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CIRCA
Music for the Soul
June 16, 2004

by Denny Burkholder
Courtesy of WrestleLine.com

 

To any faithful wrestling fan, a good theme song is the greatest thrill one could ask for. Well, besides an order of Arby's curly fries with cheese sauce. But a great theme song is easily the second-greatest thrill one could ask for.

Entrance music can help you enjoy an otherwise shitty wrestler or boring gimmick. It's an integral part of the pro wrestling package: pyrotechnics, lighting, signs in the crowd, steroids, painkillers, and sweet, sweet music. Does it get any better? YES.

But only when the wrestler performs his OWN theme. That's a savory slice of heaven, right there.  Let's review some of these gems:

Honky Tonk Man

The second you heard the rockabilly guitar wailing, that meant the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time was on his way to the ring, decked out in his bedazzled Elvis jumpsuit. No wrestler has ever worn the Intercontinental Title longer than HTM, and dammit, that deserves a song. Take it away, Honky!

I got long sideburns and my hair's slicked back
I'm comin' to your town in my pink Cadillac
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man
(He's a Honky Tonk Man!)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man
(He's a Honky Tonk Man!)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man, I'm cool, I'm cocky, I'm bad

I pick a mean guitar, I wear blue suede shoes
You ought to hear me sing the snakeskin blues
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man
(He's a Honky Tonk Man!)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man
(He's a Honky Tonk Man!)
I'm just a Honky Tonk Man, I'm cool, I'm cocky, I'm bad

Roll over Elvis, indeed. The "snakeskin blues" line dates the song as being written when HTM was feuding with the newly-babyfaced (and perpetually shitfaced) Jake "The Snake" Roberts in 1987. Later that year, when HTM sang the song before a live audience, he would change the verse to "Macho Man Blues." Then in 1988, it became the "Barber Shop Blues" in homage to Brutus Beefcake's failure to take the belt away from Honky. The fact that his song's lyrics were so easily interchangeable made HTM's self-sung theme the gift that kept on giving.

Slick – Jive Soul Bro

This is EASILY the best theme song the WWF produced in the 1980s. EASILY. It's so easy, you'll choke on your bucket of fried chicken – as The Slickster nearly did in the Piledriver video promoting the song. Just listen (or read) as The Doctor of Style shows us how to pimp like a master:

Well I met this lady, and I told her quite a story
Said I'd love her forever more,
But the trouble is I tell the same ol' story 
to every girl that walks through the door!

This is the Slickster talkin' at cha, honey! Ha ha!

HAHAHAHA! What a dumb broad. The Slickster got no love for hos! Once a pimp, always a pimp:

Well, they thought this dude might learn a lesson, 
but I didn't learn a thing at all. 

Late last night I was out there messin' with a lady 
that was seven feet tall!

Now that was a BIG woman!

I hear you, dog! Play on, playa. </Teddy Long>

Get Rowdy – K-Kwik

Before Ron Killings started dishing out the truth in TNA, he was slaying rhymes on his way down the ramp in WWE as K-Kwik. His original theme "Get Rowdy" was not the first time we'd ever seen a wrestler rap himself to the ring. But it was probably the least mind-numbingly stupid:

Gettin' rowdy! (Rowdy) Rowdy!
We gettin' rowdy! (Gettin' rowdy on your ass)
'Bout to move some things!
Gettin' rowdy! (Rowdy)
So many damn styles get tossed up in the mix,
I got them yelling "get rowdy," K-Kwik,

Gettin' rowdy! I'm going to move some things,
you want to see me bust a move and shake that ass like Jada Lang,
I get your flesh crawling when you see me.
Ladies want to feel me, knuckleheads want to try to be me,
Get down like so easy,
I get greasy,
low down dirty and sleazy.
Tease me,
I be the rash on your ass,
hollerin' sufferin' succotash.
I ain't fearing nobody,
Damn right, K-Kwik gettin' rowdy!

Admittedly, it loses something when converted to readable text. It misses the energy, and the spark that K-Kwik had when he rocked the mic. It's missing the extra punch from a pumped-up crowd. Mostly, it's missing the neon green and orange FUBU wear.

Ted DiBiase

The beautiful thing about Ted DiBiase was that he was a double threat as a heel. If he couldn't kick your ass (and usually he could), he'd just buy you and make you lick the sweat off his foot after his matches. If those prospects weren't grim enough, you'd also be forced to listen to his spoken-word theme song "Money Money Money" before every match, beginning with that patented evil cackle:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Everybody's got a price, and everybody's gonna pay
'Cause the Million Dollar Man ALWAYS gets his way! 
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Some might cost a little, some might cost a lot
But I'm the Million Dollar Man, and you WILL be bought! 
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Whereas DiBiase's theme song provoked the hatred of fans, there was another heel whose self-sung entrance music was so incredibly dorky, you couldn't help but laugh:

The Mountie

I'm The Mountie! I'm handsome, I'm brave, I'm strong!
I'm The Mountie! And I enforce the law!
You can try to run, but you can never hide,
Because THE MOUNTIE – 
ALWAYS GETS HIS MAN!

