first theme to denote that the wrestler walking out does in fact fuck, and it won’t be the last. But it’s oddly descriptive in this respect, for Billy Gunn clearly found it necessary to establish on the way to the ring that he loves, shoves, picks, sticks, kicks, flaunts, and watches asses, before he then presumably competes for the Intercontinental Title. Odd stuff. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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48. ECW Theme (ECW)

Harry Slash and the Slashtones – “This is Extreme!”

For a certain subset of wrestling fans, “This is Extreme” was the thing you waited to hear on late-night local access television, back in the pre-TNN days when ECW was struggling to get televised in major markets. But the second you heard those stoned, psychadelic riffs, you knew you were about to see a motherfucker get his face cut up with glass in a Taipei Death Match, or some such material. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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47. Mark Henry (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Sexual Chocolate”

Aside from his glorious 2011 run, Mark Henry more or less floated through the WWE, ever oscillating between half-hearted pushes, comedy angles, and trips back to developmental. One of his more inspired bits, oddly enough, found him embracing his sexual side and shacking up with an octogenarian. The cherry on that strange sundae was this theme song, which evokes the sensual ‘70s R&B of Marvin Gaye and Al Green. — Randall Colburn
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46. Too Cool (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “You Look Fly Today”

Too Cool is the laziest of lazy ideas. Gather up two white boys, name them Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, and have them dorkily appropriate hip-hop? It was supposed to be a gag, but Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor’s chemistry was undeniable, and it led them to winning the tag titles and putting one of the most memorable moments in Royal Rumble history. Their theme is as lazy as their gimmick, with a boilerplate beat and some ’90s-era squiggles but, by sheer enthusiasm, the performers were able to spin as much gold from it as they did their gimmick. That dancing was never not delightful. — Randall Colburn
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45. Disco Inferno (WCW)

Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm – “Disco Fever”

Okay, so “Disco Fever” is all hook. But does it matter when it took Glenn Gilbertti, perennial undercarder, and made him a cult hero throughout the whole bizarre run of WCW? Disco was never the best wrestler in WCW’s legendary cruiserweight division, let alone particularly compelling as a heavyweight, but his earworm of a theme will live on forever. You know you can hear those “yeah yeah yeah yeah”s as you read this. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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44. Val Venis (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Hello Ladies”

Look. We won’t sit here and say that there isn’t at least a note or two of irony involved in our inclusion of the theme that announced to all Monday Night Raw audiences, during the first hour, that their favorite wrestling pornstar was here to win modest championships and, presumably, fuck. But from his angle with a recently recovered John Wayne Bobbit to the implication that he was, in canon, boning the majority of the WWF roster at the time, Val Venis remains an inexplicable favorite, a star in perhaps the only time where a man with his gimmick could possibly become one. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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43. Sasha Banks (WWE)

CFO$ – “Sky’s the Limit”

Women’s wrestling themes appear to be going through their own period of growth with the new generation. Where the Divas like Trish Stratus and even Torrie Wilson were handed well-meaning pop songs that fractionally sounded like something you could find on the radio (and Stacy Keibler had that “Legs” cover that almost made Kid Rock tolerable for a brief period of time), we now have a wave of songs that are legit (sorry) listenable on their own. And Sasha Banks’ is one of the finest examples of this wave. Even when it’s not being “performed live” by her cousin Snoop Dogg. — Sarah Kurchak
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42. The New Age Outlaws (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Oh, You Didn’t Know”

The Road Dogg is responsible for some of the worst catchphrase-based comedy of the Attitude Era, but I’ll be damned if “Oh, You Didn’t Know” didn’t pop me every time. Like many of the best themes, the song unleashes its adrenaline right from the outset; unfortunately, much like Road Dogg’s promos, it’s all downhill from there, with the song’s chugging, dirty licks never coalescing into anything memorable. — Randall Colburn
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41. Shane McMahon (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Here Comes the Money”

Let’s be real: if you were tasked with coming up for the perfect theme song for a trust fund kid who isn’t the worst but is best taken in small doses, “Here Comes The Money” is exactly what you would end up with. — Sarah Kurchak
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40. D’Lo Brown (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Danger At the Door”

