The WWE will bring Raw and SmackDown Live back to Phoenix on February 19 and 20. (Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster). The last time the wrestling promotion brought back-to-back shows to the Valley, we celebrated the occasion by ranking all the wrestler theme songs on SmackDown Live.
We're doing it again, but this time for the "red brand." Before breaking down our ranked list of the Raw theme songs, some notes about our methodology.
We included the 205 Live cruiserweight division in our rankings since they're a part of the Raw show. Some tag teams are represented by one entry, while other tag team wrestlers are ranked separately if each member does a lot of singles matches. Wrestlers that are currently working as valets, like The Miztourage and Dana Brooke, were not given individual entries. Active managers like Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon are represented in the rankings.
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We tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible, but considering the size of the roster and how often folks drop in and out of active status, we may have missed some people. The only intentional omission to our list is Kalisto (who was already ranked on our SmackDown list).
And now for the final caveat: There's no science to this. It's 100 percent subjective.
51. The Big Show
Every time the Big Show's theme plays a million dead bluesmen roll in their graves.
50. Tony Nese
It's bad enough that the only gimmick WWE Creative could come up with for Tony Nese was, "Uh, he's got abs, I guess." Giving him a theme song that sounds like a high school metal band trying to cover Baltimora's "Tarzan Boy" is just kicking him while he's down.
49. Mustafa Ali
Not only is the Cruiserweight division unpopular with the fans, it seems that the Muses themselves aren't keen on them. What else could explain how absolutely terrible most of the CW themes are? Mustafa Ali is actually pretty fun to watch work a match: He flips and jumps around with the grace of a ninja. But good lord, this song. It's like the Muses just farted in the songwriter's ear and said, "Yeah, that's all we got."
48. Nia Jax
Her song is right: Nia Jax isn't like most girls. Most girls don't have a song as terminally lame as this one forever associated with their name. Nia should use her considerable power and strength to put whoever wrote this abomination face-first through a table.
47. The Revival
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson's Southern-fried theme song is the kind of tune that's so over the top even Kid Rock would think twice about recording it. "Don't need your slick / Don't need your city." Ugh.
46. Noam Dar
This cruiserweight's theme sounds like the guys from South Park tried to record a Boston parody, said screw it halfway through, and did Jefferson Starship instead.
45. Curt Hawkins
On a musical level, this theme is actually kinda interesting. It's got a bit of Franz Ferdinand swing here, some epic Mega Man riffage there. It's busy and all over the place, but not boring. However, it's ranked so low because it's Curt friggin' Hawkins' theme. The only theme a wrestler as terminally lame as Hawkins deserves is an audio recording of him crying himself to sleep at night.
44. Big Cass
The entrance music for Big Cass fits him like a glove. It's big, loud, sweaty, and totally unremarkable in every way. At best it might make good hold music for the answering machine at Roadrunner Records.
43. Mandy Rose
Oh man. The only thing worse than when WWE goes hard rock for themes is when they try to do "sexy lady" themes. Their flirty club bangers are the aural equivalent of a corkscrew burrowing into your cochlear.
42. Lince Dorado
If given the choice between listening to this theme song again or watching someone play any song on any Guitar Hero game, Guitar Hero wins out every time. Luchador? More like LuchaDON'T.
41. Alicia Fox
Do you ever wonder what a new C+C Music Factory song would sound like in 2018? Pretty sure it would sound a lot like Alicia Fox's theme.
40. Heath Slater & Rhyno
Heath Slater's tag is "I Got Kids." The tag for whoever wrote this song should be "I Got Buckcherry CDs in My Car Stereo."
39. Braun Strowman
Sigh. A wrestler as transcendentally awesome as Braun "The Monster Among Men" deserves a better theme than this generic slice of doom-y guitar noodling. The man can flip over ambulances for Christ's sake! Just give him some King Kong music and let him wreck all the havoc his truck-sized heart desires.
38. The Brian Kendrick
If you like the dude who raps in 311, I guess you'll think this track is okay. As themes go, it could be worse. It does feel like a missed opportunity, though: The Brian Kendrick is the closest thing to a Father John Misty doppelganger that the WWE has. They should have roped in FJM to write a sardonic theme for his wrestler brother from another mother.
This sounds like a song written by a band that would play at 2 p.m. on The Warped Tour. No, we take that back. That isn't being fair to the bands that play at 2 p.m. on The Warped Tour.
36. The Hardy Boyz
Now that Matt's become "Woke Matt," he and Jeff are doing singles matches again. My opinion of them as single wrestlers and as a tag team mirrors my feelings for their entrance: *shrug*. Woke Matt would be way more interesting if he started a Tumblr and posted long rants about cultural appropriation.
35. Ariya Daivari
The fact that Ariya Daivari's theme sounds like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra trying to record a song for the Aladdin remake is bad enough. The fact that the song is called "Magic Carpet Ride" is just the icing on a culturally insensitive cake.
