Like most humans in the world, anyone over 30 probably purchased the excellent Wrestlemania – The Album produced by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman (of Britain’s famed Stock Aitken Waterman songwriting team). It was a top 10 UK album and executive produced by Simon Cowell (yes, him from the TV), and featured songs about all your favourite wrestling stars including Big Boss Man, Tatanka, Mr Perfect and The Undertaker; who was allegedly a diva in the studio.
But this was not the end of the WWE collaborating with the music world. They would go on to make many more compilations, including Run DMC dedicating songs to their favourite grappelers in WWF Aggression, and then metal stars like Limp Bizkit got in on the act for an album called WWF Forceable Entry.
Since then, they have released countless WWE related compilations, but some of the stars wanted more than entrance music or tributes. They wanted the glory, the experience of being in the studio and playing their music from their hearts to their adoring fans. Yes they can suplex with the best of them but could they spit a rhyme or perform vocal gymnastics?
Here are 10 of the best (worst) wrestling superstars who tried moonlighting in music. We apologise in advance for any nausea that may occur whilst watching these videos.
Rowdy Roddy Piper- ‘I’m The Man’
After dabbling with music in 1985 with Cyndi Lauper’s ‘The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough‘, the Piper made his solo debut in 1992 with this UK only single. It isn’t as God awful as one would imagine, he can kinda hold a tune, though it is an interesting directorial decision to have the lyric “ I’ve been looking for you all my life” over a sign for Roddy V Hulk Hogan. Is this a secret love song of affection for the Hulkster that he could only express through song? Although, later on a lady does appear with Rowdy Roddy on the beach so who can be sure? But he does have to confirm that once again he “ain’t no New Kid on The Block” because, back then, he was famously mistaken for Donny Walhberg up until his early death at 61 in 2015.
Maria Kanellis – ‘Fantasy’
From her 2010 debut EP Seven Sins, ‘Fantasy‘ is the type of rock-power ballad that suffocated the late 1980’s. Kanellis can sing on the same level as most X Factor auditionees, but should she have left the WWE to make this record? Simone Vitucci plays cello on the record, but sadly Kanellis has yet to record a follow-up to this and can be seen back in the ring. The man in the video apparently is now seeing a professional over his love for shop mannequins. We wish him all the best.
Wyclef Jean ft The Rock & Medley Sedeck – ‘It Doesn’t Matter’
Back in 2000 former Fugee Wyclef Jean was a big deal with hits that included ‘We Trying to Stay Alive’Alive” and ‘Gone Till November‘. Who else was a big deal back then? The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) – that’s who ! So inspired by the wrestlers catch-phrase ” It doesn’t matter”, Wyclef created this masterpiece. Though The Rock didn’t have to really get out of his comfort zone, he just basically let’s us know that things don’t matter – which really is a wonderful life lesson. The Rock has been too busy filming the upcoming movie Bay Watch to get back in the recording studio for more words of wisdom.
Wiz Khalifa & John Cena -‘All Day’
Cena released his debut (and only) rap album You Can’t See Me in 2005 and it was a top 20 US Billboard success . His best work is obviously his gem ‘All Day‘ with Wiz Khalifa. The Smackdown star is one of the best white wrestling rappers of his generation, which is why his Wikipedia entry describes him as a wrestler, rapper and then an actor; despite Cena appearing in over 20 TV and film roles. If you are still not convinced of this talent, you can just go to the well-known review site, the Google Play store, and find glorious reviews like this from Jalen Andrews who had this to say about the track – “Love it.Swag, Swag, Swag“. Word to that Jalen.
(Chris Jericho) Fozzy – ‘Sandpaper’
Christopher Keith Irvine, better known as Chris Jericho has made six albums (yes six) and a live album with his metal band Fozzy. He has even featured on other artists like Bullet For My Valentine and Devin Townsend! So surely Jericho is the most successful wrestler in the music industry, though to date their biggest chart entry is 54 in the US Billboard album chart. All of us at HTF are hoping Fozzy play the Download festival in 2017.
Hulk Hogan with the Wrestling Boot Band– ‘Beach Patrol‘
The Hulkster had to be included. One of the most successful wrestlers of all time, it was only a matter of time before someone would get his 24 inch pythons on to record. But if you are finding this track hard to stomach, track down his Gary Glitter cover of ‘Leader of the Gang‘ available in no good or bad record stores.
Macho Man Randy Savage ‘ Be a Man’
Allegedly named after the Village People hit, Macho Man Randy Savage was renowned for being one of the greatest US wrestlers of all-time. Savage had sung on the 1993 Wrestlemania album, but obviously wanted more, so just a mere ten years later he produced his first rap album ‘Be a Man‘. All of us here at HTF certainly dig it! It features a heartfelt tribute to Mr Perfect and a diss track (as those rappers love a good diss) aimed at Hulk Hogan. Though Macho Man promised there would be more albums, this was the only made. He died in 2011, forever an iconic wrestler and rap god.
Stone Cold Steve Austin – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’
Back in 2011 Steve Austin revealed this video of him performing a cover of Rick Astley’s 80’s smash ‘Never Gonna Give You Up‘. Unfortunatley, the full demo tape was never recorded in full as some of the industry thought that the wrestler, better known as ‘Stone Cold‘, had possibly mimed on the video. It was a sad affair and it meant that his colleague Doink the Clown would never get to hear the recorded track before his untimely passing. Keep reaching for the stars Steve!
Sgt Slaughter & Camouflage – ‘The Cobra Clutch’
During the 80’s and 90’s Sgt Slaughter was infamous for defeating his opponents with the cobra clutch. So, when the opportunity came for him to record with Camouflage, they just had to name a song after the finishing move. What a glorious piece of music this is! Though there isn’t enough Slaughter on this record, there is a whole lot more on the accompanying 1985 album called Rocks America that the band followed with a four date tour. The sought after album can go for around $80 online. Really!
Honky Tonk Man- ‘Piledriver’
The former intercontinental champion Honky Tonk Man (real name Roy Wayne Farris) was known for being the Elvis of wrestling and would always carry his trusty guitar to ringside. During his career, Farris was lucky enough to record four ring entrances with his manager Jimmy Hart, and the track above was his greatest. Some say that this track is up there with the king of rock n roll’s best work.
Superstars of WWF – ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’
Very few times in life do you get to see this amount of talent on one single – only Band Aid or USA for Africa are up there to this level of star power. The video will leave any hardcore wrestling fan with tingles up their spine. The melody, the hook the unintelligible vocals, it’s all there.
So there you have it! Some of the best music made by wrestlers. Seems like there is more to a lot of these grappelers than just top-turnbuckle acrobatics. They have hearts, souls and some even sing-in-tune. So next time you scoff at professional wrestling as a low-level form of entertainment, think again. These people are multi-talented, and speaking of multi-talented, here is the legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner singing some of his favourite entrance themes. Please enjoy and thank you for reading.