To a casual viewer, a wrestler’s entrance music may seem like a random generic soundtrack thrown together so that the contestant has something to pump them up while they walk to the ring. But that’s just scratching the surface. True fans know that a wrestler’s entrances are an integral part of their character work and personality. They’re important pieces of world building and storytelling that also help get the fans hyped to see their favorite performers. And the music is only part of that experience. The way a wrestler walks to the ring and how they enter it are just as much a part of their character’s entrance as the music they choose.
The Attitude Era didn’t just produce some of the most popular wrestlers of all time, it blessed us with some of the most epic entrance sequences as well. Wrestlers like The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the New Age Outlaws have iconic entrances that not only sold the idea of their characters but also had fans entranced in the moment. To celebrate our upcoming WWE collaboration, we broke down some of the best entrances of the Attitude Era and why they captured the minds and hearts of fans around the world.
The New Age Outlaws
“OH, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?” Four words spoken by one half of arguably the Attitude Era’s most successful and popular tag team, The New Age Outlaws, was all it took. Bad Ass Billy Gunn and The Road Dogg Jesse James were Tag Team Champions multiple times and consistent merch movers. Part of the Outlaws’ success came from their instantly recognizable, part-acapella, part-bluesy hard rock entrance theme. Road Dogg, always equipped with a microphone as they entered, performed the words to their entrance song live every single show. Once they entered the ring, he would then rattle off an intro that every fan in attendance would recite with him. Once he finished his part, he’d hand the mic to Billy Gunn, who’d run through the official Outlaw decree: “And if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for you...” At which point the crowd would thunderously respond, “SUCK IT!” Iconic duo. Iconic entrance.
D-Generation X’s villainous ring performances, balanced with their backstage mischief, personified the shift in tone for the WWE as it evolved from the times of prototype herculean good guys like Hulk Hogan to a grittier generation of anti-heroes like Steve Austin and The Rock. DX were as anti-authority as anyone could be, and their music more than sold the idea. With their bootleg Rage Against The Machine intro theme blaring, DX captured the sound of the time. Big guitar chords, crashing cymbals, and lyrics telling you, “We just got tired of doing what you told us to do,” were only part of the DX-rated magic. They’d walk to the ring yelling, taunting, spitting water, and crotch chopping anyone in their way. Once in the ring, each member would take a post and green fireworks would fire off in the shape of an “X” as the members crotch-chopped in sync with the pyrotechnics. As if they needed anything else, after the fireworks Triple H would hit the mic for a call and response moment that elicited Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Instead of the word rumble, though, the crowd would help Hunter finish with DX’s signature taunt.
Remember when vampires weren’t mopey, sparkling heartthrobs? Wrestling fans in the 90’s did, because one of the coolest tag teams of the Attitude Era was The Brood. A crew of three members, The Brood was comprised of actual childhood friends, Edge and Christian, and led by Gangrel. They didn’t last long in the grand scheme of things but their entrance was (and is still) a fan favorite. Red strobe lights flickered over the ramp and ring, the trio would emerge from a ring of fire on the stage, and then stalk their way to the ring in sunglasses and blouses that would make Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt jealous. Once they were ringside, with all the menace and creepiness you’d expect, they’d stare down the crowd and spit blood toward bystanders. All of this occurred while one of the illest Attitude Era themes bumped into the arena. Eerie, staccato breath noises punctuated the air before distorted guitars growled over synth organs and string arrangements. The Brood’s entrance not only sounded slick as hell but it enhanced the gimmick. It’s definitely a slept-on classic.
It’s understandable if you thought this entrance would be number one. It wouldn’t be a proper Attitude Era list without this guy. When the glass broke and those guitars started riffing, you knew the proverbial shit was about to hit the fan. Stone Cold Steve Austin is on the Mt. Rushmore of wrestling. He’s one of the industry’s most well known personalities. The Attitude Era wouldn’t be what it was without him and part of his gritty, redneck, anti-hero charm came from his simple but resounding entrance. The sound effect of the glass shattering sent fans into a frenzy. If you rewatch random entrances on YouTube, you’d be hard pressed to see a crowd pop quite like they do when that glass breaks. INSTANT INSANITY. Stone Cold would hit the ramp with a fury only The Texas Rattlesnake could. He’d walk down the ramp with purpose — head jerking, mouth running, middle fingers flying — and blow through rivals like a storm. Guitars chugged and wailed as Stone Cold would leave anyone in the ring battered and broken like the glass that cued him. It would probably be the number one entrance on this list if it weren’t for one other person...
The Dead Man…
The Prince of Darkness…
As one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time, The Undertaker definitely has the most iconic entrance ever. DX’s “Suck it” chants, The Brood’s blood spitting, and Stone Cold’s broken glass are all noteworthy, but very few entrances are as timeless as Taker’s. With the main lights down, smoke covering the stage and entrance ramp, purple lights casting a ghostly hue over the darkened arena as the sounds of thunder and lightning bombard the crowd, Taker would lumber ominously to the ring as a funeral dirge played, signifying the arrival of the WWE’s most imposing combatant. The Dead Man’s entrance puts hair on end and sends chills down spines. The lights, smoke, and fire effects, paired with the haunting bells over sinister organ keys, evoked a man born from the depths of evil. Most of the entrances on this list play up the wrestlers’ identity, but none more than Taker’s. The character was introduced in 1990 and his theme has remained mostly the same throughout, with some variations occurring here and there to keep things fresh. It’s an unmistakable entrance for an unkillable wrestler.