What Makes a Good Theme Submitted by Steve Perry on 12/26/2017 at 10:03 AM
A good wrestling theme needs one key thing: it has to be recognizable right away. If a theme doesn’t have a strong opening, it can fall flat. Glass shattering, a big guitar chord, “If you smell…”, the list goes on and on. Having a good theme is essential. These days, everyone in WWE has a good theme, but that wasn’t always the case. Themes like what X-Factor had, Test’s 2nd theme, and David Flair’s WWE theme, just to name a few, are examples of bad themes. A couple of those songs improperly and suddenly change tempo. David Flair’s theme was just the same generic guitar riff over and over, ad nauseum.
Suffice it to say, keeping the same tempo is pretty important. Test had a great theme, for example. Then they took the opening and slapped it on another song. Just like X-Factor’s Uncle Kracker theme, the whole thing changes tempo to become slower for no reason, not to mention the lazy edit of pasting “X-Factor” over “that fact” without even *trying* to remove the original lyrics. If you can’t, for some reason, then you leave it alone and *don’t do the edit*. Changing the tempo *can* work if the transition is good. A good example of this is Doink the Clown’s heel theme. While it retained the same opening, it stepped down into a slower, dark theme. Not only does the theme fit the character, the tempo shift from the opening is done well.
Next thing, the theme has to fit the wrestler. For example, Triple H’s main theme is “The Game” by Motorhead. The Triple H character is a very hard-nosed, tough-as-nails fighter type. The song features heavy guitars and ideal vocals. Adding in his Evolution and “King of Kings” themes and you have the Motorhead trifecta, a band that Hunter was very close with. These songs suit the character perfectly like the themes do these days. The X-Factor theme is another good example of a theme that doesn’t fit the workers who are using it. Uncle Kracker’s “Whatchu Lookin’ At” does not make a good theme where and how they edited it. It doesn’t fit the combination of power and speed that X-Factor was supposed to represent.
Finally, the theme should prepare the crowd for what they’re about. This is a little like fitting the wrestler but, since themes are for the audience, it’s good to prepare them for what they’re about to see. WWE does a really good job of this… these days. Take Randy Orton. His original theme suited his character well. Egotistical and boastful. Now, his character is more stealth than anything and his current theme suits that. Vance Archer used to have a theme that was far too fast for a big power wrestler. It would be better suited for a cruiserweight or somebody who does a lot of aerial attacks or “flippy shit”. Vance should have a much slower theme. Not slow since he isn’t a slow, methodical character. Something like “Wild Child” from W.A.S.P. is good for him.
So, it needs to quickly be recognized, the same tempo, fit the wrestler, and prepare the crowd. Not too much to ask, right? These days, in WWE, they seem to understand. What themes do you think are good and what do you hate? Let us know in the comments.