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#ThemeSongTuesday: Set It Off



When it was first announced that Shelton Benjamin's role on SmackDown Live would be that of Chad Gable's new tag team partner, I was disappointed for several reasons. First, I was hoping that Gable would get a singles run that could elevate him to the upper midcard. Second, I wanted to see how Benjamin would fare against all the other up-and-coming names on SDL as a grizzled vet. Last, a tag team run meant we'd no longer hear Gable/American Alpha's theme and that we won't hear the return of this oldie, but goodie.

So Benjamin & Gable debuted without matching gear and without a theme song that matches who they are and what they're trying to be.


The song starts off with a decent hook. It's calling attention to something and slowly fades up, building to the drop. When the beat does drop, you get synth elements, mixed with a looping, "'ey! 'ey! 'ey! 'ey!" not unlike that in Lana's theme. And then the hook from the beginning gets mixed in, along with synth keys, which come together to sound like a Streetboys dance routine from the 1990s.

Here's how that Streetboys routine looked like for you young'uns who weren't around for their heyday:


When I listen to theme, I don't think of Chad Gable. I don't think of Shelton Benjamin. And I most certainly can't think of them as a team. And that's what makes this theme a flop. There's nothing that tells me about their character, or what they're supposed to represent. It just meets the bare minimum of, "Let the audience know that we're coming out," and that's it. Frankly, it's disappointing because it's quite a disservice to a duo who could use a theme song that puts an extra pep in their step, and more hype to fans like me who look forward to seeing them week after week.

Instead, all we got is a song that feels so missing from the substance, down to its actual composition. It feels like it could use some vocals to round 'em out. It doesn't even have to be deep lyrical wizardry. Give me something basic like what Lou$tar—who, fun fact, formed the rap group The Hood$tars, which Nicki Minaj was a part of, and performed Victoria's classic theme—had with "Ain't No Stoppin' Me Now" and I can agree to like it eventually. But, no, we have to settle for a 90's dance mix, and while it may make some Titos and Titas of Manila, it just won't cut it for Benjamin and Gable.

This song does not set anything off.

Photo from WWE

*****

Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can also catch him every month attempting to keep order in a fancy suit as PWR's General Manager. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his Curiouscat account.


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