Theme Music Thoughts
It goes to show that some things actually
get worse over time, not unlike JR's commentating.
4.2.2003 by Big D

Now, a little something about theme music!

Okay. Here's a challenge for ya.

  • Whistle a few bars of Stevie Richards entrance music.
  • Recite a few rap phrases from Stephanie's theme.
  • Sing the lyrics from the Undertaker's latest version.

  • If there is anybody out there that can even do at least one from memory, email me and let me know. Because even with as much wrestling as I watch every week, I have absolutely no clue how they go.

    This is the problem with themes these days. Either they all kinda sound the same, or they're some crappy tune that the WWWhatever bought rights to.

    Now, try this:

  • Hum a few bars from Bret Hart's WWF theme. How about Demolition? Or how about that cult hit, Jive Soul Bro?

    I know how all of these go by heart. Although they border on cheesy, at least they have an identity, and certainly stand on their own. Think about 95% of the themes from even as late as 1999 or so, and it's easy to tell who's who even before they hit the entryway. And before 1997 and the advent of the TitanTron, this was one of the ways that they differentiated their characters.

    But what happened?

    Well, there are the two things that I mentioned earlier:
    1. The inclusion of more "mainstream" pop/rock themes into the fold.
    2. Those that were new, but not of the mainstream variety sound pretty much generic.
    3. Voice sampling in themes has approached ridiculous levels.

    Okay, (3) isn't as bad as the first two, but it is a gripe that I have.

    1. Mainstream music
    This has gotten to be a big problem, especially as of late. And it's not limited just to individual wrestlers. Their usage of these kinda of songs for pay-per-views sucks too. I mean, how many times can they play "My Way or the Highway" by Kid Rock?

    Note to self: There's another one for the fraud list.

    My issue with these songs isn't so much that they're there, rather that they SUCK. Most of their artists are AT LEAST second-string. Not only are they pretty bad on their own, they add very little in terms of character identification. If anybody wishes to argue against that, let me know. Besides, it's not like it's quiet during entrances so you can hear the words...

    (I meant commentator-wise...the crowd has been making it easier to hear them, if ya catch my drift)

    There are, however, couple of exceptions to the rule:

    Edge's theme by Rob Zombie: Not bad. But it's got a catchy tune and a good intro, which are pretty important. Note: read that intro as NOT voice clips.

    Vince McMahon's theme: But that wasn't made recently :)

    Victoria's theme: It's kinda poppy. which is a great contrast to her "psycho" character

    2. Mundane/generic sounding music
    This used to be one of the biggest problems that WCW had. THey went the public domain route, so that they wouldn't have to pay royalties as such. However, while these tunes are A+#1 for sports highlights, most of them aren't unique enough in the sense to help define a character. The only one that I can think of that really got off the ground was the theme that the Hardyz used. Other than that, and those in the WCW bin, are pretty non-desript. Currently, guys like Steven Richards, Test, and others come to mind as having particularly generic-sounding pieces. When somebody's music hits, ideally you'd know who it was right away...not in any of these cases though, except for perhaps this strategic innovation:

    3. Voice-overs as an add-on.
    I'm not saying these are all bad.

    "TRUST ME...etc"

    Man, that was great. And probably only the second one I can remember after Ted DiBiase's "Money, Money, Money". Just great stuff. However, there is a such thing as "too much of a good thing".

    "HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?"

    No, I'm not talking about the country hit by Toby Keith, this gem kicks off Bob Holly's theme. That is, if he has much of a career left after a string of injuries and a questionable display against the smallest guy on Tough Enough.

    ****************
    WRITER'S SIDEBAR
    ****************

    Besides, not to knock Matt's ability, but honestly, how long do you think it will be before they set up a Holly/Matt match? After all the attention this got, I wonder what part of Matt's victory on TE was as result of this angle? Not that I would condone Jonah winning, just food for thought.

    (SIDEBAR OFF)

    I'm sure there are other examples of this over-voice-overing out there. It's just all so non-memorable, I forgot what those were.

    I think the WWWhatever has a simple fix to their problems here.

    (Hold on here...I'm watching VH1's 'Driven', and Vince said that the Rock might be, by the time he's done, the biggest star in the history of Hollywood. Ummmmm....yeah. I could think of about 25 or 30 sitting here right now that have actually established their fame over a *long* period of time,,,)

    Anyways, all I think they need to do is to ditch this whole pop thing and get back to the source of 95% of their classic themes. Give Jim Johnston the opportunity to compose more of his originals, and stop having him cinsult on the other crap. I realize that this may be a seemingly minor thing, but believe ne when I say that it will make an enormous difference.

    Comments? You know where to send 'em!

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    A group of friends and I put together this little project in 2003 as an outlet of out collective rage and anger about the subjects that each of us cared about. I was the editor-and-chief and games writer back then.

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