Of all of the ’90s WWF midcarders, of which there were a great many, D’Lo Brown is something of a cult hero to this assemblage of closeted/not-so-closeted wrestling geeks. His frogsplash and sit-out powerbomb were inimitable in his time, and although Brown is most closely associated with
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39. Chyna (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Who I Am”

The only thing that sucks about Chyna’s En Vogue-lite empowerment anthem is how much it hurts to listen to it today. It’s hard not to wonder what might have been different for Joanie Laurer if those lyrics had ever been more than an empty message playing in the background as she made her way to the ring. —Sarah Kurchak
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38. AJ Styles (WWE)

CFO$ – “Phenomenal”

“Phenomenal” might have one of the best slow builds in wrestling theme history, with thrumming synths and looping vocals gradually edging towards catharsis and that inevitable blast of fireworks. “No, they don’t want none” goes the chorus, which lapses just too damn quickly into a standard hip-hop verse. Sure, it’s cool that lyrics nod towards Styles’ southern heritage, but the energy sinks far too fast. Still, when it comes to themes, it’s about hooking them in; the wrestler, not the song, does the rest. — Randall Colburn
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37. Legion of Doom (WWF)

Jimmy Hart & J.J. Maguire – “What a Rush”

Legion of Doom’s “What a Rush” is memorable for one thing and one thing only, and that’s Hawk’s croaking, almost unbearable utterance of the song’s title, which was also their catchphrase. The guy literally sounds like he’s barfing up a porcupine. No wonder Droz (a.k.a. Puke) fit in with them so well. — Randall Colburn
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36. Kane (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Burned”

The alt-rock dread of Kane’s original theme certainly does capture his original monster with a tragic past persona. And it made good fodder for an actual alt rock track down the line. Finger Eleven’s incorporation of the main riff into “Slow Chemical” is, arguably, the most inspired thing they’ve done with their post-Rainbow Butt Monkeys career. — Sarah Kurchak
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35. Jerry Lawler (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston- “The Great Gate of Kiev”

As far as classical themes for wrestlers go, “Great Gates of Kiev” from Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition” suite has a certain workman-like quality to it. It’s recognizable. It has a certain regal quality to it. You definitely know that you’re getting Jerry “The King” Lawler within a few notes. It’s no “Also Sprake Zarathustra,” but then King is no Ric Flair, either. — Sarah Kurchak
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34. The Big Show (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Big”

WELLLLLLL, it’s #34 on our list! It’s climbin’ high on this ranking of songs, y’all. Paul Wight may have had a few variants on this theme throughout his near-20 year WWF/E run, but Johnston’s use of a blues-infused vocal sample inviting us all to the “big, bad show tonight” is at once unusually suggestive and the spine that’s formed every variant of “Big” in the years since. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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33. Asuka (WWE)

CFO$ – “The Future”

Asuka is by far the most dominant force in WWE’s women’s division. As such, “The Future” is as loud, chaotic, and unpredictable as she is. Sure, it rides on some standard power chords, but the kaleidoscopic rain of laserlike synths throughout gives it an off-kilter edge that ensures it’ll remain appropriate should the Empress of Tomorrow ever go full heel. — Randall Colburn
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32. Goldust (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Gold Lust”

If the Sunset Boulevard score were reinterpreted as the background music at a particularly kitschy funhouse, you would get this wildly dramatic, overbearing, campy, and unnervingly compelling as a theme song. Which is pretty much the perfect fodder for Goldust himself. — Sarah Kurchak
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31. Edge (WWE)

Alter Bridge – “Metalingus”

For all of Edge’s rock-heavy entrance sounds over the years (remember when he used to walk out to Rob Zombie?), Alter Bridge’s contribution is by far his most memorable. The abrasive opening chords give way to the kind of melody that dominated early-aughts rock radio, and it’s the sort of anthemic material that heralds a star of supreme caliber. Which, until his unfortunately premature retirement, Edge absolutely was. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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30. Razor Ramon (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Bad Guy”

