WWE Superstars Break Down Their Entrance Music & What Makes for a Great Song Choice (2024)

Aside from the high-flying acrobatics, rousing promos, and thrilling finishers inside the square circle, a fan’s introduction to the WWE typically begins on the walkway to the ring. An entrance song can either make or break the career of a WWE superstar. Legends such as Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, The Rock, and John Cena all had one thing in common: a killer entrance song that struck a chord within the WWE Universe. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin’s iconic theme “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me,” which instantly begins with the sound of glass shattering, continues to stagger fans more than 25 years after its debut.

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Billboard spoke to today’s modern-day WWE stars LA Knight, Damian Priest, Karrion Kross, and Shayna Baszler about what it takes to make a great entrance theme and the origin of their own.

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What Makes a Great Entrance Song:

LA Knight: I don’t know if I can put my finger on it exactly but for me personally, I know I want strong drums — which, if you listened to the last couple of weeks, there’s been a little bit of a tweak to “Knight Vision,” because I asked them to bring the drums up a bit. It’s going to give me a different feel when I walk out there. It’s going to be a little hard-hitting, stronger feel, but it’s just gotta be something you can vibe with, that you like, and you feel.

I was instrumental in putting that together and I wasn’t in the studio — I wanted to be — but basically, when I first came in, it was like, “Hey. Look. I’ve made my own music in the past. Here’s what I made. Here’s what I like and it’s based on this.” Then, they gave me [“Knight Vision”] out of it. It was like, “OK. That’s good.” It works because if you don’t feel that music, if you just pick any old random [song], man, you’re taking the air out of the tires before you even take off.

Karrion Kross: There’s a certain magic between a performer and his music that can’t be given and can’t be necessarily created. I don’t necessarily think every entrance and every music will fit just anyone. There’s something that happens I think beyond my comprehension between the performer and his music where the music can sort of bring that performer to life and that performer brings that music to life. I feel like it’s kind of a simpatico relationship.

Damian Priest: The sound has to bring out an emotion and that emotion has to pair with the superstar. If you have something that’s too fast and the person is generally a slower person, it won’t mix well and it’ll throw you off. You don’t want something too happy sounding for somebody who’s kind of brooding all the time. It always has to pair with the personality. Usually, most music — you’ll get an emotion out of it. I think the composers usually make it like that on purpose. So that’s basically what you want, you want that emotion to match the superstar.

Shayna Baszler: I think first and foremost it has to be recognizable, which might take [a while]. Obviously, your first time out there nobody is going to recognize the song, but that means it gotta be catchy. And I don’t mean catchy in like a pop-punk sort of way, but something that when the first note hits, people start knowing what’s coming next. It doesn’t take a second to go, “Wait. Who is this? Who is this?” Like right from the get, it gotta be recognizable. And then I think it’s important that it sets the mood of that wrestler. So you get someone like a Karrion Kross — he comes out and it’s real moody and it’s a very different aura than like a Seth Rollins, but, very much fit to their characters.

How Their Entrance Song Came Together

Karrion Kross: My wife [Scarlett] sings the song. She was an Arts major from Chicago. When Scarlett and I were in NXT for our introduction to the company, we had many creative meetings, and I had submitted some independent cinematography that I had written, directed, filmed and post-produced to Triple H. It was stuff I was using on the independent side before I got to WWE, and I used a lot of black and white. I used very specific settings, very specific colors in the video and I think that subconsciously, when we see movies or television, in the back of our minds — because we consume so much material — I think we feel inclined to sort of score it. If we had to, we’d know what an environment would sound like musically.

I think Triple H has the magic touch with that. He took my original concepts and my visions and he just kind of scored it with the in-house music group. That’s kind of where that music came from. It was a very cool and organic way we came to that. And with the visual presentation, we collaboratively came up with that. How we moved down to the ring was something that I came up with my wife Scarlett. The background, lighting and music was very much Triple H.

Damian Priest: My first theme song when I was in NXT, we had the idea. I explained to them who I am and what I’m like. I’m basically a night owl with this rock star vibe, but still a badass of where, I’m going to come in and I’m gonna beat people up in the ring and whatnot. There was a lot of different emotions for the composer to pick from, but they came up with something — and even though I didn’t hate it, I thought [something] was still missing. It was missing some double bass, it was missing some heavier guitar riffs, maybe some slower parts and some symphony sounds to make it epic-sounding. There was a little back-and-forth, and when we finally settled on a sound, I was like, “OK. That’s the one.”

For The Judgement Day, the idea with the theme song was originally Edge. He had a vision of what he wanted his Judgement Day to be like. He went and he did that side with the music. It fit what we wanted to do — and as a group, we’re all individually different. We’re all bringing out a different emotion, which is kind of like a cool dynamic of why I believe we work so well together. Because we’re not all the same, we’re very different. But that song fits all the emotions that we want: a little darker, a little ominous, we’re a little weird, if that’s the case, but exciting and powerful. There’s a lot of emotions that that song brings out, and I think that’s why it works so well with The Judgement Day.

