NOTE: This article was originally posted by me on TheWebsiteOfDoom.com
Welcome to the first in what will surely be semi-regular opinion articles about WWE wrestling. I've been a long time fan (since I was about 6 years old) but lost interest in the late 00s due to some terrible product management on behalf of the WWE. But now, much like many other wrestling fans of my generation, I've come back with a renewed interest and enthusiasm thanks to the high-profile exploits of a Mr. CM Punk.
The positives (and negatives) of CM Punk will be delved into on another occasion but for now I'd like to talk about something that has been on my mind lately and that's intro music. Some work, some don't and the ones that don't can really kill the atmosphere.
The idea of intro music isn't a new one but for some reason there has been a big emphasis placed on them in the last decade or so now that WWE have been releasing the songs for download. You'll see the little symbol pop-up in the bottom left corner of your screen when the wrestlers walk out to the ring. Buy, buy, buy! But the thing is, they shouldn't be just songs to be played in the background. They should be battle cries. They're not just to anounce the arrival of the athlete but to make the crowd pop with the knowledge that s*** is about to get real.
For example, WWE are pushing Randy Orton really hard right now. And for some inexplicable reason, the crowd is going nuts for him. I don't know how he gets away with having only 5 moves and John Cena gets crucified for it, but I guess that's another day's rant. When Orton walks out to the ring, what does he walk out to? The most emo whiney thing I've ever heard.
The guy is apparently "the apex predator" but with this song the only thing he's a predator for is 16 year old girls. I wouldn't trust Orton around any teenage girls by the way, with or without this song in existence. That may be off topic, but I'm just saying, we've all thought it.
I could go on about why certain songs are bad and can often have the impact of a wet sock on the crowd but I'd rather focus on the great ones. The ones that pump up the crowd. Get people excited. Puts everyone in the mood for some butt whipping.
While Christian currently has an insufferable song to walk out to right now, there was a time when his intro music made me smile from ear to ear.
When Christian turned heel against his long time tag partner Edge in 2001 this was his intro music and it did everything it needed to do. Make a ridiculous anouncement, and then let the guy walk to the ring to a headbanging guitar riff. This is a motif that wrestling intros did for a long time and did WELL. For example...
Bret Hart was a man who did his talking in the ring and suitably his intro had no words also. But that guitar wail at the start is instantly recognisable to any wrestling fan of that era and still to this day makes me want to stand up and cheer.
Nobody is really listening after the first 10 seconds or so because the crowd is supposed to be drowning out the music with their cheers/boos and the commentary team should be telling us that business just picked up so to have a bunch of lyrics seems redundant.
To emphasis the "nobody really listens after the wrestlers come out" point...
D-Generation X was the WWE's answer to the NWO and was captivating television. Their entrance on the words "break it down" was theatrical. The 25 second build up was just gravy. It was teasing the crowd. Getting them ready. And it worked like a charm. It was hard not to mark out for the faux Rage Against The Machine theme.
I'm telling you folks, they don't make them like this anymore...
If you're not looking for the nearest rope to rattle and pushing imaginary things over your head, you're either born after 1990 or dead inside. FACT.
These days, it's hard to get a big pop from the crowd when wrestlers come out to the ring. I don't know if it's ennui, cynicism or just a general lack of connection with them. Either way, I'm sure getting rid of the crappy emo rock that's accompanying them wouldn't hurt.