Professional wrestling has always tried to capture this feeling a couple times every week through two main methods. The first is through surprise wins like the small package or quick roll-ups. These are especially effective in title matches, and can be a launching pad for a great rivalry (see the entire career of the 1-2-3 Kid).
The other way is through judicious use of entrance themes. Some high-heat heels are outnumbering and pummeling a weaker opponent, and then a big-time face's entrance theme pops and he runs down the ramp and intervenes, to the delight of the fans.
The first type of moment relies on an interesting scenario and maybe a fun rivalry. But the second type only needs great music and a good wrestler. I've always loved a great entrance theme, and since I'm back blogging again, it's a great topic.
A couple of rules I set for myself:
- I eliminated songs that I recognized before they were entrance themes. This eliminates, for example, CM Punk's use of Cult of Personality (even though it was such a ridiculously awesome fit). This also bumps the Macho Man's Pomp and Circumstance from the list.
- I tried my best to set aside the quality of the wrestler. This wasn't totally possible, since some of that electricity comes from the crowd's reaction. But for example, The Rock's theme song is bland, so while the crowd loves him and cheers loudly upon hearing his music, his song won't be on this list either.
- It's a subjective list. Some people will tell you the DX theme is a must-have on the list. I just didn't like it much, so it's not here. This is truly "my" list, not an attempt at a universal "correct" list.
And now, the list.
10. Matt Hardy
I actually really like Matt Hardy's theme music, probably higher than my 10th favorite entrance theme. But my WWF-watching experience only included the very beginning of Matt Hardy's career. So my personal experience of watching matches and being excited about the sound of Hardy's music is pretty limited. But the song is boss, starts fast, and stays loud.
9. Undertaker (original)
There's something to be said about the classics. There have been some twists on the Undertaker's music over the year. I enjoyed the Ministry of Darkness style (though the random Latin or whatever was a little over-the-top). His biker music was less my thing. But the original is always great, a memory of a younger WWF. The bell tolling is still a wonderful interruption that serves as the pop you need out of an entrance theme.
8. Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett's music has that perfect balance of attitude, fun, and volume. As is the case with most of my favorite entrance songs, it starts hard and fast. Long buildups are dangerous, because you lose the pop when the guy comes running out to save a tag-team partner or interrupt an interview. Jarrett did just fine in both regards.
7. Chris Jericho (Y2J)
I'll be honest, I wasn't the biggest Chris Jericho fan at the beginning. He feuded with Dean Malenko back in his WCW days, one of my favorite grapplers, and you weren't supposed to like him, so I didn't. He moved to the WWF and continued his cocky attitude, so I continued to dislike him. But with some time, and a couple of face/heel turns, I've come to appreciate Jericho's charisma immensely.
And now that I've got some distance from his younger days, I can really appreciate his entrance music. It's got such a head-bouncing beat that you can't help but appreciate it. And when they use the countdown, get outta here. That's half of the fun of the Royal Rumble, and you get it over and over when Jericho wrestles. Good stuff.
I've always been a fan of the theme songs that aren't just some rock song. JBL moved from a terrible song as a member of The Acolytes to an awesome deep country celebration that smacks of the old TV show Dallas. And if you've got any questions about JBL's validity as a heavyweight champion and not just a goofy placeholder, listen to that heat. Anybody the fans hate that much deserves the gold.
Initially I was going to include all ten on this post, but I've noticed that when a webpage loads a lot of embedded YouTube clips, it tends to suffer, sometimes substantially. So I'll do another post finishing out the rest of the top ten. Look for it soon!