In the WWE, entrance themes and Titantrons are almost as important as the match itself. That is why wrestling has devoted thousands of dollars on music licenses, iconic sound brands, and flashy footage. But even if the industry prides itself on perfecting the art of the entrance, some intros did not go over so well.
John Cena- Basic Thuganomics
Before the most marketable wrestler in the 2000s was associated with that stadium pumping Latino horn section, John Cena's entrance theme was his own thug rap. Cena's first gimmick was a thug who liked to set up diss tracks about his opponents. You might remember that one Smackdown episode in the early 2000s when Spanky openly mocked Cena's rap career with a silly rap of his own, receiving an Attitude Adjustment for his troubles. The idea of a wrestler having enough street cred to merit a rap album ended with John Cena, but before it would close out completely, John got to spit words about Thuganomics.
Goldberg- Megadeath's Crush'em
Goldberg's WCW theme is synonymous with doom and regret, as the behemoth wrestler would come out and squash his opponent. The swell of symphonic tones were a song of despair. Apparently, the most iconic song in WCW history was not enough. In 1999, WCW believed that Goldberg's entrance music needed a nu metal facelift.
The Jackhammer machine took a hiatus at the beginning of 1999, but he made a surprise entrance when WCW Nitro had Megadeath perform "Crush'em." Since WCW had the license for the song, they let Goldberg try it out for his return. He used the entrance theme when he was in a tag team match with Sting and the All-American Hulk Hogan against Sid Vicious, Kevin Nash, and Scott Steiner. The music entrance was much less doom and despair, and much more cringe and lame. WCW canned Megadeath's song as Goldberg's entrance, but you can find it as the entrance theme for certain UFC events.
Scott Steiner- Steinerline Theme
I had to scour the internet for this audio sample because I truly believe Scott Steiner wanted this song deleted from history. Steiner will always be known for having the siren raid as his entrance theme. It is a theme that illustrates that Steiner is crazy and he will put you in an ambulance. The siren sound has been adopted by TNA Knockout, Jordyn Grac,e who was trained by Big Poppa Pump.
But at Spring Stampede 2000, Scott wanted to try a little honky tonk flair. His theme song featured a country starlet singing about how tough and strong Steiner is. Do you know what is tougher than honky tonk music that sounds like Shania Twain? Sirens. Thank goodness this song died in 2000.
HHH- Blue Blood Theme
HHH is the game. He is so much the game that WWE gave him a Motorhead's "The Game" as his entrance theme. But before he was the Cerebral Assassin, he was a British dandy that made William Regal seem hardcore by comparison. Listen to this theme song. I have fallen asleep to harder lullabies. The song seems more appropriate for PBS' Masterpiece Theater. His second theme was "Ode to Joy," which wasn't much better. HHH would later receive the DX theme, "Are you Ready?" which ushered in the Attitude Era.
Undertaker- You're Gonna Pay
The scariest man in wrestling had a rough career path in the early 2000s. Wrestlers were expected to act like a Limp Bizkit video to usher in the Millennium. Undertaker was not immune to this treatment as his macabre graveyard persona morphed into generic motorcycle guy persona. Biker Taker was still a tough guy, but this generic rock riff neutered all the fear and despair from his character. The song is called "You're Gonna Pay," which is exactly what WWE did to get the rights to this forgettable song.
CM Punk- This Fire Burns
Mr. Straight Edge was not always the Cult of Personality. In his Ring of Honor days, he was the emo punk coming out to AFI's "Miseria Cantare." Then WWE put him as the face of ECW in 2009-2010 so they needed an ECW theme. They gave him Killswitch Engage's "This Fire Burns." In my opinion, nothing beats "Miseria Cantare," but we can all agree that "This Fire Burns" is lackluster. Droning metal and screams rarely make an iconic theme song for a wrestler. WWE had to leave their metal/goth stage in order to give their talent memorable music.
Christian Cage- At Last
In the Attitude Era, Christian was always playing second fiddle to Edge. He wasn't worthy of the same pop that his tag partner was getting. It was only in 2001 did WWE want him to be a heel; a whiny heel. He turned his back on Edge and got a new theme song. In his theme song, a choir of singers declare that Christian is finally free followed by a crashing metal riff. This song would stay in the early 2000s as it didn't embody the wrestler that Christian would become. His theme song in TNA/AEW became his defining persona.
Edge would come out to Rob Zombie's, "Never Gonna Stop Me," in 2002, which seemed like the better deal.
Madusa- Are You Ready, Boys?
This is the absolute most cringey entrance theme in wrestling history. Every part of this theme, from Madusa's corny seductive line, to the creepy stalker trying to hit on her, is pure pain to the ears. Her character in WCW 2000 degraded from women's wrestling elite to obnoxious sex icon that won her matches by seducing men in the ring (it's how she became Cruiserweight champ). This is sad knowing that Madusa (Alundra Blaze) was one of the early figureheads to bring legit women's wrestling to America. WCW wanted to turn their females into discount WWF sex icons and the best they could do was make this awful entrance music.