Scott Hall was always a better heel than face. Just look at his TitanTron package, which shows him pushing a nerd into a fountain and destroying a restaurant. His theme is chiller than those actions might imply, however, with vaguely latin-inspired beats and some gentle synths that exude “cool” in a way that Carlito would surely have approved. — Randall Colburn
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29. Chris Jericho (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston “Break the Walls Down”

The music itself is about as dated as a Y2K reference now, but “Break The Walls Down” has some surprisingly effective and enduring lyrics. With references to one of Jericho’s 1004 holds and a nod to one of his primary heavy metal influences (that Fozzy would end up covering on their debut album), the song rivals “The Game” for its ability to capture the essence of its wrestler. — Sarah Kurchak
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28. Ken Shamrock (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “The Ultimate”

Sure, Ken Shamrock may never have become the crossover superstar that WWE wanted from the early days of mixed martial arts, but he was always an entertaining presence just for the fact that he constantly appeared to be on the verge of blowing a vein in his neck. “The Ultimate” was the perfect tone-setter for Shamrock, a strange mix of synthesized bells and hard riffs that sent chills down to every ankle the moment it hit. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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27. Sabu (ECW)

Harry Slash and the Slashtones – “Huka Blues”

This isn’t a track that you’d necessarily want to listen to on its own. It’s awkward and borderline plodding and the pseudo-Arabian melody starts to get uncomfortable if you think about it too much. As far as establishing a (homicidal, suicidal, genocidal) mood, though, it’s a surprisingly effective mish-mash of notes. It’s almost impossible to resist pointing skyward within a few bars. —Sarah Kurchak
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26. Brock Lesnar (WWE)

Jim Johnston – Next Big Thing

Looking back on it now, “Next Big Thing” was almost as integral to the Lesnar myth-making machine as the presence and mouth of Paul Heyman was. Thanks to the latter’s indomitable charisma and the former’s abrasive guitars and drums — which sort of sound like what Bret Hart’s theme might become if it snorted Axe spray — it was years before any of us truly realized what a dork this monster was. — Sarah Kurchak
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25. The Rock (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “The Rock Says”

The Rock was a catchphrase machine, so it’s no surprise that his theme song is built around them. The theme’s noodling electric guitar and distorted refrain is catchy enough, but it’s the simple thrill of Rocky’s voice that makes it such a compelling entrance. After all, we didn’t love The Rock as a wrestler nearly as much as we did The Rock as a performer. — Randall Colburn
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24. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Snake Bit”

Johnston always had a particular knack for ominous themes, pitch-perfectly capturing the vibe of a more supernatural or otherwise menacing gimmick. Jake the Snake is probably one of the only pro wrestler’s who’s ever managed to be equally terrifying onscreen and off, and “Snake Bit” gave an entire generations of wrestling fans the creeps long before Jake and Damien ever passed through the curtain. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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23. Booker T/Harlem Heat (WWF/WWE/WCW)

Rene De Wael and Didier Leglise – “Rap Sheet”

To the casual listener, “Rap Sheet” sounds very much like a theme in the base-a-song-around-a-charistmatic-wrestler’s-most-famous-catchprhase tradition of “The Rock Says.” If you start to pay attention to the music in between the “Can you dig it, sucka?”s, though, in which a disembodied whisper vacillates between “yes” and “no,” and you might start to wonder if this theme is actually an artistic interpretation of the bookers’ ambivalence about poor Booker in the post-Attitude era. —Sarah Kurchak
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22. Mankind (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Crash”

The many faces of Foley have been accompanied by a number of themes, but despite our grudging affection for Dude Love’s intentionally cornball entrance, “Crash” is the one with which we immediately associate one of the most celebrated WWE figures (and deathmatch stalwarts) of all time. As Jim Ross liked to point out, watching Foley wrestle was often akin to a vehicular wreck, so the combination of those sounds and an unusually uptempo collection of Johnston riffs is a perfect fit for an endearingly imperfect wrestler. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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21. Monday Night Raw Theme (1999)