WWE should scrap this tuneless riffage and find some music that better reflects Neville's look as the King Of The Bodybuilding Dark Elves. Get some lute players and a few aggro harpists in the booth and let 'em rip.
33. Brock Lesnar
Brock's theme is a throwback to the halcyon days of nu-metal, where even bands that didn't have a rapper still felt compelled to add a DJ to their lineup. In between big ol' slabs of hard rock guitar, there's some faint scratching going on. Perhaps The Beast Incarnate, the Mayor of Suplex City himself, enjoys unwinding to some Incubus after turning 30 different shades of red in the ring.
32. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa's entrance music is a strange beast. It's propelled by a guitar riff and bursts of horns that come straight outta Kill Bill. It should feel super energetic, but instead comes across as vaguely lethargic. It's like an inspirational sports anthem for taking a power nap in between training montages.
31. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is a fun personality. Whether it's sneaking into the arena dressed as a Mountie or sacking somebody while wearing a bear suit, the Lunatic Fringe is always up to pull some charmingly goofy antics. If only his theme song were as fun to listen to. It's yet another in a long line of half-baked hard rock riff-fests that aim for heavy metal but sound so lightweight a pigeon could carry it off between its talons.
30. The Miz & The Miztourage
Don't get us wrong: The Miz is the best. Few people do as fine a job at playing a conceited, vain, egotistical megalomaniac with the fashion sense of a Full Metal Alchemist solider as Mix does, but this song is not (as the man would say) aaaaaaaawesome. Not even close. He and Miztourage cronies Bo "The Superior Wyatt Brother" Dallas and Curtis "I'm Just Grateful To Be Here" Axel deserve better walk-on music than this rejected P.O.D. B-side.
29. Cedric Alexander
Sure, this song basically sounds like it was scraped from the bottom of Will.i.am's recycle bin, but anytime the WWE gives somebody a theme song that isn't LOUD DISTORTED GUITAR + WHITE GUY SHOUTING, we start to feel generous.
28. Jack Gallagher
Now this is fun! It's English pomposity turned up to 11. The only thing that Gallagher's missing with this intro is a Buckingham Palace guard valet. Or him pedaling to the stage on top of a giant velocipede.
27. Apollo Crews
Titus Worldwide's first signee has got a pretty nifty walk-on song. It comes off as a hip-hop Rocky track, with triumphant horns, insistent beats, and the occasional "hey" percolating in the background.
26. Hideo Itami
Itami's a recent addition to the cruiserweights. Unlike many of his peers in that division, his entrance music is pretty neat: a blend of traditional Japanese instrumentation and hard rock riffs. It isn't a very memorable tune, but the interweaving of different musical styles makes it more interesting than your average wrestling theme.
Despite being consigned to the pitiless purgatory that is the cruiserweight division, it's hard not to root for everybody's favorite cinephile wrestler. Especially when he has this glorious soap opera music theme announcing that he's "on set."
24. Mickie James
Yeah, we like Toni Basil. Sue us.
R-Truth's been missing in action ever since he played the Fredo to Goldust's Michael, but here's hoping he comes back soon because the raspy, hoarse "What's Up" is a real treat.
22. Seth Rollins
This entrance music is to heavy metal what rice cakes are to food. Yeah, it's completely flavorless, but it's also inoffensive and can help stave off a craving in a pinch. What's far more troubling is WWE's refusal to lean into Seth's architect gimmick. Show him backstage with some blueprints, furiously consulting R. Buckminster Fuller books to figure out the best moves to drop on his enemies. That gimmick would be so much more awesome than "bad-ass dude with wet hair."
21. Sasha Banks
Sasha's theme sounds like someone programmed a Rihanna track into a picturebook's soundboard. It's rinky-dink, cheesy, and infectious.
20. Gallows & Anderson
The endearingly dorky duo got the band back together with Finn, but their duo music deserves a mention. It's another WWE hard rocker, but the vocals have some actual personality to 'em, and there's a neat sound that happens before the chorus like an electrified gong going off.
19. Alexa Bliss
There are many reasons why Alexa Bliss should be classified as a national treasure. The fact that her theme song sounds like somebody got an EDM bass drop both drunk and seasick at the same time is one of them.
18. Roman Reigns
Roman's hard rockin' intro stand outs for its emphasis on drums, giving it a nice Neanderthal vibe. It's a compelling knuckle-dragging anthem for The Big Wet Moose.
17. Finn Balor
Speaking of Balor, his theme song also manages to distinguish itself from the hard rocking herd by boasting some pretty tasty riffing and a sense of grandeur. There's something about the song that screams epic. It could do double duty as Final Fantasy boss fight music.
