Crossroads: A Lance Archer Streetcorner Symphony

In Wrestle Inn’s special Crossroads series, the incomparable stars and stories of professional wrestling are mixed skillfully with legendary songs and artists from the musical world. Set to the beats of the carefully chosen music, these stories see life through a different lens, with iconic soundtracks allowing a journey they haven’t yet seen. Whether conveying sadness, shock, excitement, happiness, pride, or more, music allows us to view events and feel things in ways not possible without it.

Please, as you read, open your favorite streaming source, play the music we have chosen and support the artists as they’re meant to be supported. While the vast majority of the lyrics have been rewritten for these fun look-back pieces, the credit always goes to the artists who originally created such literal musical masterpieces. We thank them all for their brilliance, both those on the stage and those in the ring.

Lance Archer in All Elite Wrestling

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

The journey of “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer from his arrival in AEW on through to today has been captivatingly unpredictable. Bursting off of screens nationwide on TNT after years spent making his name (under a different name) in TNA and Japan, with a short stint in WWE sandwiched in there for good measure, everything about Archer leapt out right away. His unique look, aggressive promo style, and freight train approach to attacking his opponent were backed up by agility and skill that caught new fans off guard – who was this huge guy moonsaulting MID-ROPE?! His record matched that wonder, as Archer ran through progressively bigger names without much more difficulty.

How to portray the muscular, at times dastardly, Monster at issue? The sweet sounds of doo wop of course! All kidding aside, the sheer rush and assuredness of Lance’s opening run through the company feels natural set to Gene Chandler’s “Duke Of Earl”, which also features a narrator who seemingly knows the outcome no matter who’s in front of him.

Early dominance/”Duke Of Earl”

Credit: Awal Digital LTD

Mur-der-hawk Mon-ster
Mur-der-hawk Mon-ster
Mur-der-hawk Mon-ster

As I hurl jobbers ‘cross the stage
Nothing can stem my unbridled rage
And-a you, you’re my opponent, see
This is gonna hurt you, oh yes indeed

‘Cause I, I’m here to destroy you
Come out & take the whoopin’ now
‘Cause I’m the Murder-hawwwwwwwwk
Mon-sterrr bay-bay yeeahhhh

And when I get ahold of you
You’ll be in the clutches, the EBD claw
We’ll see it’s academic
My hand gets raised, your limp one does not

Yes-a, I, oh I’m gonna break you, oh oh
No one can save you now
‘Cause I’m the Murder-hawwwwwwwwk
Mon-sterrr bay-bay

Well, I’m, oh stompin’ fools for fun yeah, oh oh
No one dare step up now
‘Cause I’m the Murder-hawwwwwwwwk
Mon-sterrr bay-bay

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Archer’s early momentum carried him all the way to a shot at TNT Champion Cody Rhodes at AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV. The match was set up to be Archer’s biggest win yet, but Rhodes prevailed and made it Archer’s first setback instead. The big man’s frustration was laid bare for the camera over the following weeks, as he had to look down deep. He had to remember that he wasn’t here for glory, for leather, or for fame. He was here to beat people up for fun.

Archer then used frequent rampages through locker rooms, backstage areas, and even a ring in a damn field to remind everyone just how gifted he is at dishing out punishment. Not least of all, himself, who needed to rediscover his main calling beyond the feud with Cody. Just as The Four Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There” promises determination in the face of any obstacle, Lance Archer used this period to reassure everyone that if there was a fight to be had, then there was no question a man would be in the thick of it sporting a big red murderhawk.

First questions answered/”Reach Out I’ll Be There”

Credit: Universal Music Group

Now I know that my streak won’t go on
‘Cause that shiny red strap is gone
And my path is filled with much confusion
Is a reign on top just an illusion?
When your world around is crumblin’ down
All you can do is reach out, I reach on out and you
Reach out, you reach out for me

I’ll be there, with a fist that will shatter you
and I’ll be there, so crushing moonsaults can then ensue

When I just lost and you think I’ll give up
‘Cause tonight my best was not quite enough
And you see my ranking start to slide
Seems I’m drifting night to night
I just need some hands to throw
Try me, just reach out, reach out for me
I’ll reach out, and we’ll see who gets 1-2-3

I’ll be there, with a Blackout to put you down
and I’ll be there to head back towards the crown

If you think that I’ll just hang my head
Say I’ve got no drive and you’re not afraid
Well see the arena, take a look around
See there’s no refuge to be found
I know what you’re thinkin’
We’re alone now, want a win of your own
But try it, reach out, come on man, reach out for me
Reach out
Just look over your shoulder

I’ll be there, to dish out all the pain you need
And I’ll be there, one bad night will never stop me…

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

A funny thing happened as Lance Archer found his passion again in pure violence and competition towards the end of 2020: his path of newfound dominance led him against against unfamiliar foes who the fans found even more distasteful. This was made possible because there is an honesty, a kind of code, to his approach. Archer is not pressing an agenda or manipulating situations. He is paid to kick ass, and doesn’t care to whom said ass belongs. Everything is as advertised. He’s recently found a natural foil in puppet master Eddie Kingston himself, a man who is not afraid to shed blood (anyone’s really) but only so long as it serves his ends. Kingston mucked up Archer’s victory in the Casino Battle Royale at All Out, saying it was tainted and getting himself a title shot, and it was on.

This made it easy to start to root for ol’ Lance, the one most people would bet on in a fair fight, without him changing much. We saw him even the odds against Kingston’s schemes and it felt right. The Spinner’s “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” reminds us of the natural result of extinguishing a flame. Lance Archer provides a natural order for things as well. Whether the fans remain on his side or not, he allows them to rely on at least one kernel of truth in this world…


Taking on all comers/”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Credit: The Platters

They asked me how I knew
It was time to step to you
I, of course, replied
“You try to deride
So I’ll beat your hyde”

They said, someday I’d find
The crews you hide behind
After we collide
You will realize
Everybody Dies

So, I bruised them as I gaily laughed
To think they would doubt my rage
Just today, I’ve launched a new golden age
You’ll soon be without your health

Now, laughing can be right
When you just need to fight
So, I smile and say

Be you good or bad guys
Don’t need a reason why
Everybody dies…
Everybody dies…