Slam Jam – “Thorn in Your Eye”

So “Thorn in Your Eye” is nu-metal nonsense, to be sure. We’re not going to dispute that for a second, and even while writing this column, found ourselves still wondering if the verses contain actual words. But it’s not ranked this high because of the posturing gang vocals, but because of their segue into the “Raw riff.” If you were a wrestling fan during the heights of WWF’s powers, that chugging drop D riff immediately conjures up memories of quick-panning crowd shots and the sounds of Jim Ross welcoming you to this week’s arena. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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20. Kurt Angle (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Medal”

The true appeal of “Medal” lies in its malleability. You can almost see how it could have worked as a straightforward Olympic hero instrumental in a more serious time. You can appreciate it as the backdrop for the “You suck!” chant, aka one of the more inspired pieces of collaborative performance in modern pro wrestling history. And you can love it as the backing track for Kurt Angle’s absolutely absurd but charmingly game “I Don’t Suck (Really)” from 2004’s underappreciated work of genius/nonsense, the WWE Originals album. — Sarah Kurchak
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19. Mark Henry (WWE)

Three Six Mafia – “Some Bodies Gonna Get It”

One of the only non-house artist tracks on this list, Mark Henry’s much-vaunted “Hall of Pain” era wouldn’t have been quite the same if it weren’t for Three Six Mafia ushering him in and letting all other parties know that somebody was going to get their ass kicked, and subsequently, their wig split. Wrestling isn’t a subtle art form, so even a chorus of “Beat him up (beat him up)/Break his neck (break his neck)” only served to build an aura around the veteran star. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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18. The Ultimate Warrior (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Unstable”

With “Unstable,” The Ultimate Warrior had one of the most straightforward theme songs of all time. It makes sense, too. Warrior didn’t like to pose at the top of the ramp or saunter slowly towards the ring. He ran, he screamed, he shook the ring ropes like a goddamned lunatic. And that was the character; attempts to humanize or broaden the character inevitably failed, which is why Warrior never lasted long wherever he went. His appeal was his energy, and “Unstable” reflects that. Unfortunately, energy eventually fades. — Randall Colburn
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17. The Four Horsemen (NWA/WCW)

Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm – “Four Horsemen Theme”

With an almost Jan Hammer-esque clash of wailing guitars and cold and barely concealed synthesized menace, this theme set the perfect mood for lingering cold war moral ambiguity and the lingering suspicion that the bad guys would always win. And that you might just like it better that way. — Sarah Kurchak
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16. D-Generation X (WWF/WWE)

Chris Warren and the DX Band – “Break It Down”

As a piece of music, “Break It Down” is mostly good for a wincing nostalgic thrill today. But as a portrait of the zeitgeist, it borders on perfection. It has aged about as uncomfortably as most of the hijinks of the stable it represented, but this pseudo-Beastie Boys/Rage Against The Machine rap rock snarl definitely had its finger on the pulse of the culture at the time. —Sarah Kurchak
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15. Bobby Roode (WWE)

CFO$ – “Glorious Domination”

WWE themes often hearken back to bygone rock, whether it be through glam shredding or post-grunge chugging. In writing “Glorious Domination,” however, the young bucks of CFO$ took a different approach by drawing upon the theatrical grandeur of Queen and Europe. The song, a soaring, choir-driven slice of delicious cheese, was originally meant for Shinsuke Nakamura, but Triple H and his crew changed their minds after new signee Bobby Roode developed his new character: a garish, refined egomaniac. Roode’s a great wrestler, but his mat-driven, by-the-books style makes him a dinosaur in the age of the cruiserweights, and it’s no huge stretch of the imagination to say that the song helped audiences look past his limited moveset and embrace the character. Roode’s thrillingly elaborate entranceat 2016’S NXT Takeover: Toronto remains a thing of true beauty. — Randall Colburn
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14. New World Order (WCW/WWE)

Frank Shelley – “Rockhouse”