The words were simple and the tune was incessantly stuck in your head for the rest of the day. The background music sounded like a cross between something you'd hear on a children's show on PBS and a marching cadence at Police Academy. Top it off with Jacues Rougeau's comically over-the-top delivery, and you've got yourself a classic theme for the ages.

And then there was:

We're NOT The Mounties – The Quebecers

We're NOT The Mounties! We're handsome, we're brave, we're strong!
(And so on)

This was essentially the same song, except Jacques' tag team partner Pierre (Carl Ouelette) now had backup vocals, and they were most definitely NOT "The Mounties" (despite one of the team being the former Mountie, both members dressing exactly like Mounties, and using a frighteningly similar theme song to the one known as "I'm The Mountie.")

We're gonna slow it down a little. Dim the lights, please. This next skate is ladies' choice. Ladies' choice.

Piledriver – Koko B. Ware

Sometimes love is like a slow dance
You can tiptoe around, but don't make a sound
You can make a little silent romance
But sometimes love feels like a fight
It feels like an argument
It feels just like a PILEDRIVER

Koko B. Ware's entire WWF run could be categorized as one long downward tumble in theme song quality. When "The Bird Man" debuted in 1986, his theme was the extremely upbeat 1980s classic by Morris Day & The Time, "The Bird." (For those of you Jay & Silent Bob fans, yes, that was THE "Morris Day & The Mothafuckin' Time, yo." NEVER say an unkind word.) Debuting with a jam of that caliber, there was no need for an upgrade.

But then, someone in the WWF found out Koko could sing, just in time for the release of Wrestling Album sophomore effort Piledriver. Instead of letting Koko sing something upbeat (this was for a BABYFACE WRESTLING ENTRANCE, for Christ's sake!), they had him cut a sappy, annoying love ballad about how love "feels just like a piledriver." Was there a demand in the marketplace for a pro wrestling-themed power ballad? Was there any good reason to pussify Koko's entrance by making him come out to a friggin' slow song fit for a middle school dance?

Oh, who am I kidding. I'm sure we all got a little action after the prom while "Piledriver" played on the tape deck.

Don't Go Messin' With a Country Boy – Hillbilly Jim

Don't go messin' with a country boy
A country boy, a country boy
Don’t go messin' with a country boy
Don't mess with a country boy

Nothing like a theme song featuring the fiddle and a square-dancing hillbilly to set pro wrestling back a few decades.

About his momma, Hillbilly Jim informed us:

My first meal was a bear she killed.

Outstanding. Also, he hates the fool that'll get in his way.

We're on a Mission – Men on a Mission

We got rhymes galai, we got rhymes galore

For there, they just made up whatever the hell they wanted, and it usually sucked. Usually something along the lines of:

"Here Is Oscar! This Team Blows! Men on a Mission! HERE WE GO!
His Name's Mabel! His Name's Mo!
Fat and Slow! YO YO YO!"

And other such dribble, against the backdrop of the cheesiest of all generic 1980s canned beats.

On to a theme that still pops the crowd to this day, but is otherwise reasonably homoerotic:

Shawn Michaels

I think I'm cute, I KNOW I'm sexy
I got the look, That drives the girls wild
I got the moves that really move them
I send chills up and down their spines

I'm just a sexy boy
I'm not your boy toy!
I'm just a sexy boy
I'm not your boy toy!

To be fair, a lot of Michaels' fans are female, so this song makes a bit of sense. That is, except for the sequined leather chaps and matching hat HBK wore to the ring, which is something you'd expect the, um, "other team" to wear. And the striptease he performed to the song before every match. Woah, buddy. Ease up, Shawn. We don't like you like THAT.

From K-Kwik, of course, we have evolved into:

John Cena

So, you think you're untouchable.

Word life,
This is basic thuganomics 
I'm untouchable, but I'm forcing you to feel me.

Whether I'm fightin' you or spittin',
My discipline is unforgivin',
Got you backin up in the defensive position,
An ass-kickin' anthem, heavyweight or bantam,
Holdin' camps for ransom, the microphone phantom,
Teens hit the floor, it's the new fight joint,
Like a broken needle kid, you missin' the point,
We dominate your conference with offence that's no nonsense,
My theme song hits, get your reinforcements,
We strike quick with hard kicks, duckin' night sticks,
Bare knuckles man can't fight this,
Beat you lifeless,
Never survive this,
You forgot like Alzheimer's,
Two-faced rappers walk away with four shiners,
The war rhymer, turnin' legends to old timers,
My incisors like a viper bitin through your one liners,
New Deadman Inc., and we're about to make you famous,
Takin' over Earth and still kickin' in Uranus.

Cena's theme song is regarded as the best of the self-performed hip hop themes in wrestling history. I guess that's fine, but consider his competition. And then, consider that I'm not even gonna START to discuss "Rap Master" P.N. News in this column, and ask yourself: did Cena REALLY have that much competition for this award? Because I'm no musician, but I'm pretty sure I've farted better tunes than Men on a Mission's theme.

There have been other smash-tastic themes in wrestling lore, but I think I'll save them for another column. I never even scratched the surface of themes like "Grab Them Cakes" or Badstreet USA," but as they say in the plumbing industry, one can only take so much shit in a day. Go catch your breath. We'll see you next time.

E-MAIL DENNY
BROWSE THE CIRCA ARCHIVES


  
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