A WWE superstar's entrance is one of the most important aspects of their character. A good theme song and dramatic walk-out can get the crowd totally bought into a wrestler well before they ever hit the ring. The New Era has been blessed with some of the greatest athletes in WWE history, but their athleticism may be eclipsed by some of the most bad ass walk-out songs we've heard in the last 20 years.
Walk-out songs had been scarcely used until the 1980s, when the Fabulous Freebirds, Hulk Hogan, the Junkyard Dog, and various World Class Championship Wrestling performers began using rock music for entrance themes. Since copyright lawyers weren't really hunting down wrestlers for using their music a performer could be pretty loose about which song they walked out to. The Road Warriors used Black Sabbath's Iron Man and Hulk Hogan would sometimes walk out to Survivor's Eye of the Tiger.
When the legalities eventually got in the way, WWE had to use their own composers (mostly Jim Johnston) to knock out a riff for their stars to come down the ramp to. The 90s most iconic superstars are synonymous with the songs their themes. When a crowd heard the glass breaking in Stone Cold's theme, they knew good and damn well business was about to pick up. The Rock's opening "Do You Smell" could pop a crowd well before The Great One even stepped out from behind the curtain.
Several New Era WWE stars have been given epic entrances, but who has the greatest wrestling theme in the WWE today?
To be eligible, there are three very important rules.
1. The superstar has to be on the current WWE or NXT roster - part time performers like Triple H do not count.
2. The song has to evoke a visceral reaction the moment the first note hits.
3. You can't imagine the superstar who uses it walking out to anything else nor can you imagine anyone else walking out to said music.
With that in mind, here are the top five, undisputed walk-out themes in the WWE right now.
5. Next Big Thing - Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar's theme has the advantage of time. It's been around for a while. The generic guitar riffs could get lost on any other star, but they've become so attached to Lesnar that when they hit, the crowd loses their mind over the thought of someone getting taken to Suplex City!
Lesnar loses some points for sort of breaking rule number one-he is only kind of a full-timer. The Beast may only show up for a little bit of the year, but he is the Universal Champion, so he counts.
4. Catch Your Breath - Finn Balor
The Demon King has such an epic entrance that of course his song is on here. It feels like a heavy metal opera. Balor has the entire song timed so perfectly with his walk-out. Whether he's Balor Club Finn or Demon King Finn, he always nails the arms stretched out thing perfectly.
Obviously, this entrance theme gets huge bonus points for the crowd's eagerness to participate in the arm stretching thing.
3. The Truth Reigns - Roman Reigns
This one bothers you, right? Yeah, I know. It's ok, though. It's kind of supposed to at this point. The song was already iconic for The Shield making it famous but the Reigns remix has taken it to a whole new level.
When Roman's song hits, the WWE Universe completely loses their minds. Some are cheering, some are booing, but no one is sitting on their hands.
The Raw after WrestleMania told me everything I'll ever need to know about how impactful Roman's walk-out is.
2. Rising Sun - Shinsuke Nakamura
Thanks to this song, Shinsuke Nakamura could never wrestle on the main roster and still be one of the most over performers in the WWE. The Rising Sun has everything you could want in an entrance theme. It's one of the few wrestling songs you wouldn't mind hearing pop up on your spotify page. The sweet hip hop beat, dramatic pause, organic crowd sing a long (even though there are no words) and most importantly–ability to add live instruments to big event entrances–make Nakamura's song almost the best thing in wrestling right now.
1. Glorious - Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode was a top, albeit fairly bland, star in TNA for years, and all it took was for him to become the most over performer in NXT was the most incredible walk-out theme of the New Era.
I didn't quite realize the effect this song had on the WWE Universe until I was at NXT TakeOver: Orlando with a friend who'd never seen Roode before. It literally only took twenty seconds until he was involuntarily singing the words at the top of his lungs with 20,000 other people he'd never met.
Hours after the show, people were still singing the song in the streets.
You're probably singing it right now. How could you not be?
It's GLORIOUS and is the greatest walk-out theme in the WWE!