Music in professional wrestling


Music in professional wrestling

Music in professional wrestling serves a variety of purposes. The most common uses of music in professional wrestling is that of the entrance theme, a song or piece of instrumental music which plays as a performer approaches the ring. The music and wrestling industries also have a history of cross-promotion that reached its peak in the 1980s during the World Wrestling Federation's "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection."

Contents

Cross promotion

Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection

In the 1980s, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) participated in the "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection", a period of cooperation and cross-promotion between the WWF and elements of the music industry.[1] During this time, WWF wrestler Lou Albano appeared in Cyndi Lauper's music video for the single "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" in 1983.[1] In return, Lauper appeared on WWF television, challenging Albano to a match, where the female wrestler of his choice would fight the female wrestler of her choice.[1] Lauper chose Wendi Richter, while Albano chose The Fabulous Moolah, and the match was scheduled for July 23, 1984 at The Brawl to End it All, broadcast live on MTV.[1][2] Meanwhile, WWF wrestlers also appeared in Lauper's videos for "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough", "Time After Time", and "She Bop".[1]

Official theme songs

In addition, in the modern era of televised professional wrestling, promotions often choose "official theme songs" for both television programs and pay-per-views.

Entrance themes

The most common uses of music in professional wrestling is that of the entrance theme, a song or piece of instrumental music which plays as a performer approaches the ring, often accompanied by a music video and pyrotechnics. After a match, the entrance theme of the victor will normally be played as they exit the ring, although some wrestlers have a separate song that plays when they exit, ranging from a similar piece or remake, to something completely different. Entrance themes are used to alert the audience to the immediate arrival of a wrestler, and to increase anticipation. Themes are usually composed by an in house composer, although lower card wrestlers may use royalty free tracks from music libraries. Wrestlers who are popular or are being 'pushed' by the writers might be given licensed music, from a major label band, such as Triple H, who frequently uses music performed by the band Motörhead. Music can also signal a change in a wrestler's character, such as when Eddie Gurrerro changed his theme song "Latino Heat" to another in-house composition called "Gangsta Lean", to symbolize his change from a babyface to a heel. The actual lyrics of the two songs were very similar, but the tone and music lead fans to understand a change had occurred to the character.

Entrance themes are often tailored to the gimmick of the wrestler for whom they are written or selected. For example, Jacob and Eli Blu (The Blu Brothers) had an entrance theme in the World Wrestling Federation that resembled a piece of Blues music, while The Undertaker has often used entrance themes based on Chopin's Funeral March and include the ringing of an eerie bell, which opens his theme. Sometimes, opening notes or sounds of a song become a trade mark. In the early 2000's, The Undertaker's changed from a death-like figure to a rough-and-tumble biker. He changed music from his traditional dirge to rock music. These songs all mixed so they had the signature 'bell toll' in front of them, so fans would always know who was coming. Likewise, several themes used by Triple H have a similar guitar riff.

The history of entrance themes is not clear, but Glen Stride is often cited as being the first wrestler to be accompanied to the ring by music. In the early 1950s, female champion Mildred Burke often entered to theme music, while Gorgeous George was associated with "Pomp and Circumstance," a song which was later used regularly by "Macho (King) Man" Randy Savage. Sgt. Slaughter, who has sometimes claimed to have introduced the idea to Vince McMahon, Sr., entered to the "Marines' Hymn" at a Madison Square Garden show in the 1970s.[3] The practice did not become widespread until the 1980s, however, when the Fabulous Freebirds, Hulk Hogan, the Junkyard Dog and various World Class Championship Wrestling performers began using rock music for entrance themes.

Notable composers

The first wrestling company to incorporate music into the ring was World Class Championship Wrestling based out of Dallas,Texas.[dubious ]

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e Ellison, Lillian. First Goddess of the Squared Circle, p.166–169.
  2. ^ Shields, Brian. Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s, p.87.
  3. ^ "The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80's". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2007-04-15. http://www.wweshop.com/product_detail.asp?productId=35-00490. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 

References

  • Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReganBooks. ISBN 9780060012588. 
  • Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 9781416532576. 

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