Shayna Baszler: I’m in this tag-team right now with Ronda [Rousey], who has a very iconic entrance song, so it just makes sense that we come out to that. But as far as [my first entrance song] “Loyalty Is Everything” — if I’m being honest, I didn’t like it at first, but it actually really grew on me to the point that I almost didn’t wanna change it when it was time. I know fans really loved that song, too, because they still kind of complain about the new one, “Limb By Limb.” But the thing with “Limb by Limb” is that when I was wrestling in the indies — I’m a huge Kiss fan. They were, like, my first favorite band. My dad took me to a concert when I was real young, and I was like, “These guys are so cool! There’s fire!”

“God of Thunder” was a song that I used as an entrance. But I needed something a lot heavier, so I found this band called EXCRUCIATION that did a cover of “God of Thunder,” and I came out to their song — their version of it. When I was ping-ponging with WWE about a new entrance song, I sent them this track, and if you listen to this EXCRUCIATION version of “God of Thunder” and the song “Limb By Limb,” you’ll see where it comes from. It’s very much inspired by that. “God of Thunder ” — my indie theme — is very much the mood that I was talking about that I love, and feel like I’m coming out to. I had a hand in it and I like it.

LA Knight: When [“Knight Vision”] was first done when I was in NXT, it had this longer intro with a drum roll and all that kind of stuff. That was OK at the time, because with the presentation and what not, it had a little bit of a build or whatever, but eventually I was like, “Hey guys. Can we cut that and just get straight from LA Knight into the song. So we ended up doing that maybe late 2021 and it just gave it such a different feel because now when it hits, it’s on. There’s no waiting. There’s no build. There’s no nothing, it’s just boom, in your face and here we are.

Personal Favorite Entrance Songs:

LA Knight: NWO is just top-top. That is just filthy and good. Steve Austin, but particularly the first Stone Cold [theme]. We hear the one now and it’s almost exactly the same, but there’s little instrumental differences — like when the glass breaks and it takes off, it just has more of a raw feel to it, whereas the other one is more produced. I’m sure it has a more vibrant sound or whatever, but the first one is so raw, and it just feels dirty in the right way. You got the siren going and it’s the right drums. It just feels chaotic, especially towards the end where those drums are just going. [I’m also a fan of] all of The Rock’s themes up until…ah probably all of them really. I can’t get away from [Hulk] Hogan’s “The Real American.” How many WWE events ended going out on that music and him posing? That’s my childhood.

You know, Edge — I never really got into Edge’s music, until maybe the last six months and I was in the gym and it came on a shuffle. I was like, “Oh. This hits.” There’s so many options out there. You’re talking “Million Dollar Man,” “D-Generation X,” “No Chance in Hell,” anything from the Attitude Era you can take. Those things were just on point. Everything was hitting.

Karrion Kross: Growing up I wanted to know who was doing all the music and the entrances. I was always a fan of learning about the production and the directorial stuff behind the scenes. So I would watch the programs that WWE put out for fans and it was this guy Jim Johnston that wrote a lot of the music. I watched this behind-the-scenes video that the company released about how Jim would write music based on the way people would move, and just their vibe. I specifically remember how he wrote Psycho Syd’s music, or Vader, and how the percussion would sort of land on every single step at the speed that they walked. The music was written around mood.

I loved Mankind’s music. It was almost like a Silence of the Lambs score. Obviously, I loved Triple H, The Undertake and Gangrel. He had an amazing entrance, but I was very much inspired by the entire show. I had my favorites, but I really just enjoyed the show overall.

Damian Priest: I’ve had a lot of favorites. My [favorite] wrestler Razor Ramon’s theme song worked for him where that beat and that cool Latino swag was perfect. For me personally, that wouldn’t fit — as much as I liked him, his personality and the way he was, we’re still a little different. That wouldn’t fit me. I was always more drawn towards the stuff that had more rock in it, was a little heavier and a little bit more evil-sounding, for a lack of a better term.

Shayna Baszler: We talked about Karrion Kross. I think he has a cool entrance. He has one of the best ones. I really like those entrances where they come out in the dark like Karrion Kross or it doesn’t have to be moody or scary but Bobby [Lashley], he looks like a trophy action figure guy with the drums going bong, bong, bong. Holy smokes, that’s cool. I really like The War Raiders. Their entrance is cool and I love the horn because that’s legit. Back in the day, you’d hear these war horns and it would instill fear in you because you knew these raiding parties were about to hit your village. So I always imagined that when I hear their music.

WWE Superstars Break Down Their Entrance Music & What Makes for a Great Song Choice (2024)
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