16. Sonya Deville
It starts off with what sounds like a lightsaber duel and then builds to a drum line squaring off against horns, angelic voices, and squelchy electronics. It's like someone gave John Williams an orchestra and a bunch of Ecstasy and told him to go nuts.
15. Stephanie McMahon
Steph's theme song has the potential to be a halfway decent R&B song. It's a pity it's wasted on THE WORST MCMAHON.
14. Jason Jordan
Jason Jordan is living proof that anything is possible. If you work hard enough and believe in yourself, you can achieve your dreams. Who would have thought that any wrestler could become more hated than Roman "Poochie" Reigns? Somehow Jordan pulled it off. By sheer force of will, he made the impossible possible. And he's got a douche-rap intro that does him justice in all his smirking, obnoxious glory.
13. Gran Metalik
Well, here's one way to spice up a hard rock intro: Throw in a shit-ton of Spanish horns and a splash of acoustic guitar. It's an intriguing but messy mix that sounds like a mariachi band duking it out in with a speed metal group.
12. Cesaro & Sheamus
Their song is a lot like their tag team: It shouldn't work but somehow it does. Take a giant Celtic punk looking dude, put him with the Swiss Jason Statham, and you've got tag team gold. It's an unlikely bromance, but it's hard not to want to see these crazy kids go the distance. And while their song is a weird mix of ambulance sirens and Bond music and bagpipes and Celtic hard rock, it comes together just right.
11. Rich Swann
More WWE themes should be taking their cues from Morris Day. Swann's got an infectious funk intro that actually makes us look forward to watching a cruiserweight match. No easy feat. Plus: Swann gets bonus points for rocking a Kendrick Lamar haircut.
10. Samoa Joe
This is some straight-up Godzilla stepping on your hood shit. That MF Doom hasn't jacked this entire song and rapped over it is simply tragic. The only way Joe's entrance could be better is if they were to lay down a tiny cardboard city for him to stomp all over on the way to the ring.
Yes, we kvetch a lot about the hard rock intros, but this is how you do it right. Lean into the absurdity and go full on Ghouls N Goblins with it. You can practically see the Hearse the guitar is shredding on top of.
8. Drew Gulak
Whoever decided to give Drew Gulak a newsroom theme song should be given a gold medal and a year's supply of Toblerones. More wrestlers should be given breaking news-style entrances. Every time Gulak's music hits, we're expecting the cameras to cut to the Senate floor for an announcement. It's X-Treme C-SPAN: The Soundtrack.
Elias is a thing of beauty. Between his terrible ballads, how he inspires a constant stream of hatred from Corey Graves, and his tendency to use acoustic guitars as a weapon, he's part open mic attention whore and part Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse. And this dusty, spacey roadside riff-fest is a perfect soundtrack. May we all be so lucky to walk with Elias for years to come.
A song fit for an empress. It's regal and rocking and slinky, creeping up on the listener like a jungle cat.
5. Titus O'Neil
With a song this slick,you can't help but make "million dollar moves." Aside from AJ Styles' theme on SmackDown, this is the best hip-hop-inspired theme in the WWE. And it couldn't be attached to a more deserving guy. Titus is such a charismatic presence on the mic that he's single-handedly made boring wrestlers like Apollo Crews and Dana Brooke fun to watch again. Here's some rock solid advice, folks: Invest in Titus Worldwide.
4. Kurt Angle
As the old saying goes: If you're gonna steal, steal from the best. Raw GM Kurt Angle's theme is a shameless swagger jack of every piece of music you've ever heard in a Rocky film, and it's all the better for it. It's true, it's damn true.
If Kesha made music for kids' shows, it would probably sound like Bayley's theme. A joyous and giddy party song, it emanates the kind of fun and positive vibes that are Lil Miss I'm A Hugger's calling cards. And it's a catchy enough song that it almost makes you believe the inflatable tube-men flailing onstage during Bayley's entrance are actually just dancing along to her music.
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TJP is a smarmy, cocky, pretty boy cruiserweight, but goddamn if he doesn't have one of the best themes out there. Who would have thought you'd ever hear a chiptune-inspired theme song in the WWE? TJP's "Game Boy on speed" theme is sweet music to this 8-bit loving fan's ears. Of course it's shameless nerd pandering, but who cares when it sounds this good?
1. Bray Wyatt
Let's get something straight right off the bat: Bray Wyatt is awful. He's a heel who constantly loses matches, his backstory is hokey and convoluted and dumb, his supernatural gimmicks are goofy, his whole half-baked Rob Zombie aesthetic is lame, and his promos are so long-winded and painful to listen to that we're convinced Hell is listening to him improv on the mic for all eternity.
That being said, his theme is fantastic. It's moody, subtle, and evocative. It casts a sinister spell every time it plays, giving him an aura of malice and evil that makes us forget about how embarrassing his whole schtick is. It makes us forget about how much of a goofball he is. And if that's not a clear indicator that this is a world-class theme song, we don't know what is.