Sunday, 4 December 2016

Opinion: Every Modern WWE Theme Ranked - Part 1 or How I Have Too Much Time On My Hands


Something incredible happened at NXT Takeover: Toronto. At the climax of the main event, something happened that no one saw coming. I'm not even talking about Señor Joe becoming the first two-time NXT Champion but for some reason, someone in the tech booth decided to at first play Joe's uniformly agreed terrible first NXT theme music. A theme is important to a good wrestler, think of iconicism of 'Taker's funeral march, Angle's Gold Medal masterpiece, 'I'm a Mountie'. A good theme can be the difference between a good entrance and a great one, it can make a crowd chant your name for years to come but then again, a terrible one can just, well, it stinks up the joint like only an Ass Man or an American Males could. Anyway, today we're going to look at a precise list of the best and worst themes in the modern WWE.

I felt that you all deserve an explanation for the rankings here. The actual rating system is out of 20 with each theme being given a maximum of 10 for how good the song is but also for how appropriate for the character it is. If I can't really work out what the character’s deal is, well, that’s their problem and not mine. Now, there are certain names that aren't included on this list, namely anyone who's signed but yet to debut, re-debut, if they're part of NXT but haven't really done anything of note, (because fuck you, Tino Sabatelli!), if they're part of a team, I'm only including their current music, hence Orton, Harper and Rowan being listed for Wyatts theme (the exception being Cesaro & Sheamus because they currently don't have a joint theme), Managers are considered part of teams, part-timers like 'Taker and The Rock are excluded, anyone who doesn't have their music either on YouTube or Spotify (sorry, Ariya Daivari, my sweet prince) finally certain people aren't included if they aren't actually a contracted member of the WWE roster which is why my way of saying no James Ellsworth. You might have made Jericho's list but you don't make mine Ellsworth. (Editor's Note: But he will make my list of wrestling's weirdest chins, which may or may not be coming soon) If you have a problem with that, go make your own fucking list*. It also just so happens that this system works out with exactly 100 items on the list, what do you know? Here you'll find 100-26 so do keep a look out for part two soon! With all that clear, let's get started:

100. The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) - Stay Hype, Bro by CFO$

Song - 1/10
Gimmick - 5/10

If the aim of the theme was to create an audio version of Mojo Rawley – the most annoying man in wrestling, then boy did they achieve it. I never want to hear the words ‘hype’ or ‘bro’ again.

99. Alicia Fox - Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Party by Jim Johnston

Song - 2/10 
Gimmick - 4/10 

No care or attention has clearly given to it or her by creative.

98. Dario Berenato - Champion State of Mind by CFO$



Song - 4/10
Gimmick - 3/10 

I forgot that she was employed by NXT, mid-way through listening to this song.

97. Aliyah - Fatal Fantasy by CFO$

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 3/10 

So is she a heel or a face? I can't decide and clearly the music department can't be bothered to either.

96. Angelo Dawkins - Unknown by CFO$

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

The curse of a sub-par Lil' B rip-off act.

95. Rosa Mendes - Peligrosa (Dangerous) by CFO$

Song 4/10 
Gimmick 5/10 

I have to give this average character marks as I've never knowingly watched a Rosa Mendez match. The song however, is just total 'aye papi'.

94. Sin Cara - Faceless by CFO$



Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 4/10

At least, he has his own theme again instead of just sharing 'Lu-cha Lu-cha'.

93. Drew Gulak - Totally Drew by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 3/10 

Wave Race 64 outtakes do not a character make. The song is pleasant but there is no way of saying if it's suitable for Gulak because there's no evidence so far of a personality for it to reflect.

92. Cesaro - Swiss Made by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 3/10 

Would be fine for any number of non-Cesaro wrestlers but really not suited for him.

91. Mark Henry - Some Bodies Gonna Get It by Three 6 Mafia

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

A perfectly adequate theme for a wrestler who seems satisfied to be very adequate these days.

90. Curt Hawkins - Face The Facts by CFO$




Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 5/10

How to get a returning Curt Hawkins over: Chuck Norris facts and a naff rock style-cover of a Rachet and Clank song.

89. Oney Lorcan - Combative by CFO$

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

Fine, just fine. It'll do. The former Biff Busick gets music that elicits no reaction beyond, well, yeah. It works, I guess.

88. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) - Rebellion by CFO$

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

It's very much the type of under-produced Pokemon Stadium rock cover that Illuminati War Boys would love.

87. Titus O Neil - Making Moves by Sugar Tongue Slim

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 6/10

Making moves works better with his new Titus Brand persona but it's still utterly forgettable.

86. Noam Dar - Weekend Rockstar by CFO$




Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

This song is a good example of the difference between a good theme and a good song. It works well as entrance music but is utterly bland on a sonic level.

