Wrestlemania is the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Final of Professional Wrestling and just like those events it not only displays the amazing performances of it’s own stars but often of other areas of sports and entertainment. This run down will focus on the musical acts that have performed on the “Grandest stage of ’em all” and my personal favourites. Some wrestling fans dont think there is a place for music are a wrestling show, I however, love it. I think it adds another dimension to the show of all shows and really gives it that big time feel. Plus, I’m a big music fan in general so every year I am one of those keen to find out about musical acts performing at the event, like this year when we broke the news of Travis Barker performing at the show. Wrestling and music go hand in hand in my opinion and to be honest it has played a big part in the discovery of many bands whilst I was growing up. So, here we go with my list, some include hit singles from bands and some are just kickass wrestling theme songs that have been used over the years and performed live at the once a year special event.
10) Kid Rock Medley (25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania)
Houston, Texas was the home of the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania and yours truly was in attendance. Another man in the building that night was the cocky man himself Kid Rock who performed a medley of songs “Bawitdaba”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus”, “Cowboy”, “All Summer Long” and “So Hott” The latter of the bunch was the intro to the Divas Battle Royal which as good as it may have been on paper, kind of took away from some of the special attractions to that match like some of the returning legendary Divas who perhaps didn’t get the welcome back attention that they deserved. Never the less, it was a good medley that provided a mini concert feel which to me wasn’t such a bad thing as it meant I pretty much got to see a Kid Rock concert for free. Kid Rock was also involved with the company years earlier when he performed The Undertaker’s then theme song “American Badass” live on an episode of Raw.
9) Ice T – “Pimpin Aint Easy” (Wrestlemania 2000)
The early part of the century was a strange time in not only wrestling but pop culture. The then WWF thrived on the opportunity of its ‘Attitude era’ with a more cutting edge product that was definitely more adult friendly than it had been before. One of the most outlandish characters was The Godfather who was a pimp. Yes, a pimp. His entrance on regular shows was a sight to be seen as he would lead his “Ho Train” to the ring before a match. Wrestlemania 2000 saw The Godfather team up with D’Lo Brown and their entrance featured a newly remixed version of The Godfather’s theme song with Ice T performing the track live. Ice T was fully immersed in the role of leading the Ho Train and performed a great rendition of “Pimpin’ Aint Easy” which was from the WWF’s recent compilation rap album titled WWF Aggression. This CD was one of the first I ever bought myself and whilst this track wasn’t my favourite from it, it was a perfect fit for The Godfather’s character and provided a good Wrestlemania moment. I don’t know how Ice T kept his composure with all those… uh,fans.
8) Sean “Diddy” Combs Medley (Wrestlemania 29)
WWE stepped it up for Wrestlemania 29 when they returned to what is considered home for the company to the New York metropolitan area. Although they are a global phenomenon now, their roots trace back to this area of the United States and New York in particular has been home to some of the biggest events and moments in the company’s history including the very first Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden. Therefore it was fitting to have a song like “Coming Home” by Diddy – Dirty Money featuring Skylar Grey as the homecoming events theme song. Diddy performed a number of his hits including “It’s All About the Benjamins” and “Victory” as well as one of my favourite Diddy tracks “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, which I found out was being played as I was outside Met Life stadium on a sunny day listening to sound checks which hyped me up realising this show was going to have such a big time feel.
7) Living Colour – “Cult of Personality” (Wrestlemania 29)
CM Punk went into Wrestlemania 29 after years of proving how good he was when he stepped up to the main event picture. This year he was going into the big event to face The Undertaker to try and break his legendary Wrestlemania streak. Punk had used this theme song unofficially on the independent circuit in his younger days and when he had arguably one of the biggest wrestling storylines and moments of all time in 2011 he started using “Cult of Personality” in the WWE. Living Colour performed the song for CM Punk in front of packed out Met Life stadium in New Jersey. I was in attendance that night and it was such a spectacle. The crowd were pumped up with Living Colour playing live and when CM Punk appeared the noise level got even louder. CM Punk may not have got his Wrestlemania moment in the sense that most people would have hoped he had gotten in the true main event for the companies World Heavyweight championship, but this incredible moment during a brilliantly executed feud with The Undertaker truly made CM Punk shine, as a live performance like this should do.
6) P.O.D – “Booyaka 619” (Wrestlemania 22)
When we interviewed Marcos Curiel of P.O.D we asked him about the link between the band and Rey Mysterio. Marcos was on a hiatus from the band when they performed at Wrestlemania but explained the bond between them from growing up together in the 619 area code of San Diego, California. Rey Mysterio was heading into the event after another comrade of his Eddie Guerrero had passed away months prior to the event. The wrestling world was in mourning as Rey promised to fight in Eddie’s name to get to the top of the company and he did just that, winning the World Heavyweight Championship that night. The entrance was as spectacular as Rey’s always were, from his early days on Smackdown getting thrown into their air from underneath the stage to his frequent Wrestlemania special costumes including this events Eagle head piece over his mask whilst his friends in P.O.D played him to the ring.
