My favorite WWE Event theme songs
Well, I suppose I might as well admit that I used to watch the WWE a lot back in the the 80s and the 90s. I don’t watch it as much anymore, due to the product going stale because of bad booking decisions. (And don’t get me started on Vince McMahon and his insistent terminology, his yelling in the commentators’ earpieces, and his overall control freak tendencies. As I write this, he has been forced to retire as WWE CEO and chairman due to a scandal, and if he never comes back from this, it’s probably for the best). I’ve kept up with the news occasionally, though.
Recent developments have made me look up some old WWE music and themes. And as I did so, I realized there were a lot of theme songs to the WWE big events (such as Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and so on) that I loved. I’ll list them here.
Summerslam 1998: Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
I’m not the biggest AC/DC fan, but this song certainly is catchy. Summerslam 1998’s main event featured Stone Cold Steve Austin facing off against the Undertaker. So we have a guy known for being a rebellious, feisty, ‘hell raising’ anti-hero facing off against a guy whose gimmick is being in touch with supernatural forces from worlds beyond this one and beyond life and death (and is sometimes known as ‘The Dead Man’). What better song to get people pumped and ready for this clash than ‘Highway to Hell’? It played constantly during promos for the event, so much that when it came time for the event itself, there was a segment where the crowd (what in more recent years has been called ‘the WWE Universe’) was invited to sing along.
Wrestlemania 21 (2005): “Bigtime (We’re All Partners in Crime)” by the Soundtrack of Our Lives
Another really catchy song that gets stuck in your head, it’s the perfect soundtrack for ‘Wrestlemania Goes Hollywood’. It’s a fast-paced rock song about people waiting for their opportunity. Honestly, I can’t do justice to this one. You have to hear it for yourself.
Wrestlemania 22 (2006): “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel’s song of the same name might not be as fast paced as the song by Soundtrack of Our Lives, but it certainly helps set the atmosphere. Wrestlemania is considered to be THE event of the WWE calendar. It’s sort of the big ‘season finale’, where old feuds and angles are resolved, and new ones started. It’s where most of the main titles are defended, and usually two or more titles change hands. It’s considered one of the biggest showcases for the WWE’s biggest superstars.
In short, Wrestlemania is ‘big time’. So songs about making it to the big time are certainly appropriate.
Wrestlemania 17: “My Way or the Highway” by Limp Bizkit
Full disclosure: I’m not a big Limp Bizkit fan, either. But I have to admit this song definitely fits in great with the WWE and its feuds. Especially with Wrestlemania 17, which featured Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (yes, Dwayne Johnson). Both of whom had WWE personas of people who wanted to do things THEIR way – much like the song. The song haunted me while WWE was running promos for the event, and it haunted me afterward, too.
However, as far as music that haunts me goes, it has NOTHING on the next item on the list.
Judgement Day 2003: “The End” by Jim Johnston and WWE music
This is an ominous, dark, haunting track. It sure sounds like the sort of song that would play when the world is about to end. Shorter than most of the other songs on this list, clocking in at under a minute and 40 seconds, it doesn’t have to be very long for its point to be made. The simple but dark, ominous chorus of “The End is Here” stays with one for quite some time afterward.
Indeed, this song gives the sense that something is going to come to an end soon. Maybe not the world, but something. This is a setup for a final showdown, and this music certainly brings an air of finality to the occasion. One way or another, a situation will change, and things will never be the same afterward.
Survivor Series 1998: “Deadly Game” by Jim Johnston and WWE Music
Now this is another one that WWE music composer Jim Johnston wrote, and it’s a personal favorite. It’s a dark, ominous song with lyrics involving seriously high-stakes gambling. It’d be right at home in a gangster movie about the underworld and the deadly games those involved in organized crime play. Or maybe in a political thriller or a ‘court intrigue’ drama. Any sort of situation where the main characters are involved in a very dangerous game trying to get the better of dangerous people, and the stakes are life and death.
The song’s been covered by Theory of a Deadman, but its version lacks the ominousness of Johnston’s original, which conveys the unsettling theme much better. The last verse, especially, is a chilling one. “Judgement day calls in all markers. Hounds of hell, it’s getting darker. As they carry you away, you wonder what went wrong…”
In any case, these are my favorite WWE event themes. Give them a listen. It’s well worth it.
Are there any WWE event theme songs I missed that are your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
3 thoughts on “My favorite WWE Event theme songs”
Excellent list, now of course I want to get your take on entrance music. Randy Orton still in my number 1 spot.
I do have some entrance music themed lists in mind. I’ve already got a ‘Scariest Entrance Music’ list planned for Halloween. I’m also thinking of ‘WWE Entrance Themes that resemble Villain Songs’ or something like that, which I might post sooner than Halloween. In any case, I’ll probably be going through a dozen or more entrance music, and picking out particular highlights or favorites or ones that fit a certain theme.
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