Long-time WWE viewers will know that a Superstar can be the best in-ring performer around but if they lack charisma and an interesting persona, their wrestling ability alone won’t be enough for them to succeed.
A key factor that sets top Superstars apart from the rest is their entrance and, more specifically, their entrance theme.
Would “Stone Cold” Steve Austin have received such loud crowd reactions if the glass didn’t smash in his music? Maybe, maybe not. Would Hulk Hogan have been the American hero he became without his ‘Real American’ track? Maybe, maybe not.
Entrance themes are just as important in 2017 as they ever have been, so we decided to listen to every current NXT and WWE theme (really, we listened to them all!) and count down 10 of the very best from the last 12 months.
#10 Baron Corbin – I Bring the Darkness (End of Days)
Now, we don’t have the stats to prove it, but it feels like more WWE Superstars have been given new music in 2017 than any other year in recent memory – and nobody on the main roster has received a better new entrance theme than Baron Corbin.
‘I Bring the Darkness (End of Days)’ is a significant improvement on his previous ‘Superhuman’ music and was the final theme created by Jim Johnston – WWE’s legendary composer for over 30 years – before he was released by the company in December.
#9 Danny Burch – London Boys
Casual WWE fans probably won’t have heard of Danny Burch, a 35-year-old Brit who splits his time between competing in NXT and competing on the independent scene, but those who are familiar with the Superstar can’t help but take notice when he walks into an NXT arena.
Produced by British singer-songwriter Richard Myhill, his ‘London Boys’ entrance theme appeared in a History of Rock and Pop album in 2012 and is the perfect fit for Burch’s aggressive character. Give it a listen if you’ve not heard it before!
#8 Sasha Banks – Sky’s The Limit
You may have heard the story that Sasha Banks is one of the few WWE Superstars who sings her own entrance theme. Well, sorry to disappoint, but “The Legit Boss” confirmed in a July 2017 interview that the voice you hear in the track is not her and that it was just a rumour that Bayley started.
CFO$’s Mike Lauri told WWE’s official website that they “really wanted to blend polished pop with edgy hip-hop” to match Sasha’s character for her ‘Sky’s the Limit’ soundtrack, which was even performed by Snoop Dogg, Sasha’s cousin, at WrestleMania 32.
#7 Johnny Gargano – Rebel Heart
When a Superstar sends out a tweet to the world bigging up their new theme song, you just know it’s going to be good. “I think I’ve listened to my new theme song 1,765,000 times. Flame Emojis out the wazoo! I’m super excited for you guys to hear more of it..,” tweeted Johnny Gargano in July 2017.
His revamped ‘Rebel Heart’ theme uses the same instrumentals as his previous ‘From the Heart’ track that he had during the Cruiserweight Classic, but the female vocals are a brilliant addition and make this song one of the best in NXT.
#6 AJ Styles – Phenomenal
There are few things worse as a WWE Superstar than getting absolutely no reaction when your music hits. Fortunately for AJ Styles, that was never going to be the case with the ‘Phenomenal’ soundtrack that was created for him by CFO$.
“They don’t want none” isn’t just a repetitive phrase in Styles’ entrance theme, it perfectly sums up his WWE persona and it’s difficult to imagine him walking out to any other theme in the future.
CFO$’s John Alicastro revealed on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast in September 2017 that the WWE champion loved his ‘Phenomenal’ track as soon as he heard it.
#5 Finn Balor – Catch Your Breath
Finn Balor has one of the best entrances in WWE. From the lighting to the smoke to the arm movements to the crowd participation – everything about it is perfect. Most of all, though, it’s the music that really matters and ‘Catch Your Breath’ is a truly brilliant piece of work.
CFO$’s John Alicastro told WWE’s official website that they tried to capture “both his human side and The Demon King” when they made the theme to give a full representation of Balor’s two personas.
#4 Shinsuke Nakamura – The Rising Sun
You could ask 100 people to give you a top-10 list of current WWE entrance themes and there’s a good chance that every single person will have Shinsuke Nakamura’s ‘The Rising Sun’ somewhere in their selection.
CFO$’s John Alicastro revealed to WWE’s official website that the inspiration for the music came from Japanese soundtracks from video games like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid, and they tried to replicate the “epic feeling” that those themes had.
#3 Asuka – The Future
If the risk of seeing her undefeated streak end doesn’t hype you up enough for Asuka’s matches, then perhaps her entrance theme – ‘The Future’ by CFO$ – does the job instead.
With its gradual build-up and lyrics that appropriately fit the Asuka character, this song is one of the best CFO$ has produced and the words reveal everything fans need to know about why “The Empress of Tomorrow” swapped Japan for WWE in 2015.
#2 Aleister Black – Root Of All Evil
A collaboration between hardcore punk band Incendiary and WWE’s CFO$, ‘Root Of All Evil’ is the best new entrance theme we’ve heard in NXT or WWE in 2017 and the lyrics sum up Aleister Black’s intense character to absolute perfection.
The Netherlands-born Superstar revealed earlier this year on Facebook that he even played a small part in the wording of the popular lyrics, which are as follows: No man is ever truly good / No man is ever truly evil / I do the things you never could / And we won’t ever be equal.
#1 Bobby Roode – Glorious Domination
‘Glorious Domination’ was initially intended to be used by Shinsuke Nakamura. However, upon arriving in NXT, the Japanese star was not a fan of the track and chose to use ‘The Rising Sun’ instead, meaning Bobby Roode ended up with the ‘Glorious’ song when he debuted a few months later.
CFO$’s Mike Lauri admitted on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast in September 2017 that the song “could have been the biggest joke ever and gone horribly wrong”, but it has since become their most popular hit alongside ‘The Rising Sun’ while the ‘Glorious’ word is now a major part of Roode’s persona.