5) Drowning Pool – “The Game” and ”Tear Away” (Wrestlemania X8)
2002 was a big year for Drowning Pool, they had recently exploded on the Metal scene and seemed to be getting bigger and bigger until in August their singer Dave Williams was found dead on their tour bus. Just months before this sad event the band were on top form at Wrestlemania X8. They performed ‘double duty’ that night by performing an alternate version of the song “The Game” that had been featured on the brilliant WWF Forceable Entry album which had several rock and metal bands performing new WWF Superstars entrance themes. Many of the songs on the album became the Superstars official theme song but Drowning Pool’s “The Game” wasn’t one of those tracks and has only been used by Triple H at this one event. They also performed the events official theme song “Tear Away” in front of a great video package hyping up the Main event between Triple H and heavy metal’s own Chris Jericho. This period in wrestling and rock music seemed to really fuse well together, especially when it came to these brilliantly well put together video packages.
4) Saliva – “Turn the Tables” and “Superstar” (Wrestlemania X8)
Saliva also pulled ‘double duty’ at Wrestlemania X8 with opening the event with a great performance of their track “Superstar” that pumped up the Toronto crowd for one of the biggest Wrestlemania’s to date. The performance had a brilliant put together video package playing on the big screens that hyped up the nights coming events. Later that night Josey and the boys made their second appearance when they played the Dudley Boyz and Stacy Keibler to the ring with their then new theme song also off of the amazing WWF Forceable Entry album. One of my favourite things about this performance was seeing the 3 of them get involved with the band as Stacy danced with Josey as the Dudleyz head banged with the rest of the band, including Bubba even smashing his hands on the drum cymbals. Saliva later worked with the company again providing the theme song for Batista.
3) Mark Crozer & The Rels – “Live in Fear” (Wrestlemania 29)
This performance was definatley one of the best visually. Mark Crozer is most known for his time touring with the band The Jesus and the Mary Chain and with Jim Reid’s solo project. But at this event it was Mark in the spotlight with his own band playing in Bray Wyatt and his Wyatt Family in with an eerie performance of “Live in Fear”. Bray’s entrance is always something to grab your attention but the element of a live band whom were all in well suited freaky costumes and the tens of thousands of Bray’s followers holding lights up was something special that only the ‘Grandest stage of em all’ can provide.
2) Motorhead – “The Game” (Wrestlemania X-Seven)
Triple H has long shown his affection for England’s Metal legends Motorhead, using three Motorhead songs as his entrance theme over his illustrious career. Hunter is a well known Metal head and was the one who orchestrated getting one of his favourite bands involved with the wrestling world. Wrestlemania X-Seven is probably my favourite Wrestlemania ever and I love everything about it including Motorhead playing “The Game” to a sold out Astro Dome in Houston Texas as Triple H made his way to the ring to become another tombstone in The Undertakers streak. But, before it all went wrong for the cerebral assassin he had a memorablel entrance. Even though Lemmy didn’t remember all of the words, it couldn’t take away the fact that we were seeing something special here with one of the best wrestling themes ever being performed by such a legendary band for such a legendary wrestler in his prime. They performed it again at Wrestlemania 21 when a Lemmy inspired ‘handle bar’ moustache sporting Triple H came through the floor of the stage in the middle of the band playing, which was a pretty cool visual. The X-Seven performance is my pick though as it was the first time they played it live and to be honest Lemmy still didn’t know the words 4 years later anyway. But hey, it’s Lemmy.
1) Limp Bizkit – “Crack Addict” and “Rollin” (Wrestlemania XIX)
It had been a year since The Undertaker stopped using Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin” as his entrance theme but the opportunity for them to play it live for him came up in 2003 when they were also appearing at the event to perform their latest track “Crack Addict” which was used as the official theme song for Wrestlemania XIX. The song never made it to an official release and was dropped from the bands upcoming “Results May Vary” album, but this performance of the song was one of my favourite Wrestlemania performances. Guitarst Wes Borland had left the band in what began the first Bizkit Borland drought but they had recently hired Mike Smith as his replacement, not only did he perform with them but as did Brian ‘Head’ Welch of Korn. The performance was not only a great Wrestlemania moment but also a very big moment for Limp Bizkit fans as it was a very rare performance with Head and playing “Crack Addict”. A performance that was ripped and uploaded to many old school sharing applications and spread around as the only way to get a hold of the Limp Bizkit track that since had gone under the radar. Fred Durst and the boys went straight into playing “Rollin” as Fred and his ‘Bizketts‘ made his way to the ring to await and embrace The Undertaker when the ‘American Badass’ himself rode his motorcycle down the massive ramp towards wrestling immortality and on to defeat the legendary Ric Flair, adding another name for the tombstones to mark his winning streak.
You can find all of these performances on the WWE Network.