WWF Challenges Britney Spears

Wrestling Album Debuts in Top Ten

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Let's get ready to rummmmmble!

Red-hot professional wrestling dominates cable TV ratings, cashes in on home video sales and sells out arenas across the country, so why shouldn't it crash the music charts? That's what the World Wrestling Federation, home to the Rock, the Undertaker, and, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin, has done with its latest release, WWF The Music: Volume 3. The album, which consists of heavy metal anthems for its stars, jumped from No. 18 to No. 10 for the week ending Feb. 21, according to SoundScan. No doubt boosting sales was the recent WWF pay-per-view match during which the album was heavily promoted.

Still, to grab the championship belt the WWF must get past teen star Britney Spears, whose debut album, ... Baby One More Time, remains the nation's No. 1 album, where it's stood its ground for four of the six weeks it's been in stores.

Overall, record store action was sleepy last week, with only one new record debuting in the top 150 (Mr. Serv-On's Da Next Level), but that should change soon. After a slow month, some new big-name releases are finally hitting stores shelves, led by R&B divas TLC (Fan Mail) and hip-hop's the Roots (Things Fall Apart). Both are bound to enter next week's chart with strong numbers. And new rock albums by critical darlings Sleater-Kinney (Hot Rock) and former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg (Suicaine Gratifaction) should draw consumers into stores. Not to mention that this week's Grammy telecast is bound to boost sales for the annual winners.

From the top, it was Spears' ... Baby One More Time (selling 198,000 copies), followed by Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (122,000); the Offspring's Americana (115,000); the Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces (97,000); 'N Sync (94,000); 2Pac's Greatest Hits (87,000); Cher's Believe (86,000); DMX's Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood (83,000); Everlast's Whitey Ford Sings the Blues (81,000); and WWF: The Music Vol. 3.

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