Skip to main content

#ThemeSongTuesday: Monday Night Grunge



When we look back to late 90s WCW, frankly speaking, there isn't much worth remembering beyond the red hot nWo angle, the meteoric rise of Goldberg into a pop cultural phenom, and the absorption of such "vanilla midgets" as Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Jeff Jarrett, Dean Malenko, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio into the main event scene.

WCW in its dying days was crap, but damn, the music was great. You probably don't remember a lot of truly iconic wrestler themes from the era, and that's okay; men like Jim Johnston don't grow off trees. But in building up their cred as a grown-up counter-culture alternative to WWE programming, WCW's producers turned to a genre for inspiration that some say defined the late 90s: grunge rock.

No less than three entrance songs were lifted from some of the most definitive grunge songs of the time, and in this week's #ThemeSongTuesday, we're dishing up a triple serving of all three.

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!"

First up was the entrance song of one of the most overlooked gems of the era, hardcore legend Scott Levy, a man who emerged from the cheesy, goofy wreckage of his old WCW gimmick of "Scotty Flamingo," a flamboyant surfer boy, and his spoiled rich brat manager character "Johnny Polo" from the WWF with his kick-ass new gimmick perfected in ECW: Raven, a depressed, pierced, sociopathic cult leader spouting intense psychological promos heavily peppered with literary references and nihilist philosophy.


And what's a grungy, angst-ridden loner without a theme echoing one of the most anthemic tunes from Seattle grunge legends Nirvana? His "Come As You Are" tribute theme was a perfect fit for the Raven gimmick, with its brooding, heavily-flanged guitar intro cascading into a pounding distortion-heavy chorus that you swear had Dave Grohl pounding the skins.


Self High Five!


And who could forget Diamond Dallas Page, WCW's take on the "People's Champion," a blue-collar everyman who burst into the pro wrestling scene at the ancient age 36, but persevered and pushed himself to multiple World Heavyweight Championship reigns through pure force of will? There was something ridiculous about a dad-aged man in a terrible bleached-blond mullet and tattered jeans coming out to a theme reminiscent of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but DDP made it work.


When the crowd heard "Self High Five!" drop,and DDP came out through the crowd, thoughts on age appropriateness just vanished. For those moments, you believed in the man, gave him some of the best pops in the last years of WCW, and waited with bated breaths for the move announcers called "the hottest finish on the planet," the Diamond Cutter, to make everyone feel the bang.



The Heart of a Lion


Chris Jericho was a young, cocky, smarmy, petulant, self-aggrandizing brat, with an ego the size of Atlanta, but Jesus Christ did everyone love him. With his trademark ponyhawk hairdo and bodyguard Ralphus by his side, "The Lionheart" reinvented himself from perpetual  curtain-jerker to one of the most dominant names on the cruiserweight scene, breaking backs with his vicious Lion Tamer submission hold, and leaving audiences agape with his flawless Lionsault.


Pearl Jam's "Evenflow" was a perfect inspiration for Jericho's entrance theme, with the silky yet chugging guitar intro flowing into a cheesy, soaring 90s-era lead guitar solo that foreshadowed the flamboyant frontman personality he would perfectly embrace in his WWE run.


*****

Which WCW star do you think did Monday Night Grunge the best? Do you think any of these themes would work in the modern wrestling era? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section, and let's rock out together.

Comments

Trending This Week

Can Crystal Become The First Wrestling Queen of Asia?

PWR Live: Oktoberplex—The Official Smark Henry Review

The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/18/17): Seeing Red

WrestlingCity.Asia Queen of Asia Throne Still Vacant

Why Kavita and Shadia Matter: WWE's Relationship With Asia and Women