85. Nikki Bella - You Can Look (But You Can't Touch) by Kim Sozzi & Jim Johnston

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

Nikki Bella's theme is the kind of thing that made sense for her in the bra and panties era but she really needs something that more reflects her current 'fearless' persona. Also she needs to reflect her new 'fearless persona'.

84. Bo Dallas - Shoot For The Stars by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

The song itself is fine but is Bo Dallas really inspirational anymore? I don't know if even Bo Bolieves.

83. Jack Swagger - Patriot by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

Jack Swagger is not Kurt Angle. He wants to be and his theme wants to be Kurt's theme (not his TNA theme, no music wants to be that). That said, does he even want to be? He was talking on Smackdown about being a new man. Either way, it's just better than OK.

82. Jinder Mahal - Sher (Lion) by Jim Johnston



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 4/10

Mahal's theme is actually shockingly quite good with its Bhangra meets Hip-Hop vibe and a solid gamelan backbeat. It's just a shame that he's stuck with the generic 'heel foreigner' vibe. It would be nice if just once someone like Mahal could be given something other than 'evil alternative religious practitioner' as a character.

81. Lince Dorado - Golden Rush by CFO$

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 3/10 

The Golden Lynx gets one of the biggest and best riffs in modern WWE with some balls to the wall solo freakout work to make Metallica worry that CFO$ have outdone them. It's just a shame that creative haven't given us time to see Lince as even half as awesome as his theme.

80. Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) - Pain by CFO$

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

It's not very good but it does fit their 'Ockam's Razor' everything's straightforward and simple thing.

79. Brock Lesnar - Next Big Thing (Remix) by Jim Johnston

Song - 4/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

He's a big lad with a big song but lets be honest, it's a bit shite.

78. Elias Samson - Drift by CFO$



Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

He's the drifter and this song drifts by quite nicely. Much like the man himself, not nearly as threatening as it needs to be but pretty consistently better than average.

77. Liv Morgan - Livin' Large by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

Like everything Morgan seems to do, her theme is above competent and eminently listenable but much like her 'no guys I'm not Carmellla, we're very different people act', it's just good not great.

76. Andrade Almas - Making a Difference by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

'The Idol, making a difference, those of today, those of the moment, the Space Sentinel, the Shadow, one hundred souls, calm'.

75. Billie Kay - Femme Fatale by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

I have no real feelings on this one but Kay's a talented, young wrestler whose selling the 'femme fatale' character better than she has any need to.

74. Nia Jax - Force of Greatness by CFO$



Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

Did you know that Nia Jax isn't like most girls? I did. I listened really closely and I found that out. A good theme in need of better lyrics.

73. Sheamus - Hellfire by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

So he's Irish right? And he likes to fight? Tell us something you didn't already tell us about Fit Finlay (beyond being the other type of Irish).

72. Dolph Ziggler - Here to Show The World by Downstait & Jim Johnston

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

Zeggnog's theme gets bonus points for actually being a song with a chorus, a bridge and everything. It loses marks for being objectively horrible and far more suitable for the Ziggler it debuted with years back and not the crusty, millennial hating 'veteran' we have today.

71. Dana Brooke - Respectful by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

The song is good if you like not-quite Paramore but Brooke isn't really as threatening or unstoppable as the song makes her out to be.

70. Darren Young - Great Again by Jim Johnston



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

This song isn't even about Darren Young, it's more about Bob Backlund. That said Backlund finding his inner Trent Reznor is pretty great.

69. Heath Slater & Rhyno - More Than One Man (with Just One Man intro) by Jim Johnston

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 5/10 

Heath is no longer a one-man band or a three man band (unless a manbeast = two men?) so as fun a sliced of southern fried rock as Heath's theme is, it really needs a lyrical retool if Rhyno is sticking around even for a few more weeks.

68. SAniTY (Alexander Wolfe, Damian O'Connor, Eric Young, Nikki Cross & Sawyer Fulton) - Controlled Chaos by CFO$

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 8/10

This song would be a lot higher on the list if it didn't have its 'spoooky' laugh section, also if it wasn't just a combination of noises. Crazy stuff.

67. TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) - Stand Tall by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

They are the Mighty and The Mighty Don't Kneel. With their catchphrase like a Dragonball-Z group, their theme like an Anime title sequence and their time spent in NOAH, there is a certain synergy here. Sadly, not a particularly memorable theme from a team yet lacking an NXT star-making performance.

66. Mick Foley - Wreck V2 by Jim Johnston



Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

To steal a gag from everyone else, his theme works because every time Foley comes out now it's car crash television.

65. American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) - Elite by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

Has that modern Kurt Angle vibe and some nice guitar noodling but a bit generic.

