Entrance music in wrestling today is a crucial part of a wrestler’s presentation. Given the attention span of viewers and the infinite choices for TV viewers, wrestlers need to hook them within the first couple of seconds if they are to keep the attention of the TV audience.
A good entrance theme song can help get a wrestler over in a big way, while a bad one can make it very hard for the people to care.
Steve Austin would not have gotten the pops he did without his famous glass breaking entrance, whereas Jinder Mahal’s presentation was infinitely improved by his incredible theme song (although that all fell apart when he stepped into the ring).
Entrance music seems like something that has been a part of wrestling forever. Music is intrinsically wound together with the very fabric of wrestling and it’s hard to see it not being a part of the spectacle.
However, it took decades for it to become a fixture in big companies like the WWE, although the first wrestler to have entrance music would be 40 years before Hulk Hogan would bring “Eye of the Tiger” to the WWE.
Which Wrestler Had The First Entrance Music?
Gorgeous George is said to be the first wrestler to have their own entrance music.
George was a pioneer of the wrestling industry. He played a flamboyant character that had never been seen before in wrestling.
The sport had not been a place for outlandish characters, and was still presented as being totally and utterly real. It was a fight, and having an effeminate man riling up the group got the fans so angry at Gorgeous George.
Gorgeous George antagonized the fans with his exaggerated effeminate behavior and became a huge heel all over the country. He was one of the wrestlers to tap into the “entertainment” part of sports entertainment.
This began with the first wrestling wedding, when he wed his wife Betty Hanson inside the wrestling ring. This drew so well that he re-enacted it across the country, drawing huge crowds.
After this he would fully develop the Gorgeous George character, much to the chagrin of the paying crowds. He drew the ire of the fans with his effeminate look and exaggerated showmanship.
Fans would pay tickets to the arena just to hurl abuse at him, which George took in his stride and made a career out of being a new kind of heel in wrestling.
It was in the 1940s that Gorgeous George would incorporate entrance music into his act. He came to the ring to the song “Pomp and Circumstance”, a tune befitting to his character.
The song is also known as “The Graduation March” and was later used by Macho Man Randy Savage in the WWE.
To our knowledge, this was the first time a wrestler entered the ring to dedicated entrance and made the entrance a part of their act. The days of “shooters” was over and wrestling was quickly moving towards the entrainment style that we know today.
Which WWE Wrestler Had Entrance Music First
The first wrestler in the WWE to have entrance music was Sgt Slaughter.
The WWE Hall of Famer came out to the Marine Corp Hymm in the early 1980s, when music was simply not a thing wrestlers had in the then-WWF. Slaughter was a big star in the company, but soon left due to a licensing deal with GI Joe.
The practice of having entrance music did not become common until the 1980s. Sgt Slaughter still claims to have introduced the idea to Vince McMahon, but the entire wrestling world began to get on board with this new style of entertainent.
Rock was huge at the time so was the chosen vehicle to present the wrestling superstars to the general public.
A number of star all across the country began to make their names due to the music they entered to and made it a big part of their act.
Stars like Hulk Hogan (Eye of the Tiger), the Fabulous Freebirds (Freebird) and The Road Warriors (Iron Man) used wrestling entrance music perfectly and made it a big part of their act.
Hulk Hogan has claimed he invented the idea of entrance music in wrestling, although that has been proved to be another of Hulk Hogan’s many lies over the years.
In his book, he claimed that he slipped the WWF’s music guy $20 to play Eye of the Tiger through the speakers, something he claimed that nobody had ever thought of before (despite being done 40 years prior by Gorgeous George).
Junk Yard Dog was another wrestler who can lay claim to being a pioneer in bringing entrance music to wrestling. He used Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” to walk into the ring during the early 1980s and brought it to the WWE when he made his debut in 1984.
Sadly, all evidence of this has been removed from the WWE Network due to royalty issues.
In the United Kingdom, Big Daddy was a huge star in Joint Promotions and appearing weekly on the World of Sport Television show.
Big Daddy was one of the first British wrestlers to have entrance music, coming out to “We Shall Not Be Moved” as the gaggle of children following behind him sang along in unison. However, this was not commonplace at the time in the UK and Big Daddy was an exception, rather than the rule.
Titanes Del Ring in Argentina can lay claim as being one of the first promotions to give all it’s wrestlers entrance music.
It was an Argentine Lucha Libre show that can between 1962 and 1983. It was incredibly popular at the time and incorporated music into its show, years before the WWF would attempt to.
It was so popular the music was released onto an album, beating the WWF’s music album by a number of years.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.