God, is there a more obnoxious theme? But let it forever be remembered that obnoxious is what they were going for. nWo were the leering, disrespectful punks of professional wrestling, and the greasy wah-wahs of their theme make that abundantly clear. It’s a song WCW fans would come to hate, what with nWo’s endless, eye-rolling dominance eventually eclipsing the company’s creativity, but it left you feeling suitably slimy, which was definitely the intention. Listening to it with fresh ears makes those rumors about it previously being used in porno that much easier to believe.— Randall Colburn
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13. Triple H (WWF/WWE)

Motörhead – “The Game”

Because Triple H is Triple H, he claimed three different Motörhead tracks for his various entrances throughout the 2000s, but it’s the first of those that remains embedded in our brains to this very day. “The Game” is made of pure early-aughts snarl, but Lemmy’s ferocious vocals and one of the more muscular instrumental arrangements of any WWE theme ever recorded made this an essential part of the onetime Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s water-spitting, all-eyes-on-me entrance. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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12. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE)

CFO$ – “The Rising Sun”

The highest-ranking of our modern WWE themes is also rapidly becoming one of its most recognizable, “Glorious Domination” notwithstanding. From his bone-chilling Takeover: San Antonio introduction to American audiences onward, Nakamura’s theme builds a soaring melody out of abrasive strings, capturing at once the grandeur and total eccentricity of one of pro wrestling’s most singular present-day names. Also, it’s exceptional on a running playlist, even if it demonstrates CFO$’ consistent habit of only writing half a song and looping it out. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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11. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “Pomp and Circumstance”

It’s kind of hilarious when a wrestler adopts an iconic piece of classical music as their theme song. There’s something so presumptuous about it, as if this timeless piece of music were made just for them. But, in a weird way, it also speaks to the larger-than-life quality of the best wrestlers. In retrospect, it’s hard to imagine a wrestler as simultaneously talented and otherworldly as Randy Savage coming out to some chugging guitars. His flamboyant behavior, his garish outfits, his technical mastery — they demanded something that felt, well, big. But what’s bigger than Savage? A song that everybody knows, obviously, one that, by virtue of his magnetism, Savage could dislodge from the zeitgeist and fashion into his own blunt instrument. It worked, too. I will always associate “Pomp and Circumstance” with the Macho Man. — Randall Colburn
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10. Hulk Hogan (WWF)

Rick Derringer – “Real American”

Contrary to what Jesse Ventura argues on The Wrestling Album, Rick Derringer should not have stayed buried with “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” Originally written for Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda (which is a great fact to keep in mind if you’re struggling to reconcile this plucky testament to friendship and equality with whatever Hogan has become), “Real American” is a goofy but endearing rock and wrestling classic. — Sarah Kurchak
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09. Shawn Michaels (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston and Shawn Michaels – “Sexy Boy”

This paean to beefcake empowerment should be a particularly guilty pleasure at best. But HBK’s guileless delivery elevates this to the level of genuinely good proto-boyband pop. If you’re not on board by the time he starts purring/sneering “Eat your heart out girls! Hands off the merchandise,” your smile might be permanently lost. — Sarah Kurchak
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08. Vince McMahon (WWF/WWE/XFL)

Jim Johnston – “No Chance in Hell”

Ignore the absurd verses (“Greedy politicians buying souls from us are puppets”), and just focus on the fact that “No Chance From Hell” is as perfect a marriage of song and performer as pro wrestling has likely ever seen. It drops a little bit on this list because the performer in this case was only a wrestler on occasion (and, uh, an ECW Champion), but it’s pretty much impossible to hear the abrasive titular chorus and not picture Vince McMahon strolling out with his inimitably goofy walk and his cocksure swagger, being booed out of every arena he entered by every fan in the place. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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07. John Cena (WWE)

John Cena & Tha Trademarc – “My Time is Now”

