Although the wrestling boom of the late '90s is a fading memory, the absurd mix of sport and theater continues on in bingo halls and arenas across the country. Every night, under the bright lights, someone is trying to avoid being hit with a steel chair.
It should come as no surprise that there are plenty of musicians out there that are wrestling fans. Although they don't all go as far as the Insane Clown Posse or Billy Corgan and open up their own wrestling federations, their love of the squared circle shows up in the songs they write.
Wrestlemania was a few weeks back, but Rocks Off is still on a wrestling high. It reminds us that there are some great songs out there that mention the squared circle. Lace up those boots, grab your favorite foreign object and see if any of these songs will be your entrance music the next time you step in the ring.
5. Ramones, "The Crusher": Nicknames play a big part in pro wrestling. There's no quicker way for a new fan to pick up on the good guy/bad guy dynamic than to look at the nicknames of the people in the ring. "The American Dream"? Good chance he's a baby face. "The Prince of Darkness"? Probably not so good.
"The Crusher" is a throwback to simpler names and simpler times. His nemesis? The Russian Bear. The battleground? Madison Square Garden. The moves? Nothing fancier than a pile driver.
Plenty of men have gone by the name "The Crusher" over the years, the most famous being Reginald Lisowski. If the song is about a real wrestler it isn't Crusher Lisowski -- his finishing move was the Crusher Claw.
4. Belvedere, "The Bottom Line": Every generation has its hero. In the '80s, it was the mass of muscles encouraging you to "say your prayers" and "take your vitamins" known as Hulk Hogan. In the '90s, the hero came in the form of a beer-drinking, hell-raising rattlesnake known as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
The track covers many of the highlights of the "Stone Cold" phenomenon, including the catchphrases (Austin 3:16, opening up a can of whoop-ass) and the rivalries (Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels).
Even if you're not a wrestling fan, you probably know about "Stone Cold." With his fine line of direct-to-DVD action flicks, appearances on shows like Celebrity Deathmatch and the biggest-selling T-shirt in wrestling history, even people who hate wrestling know he exists. It only makes sense he's immortalized in song.
3. Peelander-Z, "Terry Funk": There are many ways to describe the members of Peelander-Z, but the most relevant one to this blog comes down to one word: champions.
Jerry Only might have competed in a cage match and Shaggy 2 Dope might have been power-bombed on top of a bus, but only Peelander-Z can say that they won a championship belt during one of their concerts. Peelander Blue and Red pinned Nick Mayberry for the title, with assistance from a Singapore cane and a bottle of Windex.
As for the song, it asks one simple question: Terry Funk or Terry Punk? Does Terry Punk carry a branding iron and hail from The Double Cross Ranch? Probably not. Go with "The Texan" on this one.
2. Killer Mike, "Ric Flair": Here's a theory: Ric Flair is the man every rapper wants to be. He surrounds himself with the finest women, travels the world by private jet and has a wardrobe to die for. He's also got a loyal crew that would never stab him in the back and are dedicated to keeping him on top.
He's Rick Ross, and the Four Horsemen are his Maybach Music.
Not only that, but he's also the greatest promo man in wrestling history. All those bits where he's sampled on the track? That's him doing what he does best: Letting everyone know just how great he is.
1. Hot Chip, "Wrestlers": Now, not every song that mentions wrestling is about wrestling. Some, like Weezer's "El Scorcho," make throwaway mentions of it. Others, like "Wrestlers," use the language of wrestling to tell a story.
While the end result is a song that sounds like wrestling is a metaphor for either love or sex, the origins of the song come from a tongue-in-cheek boast from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who said he would wrestle Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor for ownership of guitarist Al Doyle.
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And thus the references to cage matches and body slams start to make a bit more sense. And while the threat of hitting a man in the loins with a fist of rolled coins seems a bit much, keep in mind that Murphy has been training in MMA.
A foreign object might be Taylor's best path to victory.