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#ThemeSongTuesday: The Animal Walks Alone


WARNING: Major SPOILERS ahead for this week's episode of Monday Night RAW.

YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Okay, there are two reasons for my attempt at a guttural "yeah!" The first is that it's just so fun to channel Josey Scott of Saliva and pump yourself up. The second and more important reason is that Batista is back-with-a-capital-B-and-an-exclamation-mark-maybe!

This week's RAW ended on a crazy note, with The Animal having attacked Ric Flair backstage, taking the Nature Boy out right before the latter's 70th Birthday Celebration. An emotionless Batista then looked into the camera and addressed Triple H, asking, "Hey, Hunter, do I have your attention now?"


Hot. Damn.

Batista vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 35 wasn't a match I was thinking of seeing, especially after Triple H injured his pec at Super Show-Down late last year. But if Trips is healthy and ready to go and Batista's onboard, then sign me up! This is a special attraction and a WrestleMania rematch I'm down to see, even in 2019!

Since Batista is back on our collective radar, it's as good a time as any to feature a classic entrance theme on #TST.

Before we get to the more familiar "I Walk Alone" by Saliva, why don't you listen to Batista's original entrance theme first?


Batista's original theme from his days in Evolution is entitled, "Animal" and is actually the predecessor to "I Walk Alone." Just listen to that opening riff and those chords. It's the same riff that leads up to Josey Scott's guttural "YEAAAAAH." 

"Animal" is a Jim Johnston original and you can hear how visceral and intimidating Batista was supposed to be from the hard riffs and chords alone. As Evolution's enforcer, Batista was the guy who just dispatched of anyone in the faction's way. And he didn't just get rid of Evolution's enemies. He did it with power and without mercy. That's pretty much what we get from "Animal" as a track. 

Musically, I love the guitar solos that Johnston peppered in through the track. Everything else seems common in your traditional wrestling theme catalog, from the slow drum pattern to connote the enormity of the wrestler to the rough guitar riffs distorted to illustrate the chaos that he brings. But that guitar solo, man, that is just sexy and smooth—a hidden gem for those who bothered to listen to the entire theme.


Okay, now we're at the good stuff.

"I Walk Alone" was part of WWE Wreckless Intent, a CD compilation of various WWE entrance themes that was released in 2006. I remember buying it at my local record bar—remember when there were more of those?—and being excited that I could listen to wrestling themes over and over on my Walkman. Batista was already a big deal back then, having won the Royal Rumble Match and then the World Heavyweight Championship, so it wasn't any surprise that his theme as a singles star was on the CD.

Saliva, the band that recorded the song, may be familiar to alternative and metal fans. But mainstream audiences might recognize Josey Scott, their former vocalist, from "Hero," from the soundtrack of Spider-Man—yes, the Sam Raimi film that starred Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Remember that song? Remember the other guy Chad Kroeger was rocking out with on that rooftop? That was Josey Scott. He's the same guy yelling out, "YEAAAAAAAAAH" at the start of "I Walk Alone" and lending his vocals to this song.

"I Walk Alone" is a more refined and polished version of "Animal," a clear evolution to the song itself. The drum patterns aren't as static as they were in the original version. There's a variation in the chords compared to Johnston's OG work. And Scott's vocals just give the song a life of its own. I remember growing up and enjoying how he'd transition from his baritone in the verses to the gravelly voice with which he sings the pre-chorus and the hook.

In many ways, a song like "I Walk Alone" helped pave the way for the "emo" boom of the mid-to-late 2000s, especially thanks to its lyrics and brooding nature. Much like the persona in Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," the persona in "I Walk Alone" is a drifting loner, who literally says that the weight of the world has fallen on his shoulders. This is an angry dude, one who's ready to lash out at anyone who gets in his path.

While Batista wasn't necessarily that character throughout his singles runs in WWE, "I Walk Alone" became his signature entrance theme. Whenever we'd hear that iconic riff, we all knew fireworks were going to go off both literally and figuratively. Now that I think about it, I wonder how flat Batista's entrance will feel now that WWE no longer busts the pyro out. Then again, the Batista vs. Triple H match will be at WrestleMania so I think there's a bit of hope for that.

Did you see Batista's return coming? What do you feel about his upcoming match with Triple H at WrestleMania 35? Drop us a comment below, ya filthy animals!

Photos from WWE

*****


Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is 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, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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