64. Curtis Axel - Reborn by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

Why do all the children of superstars need remixes of their themes? Let them forge their own Linkin Park-inspired legacies.

63. Tony Nese - Win it All by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

The Premier Athlete is up there with Lynch and Zayn in the best theme 'whoah's. Just a little under-produced and his character under-developed.

62. Cedric Alexander - Won't Let Go by CFO$



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

A lovely theme let down by generic lyrics plus beyond charismatic, talented wrestler, who is he?

61. Wesley Blake - Ahead by Klooz & Sylvain Lux

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 5/10

Who is Wesley Blake? Now he's not a Dubstep Dickhead, is he just a dickhead?

60. Apollo Crews - Cruise Control by CFO$

Song - 9/10 
Gimmick - 4/10 

A fantastic song for a fantastic wrestler who needs like, just one character trait beyond he smiles most of the time.

59. Braun Strowman - I Am Stronger by CFO$

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 9/10 

See my comments about Lesnar but with added roaring because if you've forgotten, he's a big lad with a big roar.

58. Patrick Clark - Player Hater by CFO$




Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Patrick Clark has become Prince. In his head. Sadly in reality, his theme is more Mii Maker but either way, a valiant effort that suits the man well.

57. Kalisto - Lucha Lucha by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha, lu-cha. Good, erm... things.

56. The Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth) - What's Up? (The Golden Truth Remix) by Ron Killings

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

I mean, yeah, it works. It's not great and it's far more R-Truth than Goldust but its fun I guess if you like that kind of thing.

55. Buddy Murphy - Opposite Ends of The World by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

He's still a dubstep dickhead and he should never change, just a shame the song gets boring after about 45 seconds.

54. The Big Show - Crank it Up by Brand New Sin



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

A big Ol' lumbering slice of rawk for the big bear of a man. His theme does appropriately move at about the same pace as 'Show in the ring.

53. Roman Reigns - The Truth Reigns by Jim Johnston

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

The most notable thing about the recording of this is how different it sounds without the chorus of disapproval over it. Still, a pretty solid theme that would work a lot better if it didn't have all its Shield connotations making Reigns seem stuck in the past.

52. Charlotte Flair - Recognition by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10

I repeat what I said about Axel but at least Charlotte plays into it a bit more.

51. Natalya - New Foundation by Jim Johnston

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

Once more, but with uncles instead of fathers. Despite Jim Neidhart being a good wrestler in his own right, it's Uncle Bret who Natalya is stuck dragging the albatross of nostalgia for.

50. Summer Rae - Rush of Power by CFO$



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

A better than average for a significantly better than average wrestler. Get well soon, Summer, I want that team BFF Triple Threat even more than I wanted the Shield one.

49. Carmella - Fabulous by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

The 'we didn't want to pay for the rights to Iggy Azalea's Fancy vibe works for her. Whether that's a good or bad thing, who knows?

48. Austin Aries - Ambition and Vision by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

His theme works better for him now he's firmly heel but the track loop edit is really damn jarring.

47. Paige - Stars in The Night by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

A solid singalong anthem and some appropriate lyrics for the young division firestarter. Sadly probably not going to be heard again in a WWE arena as she doesn't seem to want to be there and the WWE seem to want rid of her.

46. The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) - Done With That by CFO$



Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

Great beat, possibly the best in modern WWE but beyond being evil now, what are their characters? And why do they keep being described as 'urban'?

45. Enzo Amore & Big Cass - SAWFT is a Sin by CFO$ ft. Enzo Amore

Song - 5/10 
Gimmick - 10/10 

Now before you complain, I'm basing this on just the theme. Stripped from Amore's trademark entrance speech, the song is a bit of a mess and Amore is many things but a rapper he is not. That said, the cocky 'Noo Joysey' stylings are put 'Zo and Cass which helps it out.

44. Kane - Veil of Fire by Jim Johnston

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Kane enters the ring to a 90's Slasher movie theme which is appropriate as that's basically his character. The theme has a lot of nice touches to it and the guitar work is some of the best on any theme but really much like Kane himself, it seems a bit too dated to work in modern WWE.

43. William Regal - Regality by Jim Johnston

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 6/10 

This music was perfect for heel Regal and still works to an extent at establishing his imperious, former bruiser turned fair authority guy persona but it seems like it's not the right theme for such a firmly good character. That said, it's not 'He's a Man's Man'.

42. Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze) - Breezango by CFO$




Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Tag Team mash-up songs are great and the blend works well but it’s to heavy on the ‘Dango and needs more Breeze raps. He's everything that you are not.

41. Becky Lynch - Celtic Invasion by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

It works as part of her goofy charm, remember she's not actually a steampunk character but someone who just likes that stuff. And the Dropkick Murphys I assume.

