wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Favorite Non-WWE Entrance Themes

November 15, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Minoru Suzuki NJPW G1 Climax 27 Non-WWE GCW

Welcome back to column time with Larry. Today’s column is all about fun; today I want to talk about my favorite non-WWE entrance themes. Entrance themes are important, because they set the attitude of the performer or get the crowd sufficiently hyped up or pissed off in regards to who they are about to see. Please remember, this is not a definitive list, these are just my favorite non-WWE entrance themes. I probably could have listed upwards of 20, but I was going for a more streamlined column. Feel free to share some of you favorites, I’d love to hear them plus sharing is fun. Remember, your comments are always welcomed. I hope that you enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful of other’s opinions and don’t be a dick.”

10. TAKA Michinoku’s RO&D AJPW Theme (YAMATO Suite 4): TAKA Michinoku’s RO&D AJPW theme (known to some as YAMATO Suite 4) is a favorite of mine, because it utilizes TAKA’s old WWE theme and undergoes a great remix with vocals that make TAKA come off as a badass, and extended themes from the original. They you add in the guitar solo a little past halfway through and this is a great theme song. With the updates, it made TAKA feel like a completely different guy, which is what it needed to be; it needed to change the tone of happy babyface into badass “I’m gonna kick your ass” TAKA.

9. The Fabulous Freebirds – Badstreet USA: It will be no surprise to anyone that listened to my old podcasts that I am a huge fan of Badstreet USA. The song is fun, has a great beat and when I was a kid and first discovered WCCW, the Freebirds just felt like stars to me and the music was a big reason. The Von Erichs were the stars and heroes to the local crowd, and I liked them, but even though the Freebirds were the heels, they were just larger than life rock stars to a young Larry. I get that a lot of younger fans roll their eyes when people like me share tier love and praise for the song, and that’s because they just don’t get it. The song is a product of the time, and every time I hear it, it takes me back to rushing home from the bus after school to turn on ESPN at 3PM (barely making it in time) to watch WCCW.

8. Hulk Hogan – Voodoo Child: when Hulk Hogan went to WCW, the one thing he couldn’t take with him was the iconic “Real American” theme music. Jimmy Hart did the best he could with “American Made,” it’s a fun and catchy song, but nothing was going to be “Real American” in the eyes of the fans. So when he went heel and became the leader of the nWo, as well as the most hated man in wrestling in the coolest angle in wrestling. Hogan needed something new and fitting of the cool angle, and when you need cool, you go to one of the coolest motherfuckers of all time, Jimi Hendrix. I love the song as it is, but Hogan felt like the coolest dude in the room using it.

7. Hiroyoshi Tenzan – “Tenzan (Jikū)”: Much like Liger’s theme song, when it’s not dubbed over on New Japan World, Tenzan’s “Tenzan (Jikū)” is another awesome piece of music that gets me excited to see Tenzan, despite the fact that Tenzan is 46 and far from his prime. Truth be told, it’s one of the alarm songs on my phone, which I set for the early morning reviews I do. Yes, I am a geek; I write about wrestling for a living, this should not be a surprise. Tenzan (Jikū) feels almost majestic, fitting of a legend like Tenzan, and immediately gets the crowd excited and amped up for his match. When a simple clip of music gets you that excited for a performer of Tenzan’s age, you know it works.

6. Chris Hero’s ‘Chris is Awesome’ Theme: Chris Hero’s ‘Chris is Awesome’ by Viro The Virus is one of the best independent themes for an independent wrestler ever. ‘Chris is Awesome’ felt like a major league theme song, and immediately made Hero feel like a superstar. It’s just a fun tune, with great wrestling based lyrics; this is not your ordinary entrance theme, it is more of an ode to the greatness of Chris Hero. One of the sad parts of Hero returning to WWE, besides the fact that his 2016 in ring work was amazing, is the fact that I don’t get to hear this theme music on a regular basis anymore. The theme also had the sing along factor, and anytime the audience gets into a theme song and sings along, that’s good shit.

5. The Midnight Express – ‘Chase Theme’: Giorgio Moroder’s “Chase Theme” from the movie Midnight Express makes the list, just not for it’s kick ass beat and vibe, but for the fact that it was so perfect for the Midnight Express tag team; I feel that it’s so good that it almost feels as if it was written just for them. The tune is a love letter to that sweet, sweet late 70s early 80s synthesizer, which I m a sucker for. When that music hit, you knew that the tennis racket swinging asshole Jim Cornette was about to lead some guys with flowing blonde mullets to the ring for some kick ass tag team wrestling. While not composed for the team, imagining the Midnight Express without the music just feels wrong.

4. The Four Horsemen: If you’ve read my work over the years, you likely know that I was a HUGE fan of the NWA in the 80s, it was my wrestling, Ric Flair was the real world champion before WWE ran their angle, the Rock and Roll Express were the greatest tag team ever, and the Four Horsemen were the coolest motherfuckers in the room. The Four Horsemen theme music feels like the opening to a new age western, starting with the horses galloping, that sweet bass line and then working into that awesome guitar solo. The Horsemen didn’t need any help looking awesome, but the theme music surely didn’t hurt, and I love a stable with great theme music.

3. The Sandman – ‘Enter Sandman’: While many like to mock The Sandman today, the guy was one of the most over dudes in the 90s, partly due to the fact that he was a cigarette smoking, beer drinking, give no fucks brawler, and also because of his entrance theme. The Sandman’s entrance was more than just a wrestling entrance, it was more than the man and certainly more than the match, The Sandman’s entrance was an event, one that ECW fans looked forward to on every show he was on; they wanted to see The Sandman smoke his cigarette, drink his beer, bust himself open and sing along while he did it. It was an event; it was interactive and eventually defined The Sandman. Hell, it’s 2017 and people still go wild for the entrance even if they don’t care about Sandman trying to wrestle.

2. Jushin Liger Theme – Ikari No Jyushin: Ikari No Jyushin is one of if not the most iconic themes in Japanese wrestling. The theme is almost defines Liger, and is one of those songs that I LOVE hearing at 3, 4 or 5AM when I am reviewing NJPW. Ikari No Jyushin is a spirited little jam, and also served as the theme song for the Jushin Liger anime. Not only is it a fun tune, but it’s fitting of a hero, it makes you happy, even though it means Beast God of Rage. I get fired up when this theme plays early in the AM. Liger’s theme, in my opinion, is not only iconic, but an all time great wrestling theme.

1. Minoru Suzuki – ‘Kaze Ni Nare’: Minoru Suzuki is a bad, bad dude; even at the age of 48 he comes across as a complete bad ass, that doesn’t have a single solitary fuck to give about your physical well bring. It’s funny, in a way, Kaze Ni Nare feels like it belongs more as the theme for a heroic anime than the bad ass boss of Suzuki-gun. That is until you get into the “I have to be a lonely warrior oh I have to be a lonely warrior tonight” portion of the lyrics. The song tells a story of a fighter that will not change, that will go through a storm like a bird through the breeze to fight through to obtain the painful dream of tomorrow. And that is where Ayumi Nakamura’s Kaze Ni Nare fits Minoru Suzuki. He doesn’t give a shit, he will fight no matter what and will fight his game, refusing to change his game to obtain the win (the painful dream of tomorrow). The lonely warrior’s entrance at Wrestle Kingdom 7, complete with a live performance by Ayumi Nakamura, is a great big time entrance and one of my all time favorites, simply for the way Suzuki’s violent demeanor is juxtaposed against the beautiful performance of Ayumi Nakamura. I always mark out for the crowd sing a long, it happens every entrance with without fail as the crowd chants out “Kaze Ni Nare!”

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”