John Cena’s character has evolved so, so far from the hip-hop schmuck he rode in on, but two key aspects of his past remain: Those jorts, and “The Time Is Now”. Sure, his current theme song replaced the far cringier ”Basic Thuganomics”, but the track still finds Cena rhyming over some cheesy, if irresistible, beats. Like Kurt Angle, Cena’s theme has been co-opted by fans, who now scream “John Cena sucks!” along to the instrumental refrain; and, like Kurt Angle, that initial show of disrespect has since morphed into a sign of adoration. Weird how that works, huh? — Randall Colburn
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06. The Undertaker (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Graveyard Symphony”

Taker’s had some great themes over the years (the Ministry-era goth metal rendition of this theme in particular), and some ridiculous ones as well (keep on rollin’, babay), but “Graveyard Symphony” is the iconic standard for The Undertaker, and for good reason. It’s one of Johnston’s best-ever compositions by a country mile, and from those opening bells on, it’s the rare wrestling song that truly manages to suspend your disbelief and convince you that Taker’s next opponent is going to straight up get murdered, just as soon as the Dead Man makes his way to the ring. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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05. Goldberg (WCW/WWE)

Jimmy Hart – “Invasion”

“Invasion” has all of the hallmarks of a hero’s main theme in a film score. It’s instantly recognizable and inspires an almost Pavlovian response in viewers. The second you hear it, you know that something big is coming. It’s also so filled with gravitas that it can suspend your disbelief and make you completely buy into the image of Goldberg as a uniquely intimidating and important star with his own dressing room, even when he is quite clearly emerging from a janitor’s closet. — Sarah Kurchak

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04. Sting (WCW)

Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm – “Crow”

Sure, the “Crow” era of Sting’s WCW now stands as both an example of a near-flawless hype cycle for both a character and a feud, and an exemplar of how quickly a shit-poor ending can ruin even the best-told stories. But the gothic theatricality of “Crow” remained one of the most engaging things about Sting even when he didn’t wrestle for a full calendar year, and let you know that even as the nWo held sway over the company (both in front of and behind the camera), the dark protector was always around the corner, waiting to assist the light in its triumph over the darkness. And then, uh, get pinned clean by Hollywood Hogan. We’re still mad as hell about Starrcade 1997, you guys. Sting deserved so much better. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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03. Ric Flair (NWA/WWF/WCW/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “Also Sprake Zarathustra”

Using “Pomp and Circumstance” is one thing. As timeless as it is, there’s something sweet and almost quaint about that song. Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprake Zarathustra”, on the other hand, is no such thing. The song’s epic fanfare encompasses the heavens and the earth, the stars and the soil, the breadth of life. There’s a reason Stanley Kubrick set the dawn of humanity against it in 2001: A Space Odyssey; this song is bigger than a single man. Ah, but Ric Flair is no man at all. If he was, he wouldn’t still be alive. He wouldn’t have outpaced and outlived most of his contemporaries after a life spent partying harder than all of them. With each match, with each note of that trembling fanfare, Flair was reborn, a legend that had transcended flesh. — Randall Colburn
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02. Bret Hart (WWF)

Jim Johnston – “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be”

Perhaps the finest synthesis of music and persona, this straightforward pre-grunge rocker is one of the best themes there is, was and ever will be because it truly embodies the best there is, the best there was, the best there was, and the best there ever will be himself: earnest and unironic, and something you probably tried to convince yourself you were too cool for in the late ’90s and early ’00s but have since come to embrace without apology. It was also sampled to great effect in the 1999 track “Sharpshooter” by Canadian hip hop luminaries The Rascalz. — Sarah Kurchak
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01. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (WWF/WWE)

Jim Johnston – “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me”

(Glass shatters)

There are arguments to be made for a lot of the themes in our top 10 as being worthy of topping our list, but “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” wins in every version of this contest. In addition to having the goofiest, most late-’90s title imaginable, it’s also the perfect summation of the biggest star of that era, and one of the biggest we’ll ever see in pro wrestling over all time. Austin’s best in-ring days were long behind him by the time the Texas Rattlesnake was born, but that didn’t matter. The second that glass broke, and those chugging guitars kicked in, audiences all over the world knew that somebody was about to get absolutely destroyed, and potentially bathed in beer for their troubles. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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