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Piledrivers and Power Ballads: Pro Wrestling’s Musical Moments

When grapplers get on the mic, who’s going to tell them it’s a bad idea?

chris jericho fozzy

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The world of professional wrestling is as littered with failed gimmicks as it is stalled musical careers; for whatever reason – the pyro, the physiques, the proliferation of Spandex – these guys (and gals) seem to think that the transition from ring to stage will be an easy one. But more often than not, they flop like a Kennel from Hell match.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule: Take Chris Jericho's Fozzy, which began as a joke-y cover band but has since morphed into a formidable heavy metal machine, releasing six albums (their latest, Do You Wanna Start a War, came out last week) and performing at festivals around the world.

But mostly, when music and wrestling meet, the results are catastrophic. Yet, we have every reason to believe that grapplers will be releasing albums until the end of time…after all, who's going to tell them it's a bad idea? Here are 15 of the most memorable – and not entirely awful – musical moments in pro wrestling history. By James Montgomery and Kory Grow

 

 

 

 

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Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, ‘Never Been a Right Time to Say Goodbye’

This treacly bit of training-montage fluff features Hart "singing" (or, more accurately, mumbling) over what sounds like half of Rick Wakeman's synth collection. Oh, and it's a love ballad, too. Written by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman – two-thirds of the team behind smashes like "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" – it was supposedly intended for David Hasselhoff, though apparently even he thought it was too cheesy.

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Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band, ‘Hulkster in Heaven’

About three feet beneath Hulk Hogan's rock-hard pecs beats a heart that feels emotions deeper and stronger than most mere mortals'. Want proof? Listen to Hogan's weepy, string-laden pop requiem "Hulkster in Heaven," a track off the wrestler's multi-genre 1995 offering Hulk Rules, in which he pays tribute to a recently deceased Hulkamaniac. "I wish Hulk's love could bring you back again," sings a voice (that may or may not actually belong to usually Kool-Aid Man­–sounding wrestler). It's all so tender that Hulk Rules as a whole actually reached Number 12 on Billboard's Kids Albums chart.

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The West Texas Rednecks, ‘Rap is Crap (I Hate Rap)’

During the death-spiral of World Championship Wrestling, the folks behind the scenes thought it would be a good idea to bring Master P and his No Limit Soldiers into the mix…as good guys. Not surprisingly, they failed to connect with audiences, and the stable of heels assembled to oppose them – the West Texas Rednecks – became the faces by default. They also had an anthem, "Rap is Crap," which became nearly as popular. Hooray for racial tension!

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Wyclef feat. the Rock and Melky Sedeck, ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Featuring a hook based on the Rock's catchphrase from his silk-shirt era (he was also really into pie around this time), samples of Slick Rick and British ska act Bad Manners, and lyrical nods to everyone from Shabba Ranks and Paul McCartney to Pink Floyd and John Denver, "It Doesn't Matter" is basically a Royal Rumble of terrible ideas…which is to say, it's one of Wyclef's better tracks.

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‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, ‘Be a Man’

Hot diggity damn! Randy Savage attempted to start a rap feud with Hulk Hogan in 2003 with his diss track "Be a Man," a record he promoted by doing a concert tour with Brian Adams (the wrestler, sadly). "You try to ignore me thinkin' I'll go away/ But I'm-a keep on messin' wit you, dude, day after day," promises Savage in one verse. As for why the Macho Man was so irate with his on-again, off-again buddy at the time, the lyrics offer these theses: Hulk dressed like a ballerina in commercials (giving way to a homophobic lyric from Savage), Hogan's pay-per-view event was "a joke," the Rock "spanked" Hulk and the Hulkster bailed on fighting Savage at a charity event. Savage drives home his diss track with this nimble turn of phrase: "'Cuz like Rodney Dangerfield you gets' no respect/ So come on, Hulk, let's wreck so I can put you in check."

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John Cena feat. Bumpy Knuckles, ‘Flow Easy’

Throughout his career, Cena has worked very hard to remind folks that, yes, he can rap ("Word Life"), so it was perhaps inevitable that in 2005 – just around the time he claimed his first Heavyweight Championship – he would release his debut album, You Can't See Me. Surprisingly, it was both a moderate success (peaking at #15 on the Billboard 200) and not entirely terrible; "Flow Easy" even featured a verse from Long Island MC Bumpy Knuckles, aka Freddie Foxxx.

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Fozzy, ‘Lights Go Out’

"Now I lay you down, but no one's sleeping," wrestler and Fozzy howler Chris Jericho sings on "Lights Go Out," a gut-checking heavy-metal slow burner that also just happens to be one of the WWE's official themes for SummerSlam this year. No other wrestler has fostered a music career the way Jericho has, having just issued Fozzy's sixth studio album, and no other wrestler has done a better job of mixing fighting and fucking metaphors quite as seriously as on "Lights Go Out."

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