One Shot Entrance

One of the magical things about professional wrestling is how the music that summons these competitors and elicits excitement from the crowds with lets us know that shit is about to go down. Oftentimes, a wrestler’s theme song carries a lot of poetic, storytelling weight. 

Occasionally we fans are given a treat, these songs we are accustomed to are briefly traded in for a one-time appearance, like a guest on your favorite television show or a featured artist on another musician’s track. It can be a fun little Easter egg or symbolic of a wrestler’s journey.

Take for instance CM Punk entering AEW Revolution 2022 to the tune of AFI’s Miseria Cantare – The Beginning, or Kenny Omega’s epic One-Winged Angel nod at Wrestle Kingdom 17, courtesy of composer Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame. The former calls to Punk’s past in Ring of Honor as a cocky and brash youth against his competitor that night, a cocky and brash youth. The latter is of a wrestler who comes back home to find that it is not the same as he left it – and it must therefore be bathed in flame.

CM Punk and Kenny Omega strayed from their norm by changing their music to elevate the story of now, and I want to create my own stories by looking at other wrestlers and adding a new melodic wax of paint to their tale. It could be original music, cover or arrangements to evoke to a wrestler’s story – for it must fit nicely like a shoe, if it is to be walked in. I will shuffle and replay on this playlist of imagination, here is the One-Shot Entrance!

Ghost Riders in the Sky, The Outlaws
Hangman Adam Page
The anxious millennial cowboy is one who has had to face his inner demons and his own mortality on a few occasions, and though this song would fit just as well with that theme, he needs a physical manifestation of that overwhelming dread, a threat that matches the illness many of us face in our humanity. Enter the House of Black.

Though the song is likely well known due to the iconic Johnny Cash rendition, the classic Southern rock band known as The Outlaws comes to mind in this instance. It starts off as an ominous hymn of the damned that catch the devil’s herd for eternity on the endless range of the heavens, before wheels drive off and the song becomes more electric and loud and full of kickass rock. Just imagine Page strutting out, determined and steely-faced or driving a 1967 Chevrolet Impala, on the way to vanquish some demons and overcome his own.


Gangplank Galleon, David Wise
Since returning to Stardom, KAIRI eschewed her past as Kairi Hojo in the company and Kairi Sane of WWE, but you can’t take the pirate out of the princess. In addition to retaining her identity, KAIRI has an aura that is reminiscent of a final boss in a video game. As corny as that sounds, I feel that musical counterpart is embodied by the theme of King K. Rool in Nintendo and Rare’s 1994 retro gaming classic, Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

A jolly, jaunty, nautical intro plays the Pirate Princess to the entrance, playing to her classic goofy side, before the looming threats of drums drones out the fun and cute nature, the bass and the percussion giving way to guitars that build and build and sing together in melodic fury and panic that’ll shiver anyone’s timbers. This isn’t fun and games anymore, this is serious, and the Princess wants her golden hoard. The final boss is here, game over.

Symphony No. 9, Ludwig van Beethoven + Du Hast, Rammstein
That grand introduction to Beethoven’s classic is one many independent wrestling fans know as Imperium’s call to the fray. It demands respect and class, for the mat is sacred. But sometimes, when that code is broken, a fury is wrought and a world of misery and agony await for those who dare trespass the mistress of wrestling. For Du Hast, the lyrics may tell of a broken relationship, the fractured bond between the medium and the performer, and the translation of “du, du hast, du hast mich” can be interpreted as “you, you have, you have me” to let the crowd know that Imperium is here to put on a wrestling clinic.

For the visual and grandeur, the symphony starts out as Gunther, Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser stand side by side, before the creeping tones at the start of Rammstein’s classic seep their way in and heavy metal ensues. There is hell to pay, that debt must be paid in a reddened chest and a face contorted and cringing in pain. You must suffer for your art.

The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden
Malakai Black
The character of Malakai Black is one as complex and dressed as his many tattoos, where many spread the rumor of him being a Satanist or a cultist. Why not go fully into the world of terror that stirs controversy as the darkness swallows completely? Why not have the Black Mass seated at six hundred sixty-six? After all, hell and fire was spawned to be released.

Chills. To have English actor Barry Clayton’s iconic quoting of Revelations 12:12 and 13:18 before the whispering tones of Bruce Dickinson transitions into the screams of the night, to instil the notion that his opponent has never before and never will face another nightmare unlike the dark force that stands before them.


Hallelujah Chorus, Messiah, George Frederic Handel + Redeemer, Mikey Rukus
You’d think the mad quest for the Bulgarian beast to conquer the All Elite world in a holy mission would have no steam possible, but that is where I see more opportunity. What more could the Baroque era composer add to the almighty purge of a sinful world? The second coming of the Redeemer, I reply.

It might sound hokey to have Miro enter an arena to a chorus, but as soon as the trumpets sound and signal the end of tribulation, all will fall silent as the ungodly are vanquished and all will be judged at his hand. May the heavens have mercy on the souls of those who have their kidneys crushed, spines bent and blood coughed up. Amen.

You Could Be Mine, Guns N’ Roses
Jeff Hardy
Listen. G’n’R are awesome. Jeff Hardy is awesome. For many who watched WWE in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Jeff Hardy had that memorable theme of No More Words, a song that has a similar intro to You Could Be Mine, but to me, it goes deeper. 

The Charismatic Enigma enters the arena, filled with that confidence and determination that made the youth of the Y2K era and beyond fall in love with the daredevil antics. Imagine this being his last shot at championship gold. It could be his, it just depends on how far out of line he will get to achieve it, and with the style he made his career off of, one that has left him broken again and again, it could play very well into his story.

Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me Now, Bowlegged Lou 
Shelton Benjamin
Undeniably one of the greatest yet underrated talents in the industry, Shelton Benjamin comes with many accolades, from Suzuki-Gun to ROH Tag Team Champion to Money in the Bank spots to amateur wrestling achievements, one would think there was no stopping him. In his grizzled, veteran state, he needs this determination, to bring some hurt.

Put yourself in the arena as he turns back the clock, be it as the Gold Standard, Shelton X Benjamin, or just who he is right now, he emerges and takes what was always meant for him by any means necessary. It isn’t enough to be a good wrestler anymore, it’s about having the rewards to prove his bragging rights.

With that in mind, I think I’ll wrap this up, this goofy little project of mine. This may very well become an ongoing thing, as the power of music compels many to deeper thought or feeling, and I will shuffle and replay on this playlist of imagination.