40. Dean Ambrose - Retaliation by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Dean's theme is the kind of big riff heavy number designed to explode stadiums and boy does it work in that environment. It's just a shame that listening to it in your own home, it doesn't quite sustain extended listening.

39. Eva Marie - Time to Rise by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

This one would be about twenty places lower on the list without that voiceover. As it is, it's an alright piece of skittery pop background nonsense but the booming voicer telling us how great Eva Marie is, it just makes the song. Honestly, if the voiceover guy could be brought in to guest commentate all her matches as well. If she ever has one again.

38. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) - New Day, New Way by Jim Johnston



Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Much like RAW roster-mates Enzo and Cass, this theme is less impressive taken away from the mic-laden fun of New Day's entrance but it's still an enjoyable slice of gospel flecked pacy nonsense that fits the Booty-O loving unicorns almost to a tee.

37. Shining Stars (Epico & Primo) - Shining Star by Jim Johnston

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

Everyone’s favourite wrestling timeshare salesmen get a really good beat that befits their evil Caribbean Pyramid scheme.

36. Hideo Itami - Tokiwakita (Time Has Come) by CFO$

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

NXT's Japanese glass shit kicker has a theme of such magnitude that it's a shame the man keeps getting injuries that stop us hearing it more regularly. The only thing keeping this theme from entering the upper echelons is that since joining NXT we don't really know enough about Itami beyond what the theme tells us: he's Japanese, he's hardcore as fuck. For quite a few that's enough. 

35. Stephanie McMahon - Welcome to The Queendom by Jacki-O

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

Essentially an extended fan wank to Steph but certainly a fun one.

34. Neville - Break Orbit by CFO%



Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 7/10 

This is a different situation to most of the themes here as the  heavy House sounds of his theme perfectly suit his fast-paced, combustible in-ring style but to call it part of his gimmick is to imply he has been given any chance to develop character on the main roster.

33. Daniel Bryan - Flight of the Valkyries by Jim Johnston

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 10/10 

Daniel Bryan is one of the most underrated actors of the WWE and the Yes! Movement and Flight of the Valkyries are inseparable. That said, it doesn't stop the actual arrangement of the song being a bit uninteresting with some surprisingly weak mixing and a main guitar part that should soar but just kind of is. Great ending shred though.

32. #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) - Chrome Hearts by CFO$

Song - 6/10 
Gimmick - 10/10 

Gargs and Ciamps theme is generic indie rock music but really its the best thing for them. These are two indie guys who came into NXT with no creative behind them and got over with nothing but skill and personality. It's the perfect theme for them but not the perfect song.

31. Baron Corbin - Superhuman by CFO$

Song - 7/10 
Gimmick - 9/10 

This seems exactly the kind of wank-metal Corbin would listen to while riding his bike around, trying not to worry about his shrinking hairline and his place on the Survivor Series PPV being taken by Hot Dad Shane.

30. Rusev - Рев на лъвът (Roar of the Lion) by CFO$



Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 8/10

A big, bombastic theme for the Bulgarian Brute. He’s only let down by its further reliance on 'evil Eastern European' tropes.

29. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) - Omen in The Sky by CFO$

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Nearly a proper song with production and a hair metal chorus and everything. Just lacks that certain something.

28. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) - Voix de Vile by CFO$

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

Accurately captures the vaudeville style, goes with their gimmick very well, even if the transition into the evil theme isn't absolutely seamless.

27. Ember Moon - Free The Flame by CFO$ ft. Lesley Roy

Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

From the Led Zeppelin inspired drums and guitar lines through the lyrics speaking of blood moons being eclipsed, this is an appropriately epic theme for such a promising talent. It just avoids being an all-time great with a slightly anaemic vocal but it suggests great things are planned.

26. Alexa Bliss - Spiteful by CFO$



Song - 8/10 
Gimmick - 8/10 

From Sparkle Splash to Twisted Bliss via the Dubstep Dickheads, watching the rise of Alexa in the Women's Division has been wonderful. It helps that her current theme is way better than Blake and Murphy's, it lacks a certain spark to push it up higher though.

*Update: So Elsworth has officially signed a WWE contract. That said, I'm not changing the article because I'm really proud of it and it teaches you all an important lesson, even the purest intentions are fallible. Nothing's perfect, kid. Everything's rigged, the man who shaved Vince's head is President. And I swore I wouldn't even start to talk politics in this one.

(Editor's Note - Have a picture of Alexa Bliss to close things out, she's got the 26th best theme in WWE right now)




Words - Jozef Raczka (@NotJozefraczka)
Images, Videos & Editing - James Marston (@IAmNotAlanDale)

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