When talking about the most iconic wrestling themes of all time, you can never rule out the legendary Hulk Hogan‘s entrance music. The WWE Hall of Famer has had perhaps the greatest collection of entrance themes in the history of pro-wrestling.
Starting off with “Eye of the Tiger” and moving on to “Real American” he had two of the all-time greatest songs of all time. Both epitomised his character and added the the legend of Hulkamania and were key in helping him to become one of the most iconic wrestlers in the history of the United States. His WWF run made him an icon but it was in WCW where he would reinvent himself as the evil heel known as “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan.
As the leader of the NWO, Hogan needed a new piece of entrance music to fit his new dark persona. It was the June 16, 1997, episode of “WCW Nitro” where fans first heard Hulk Hogan’s new entrance music blast through the arena speakers. As he stepped out of a black limo with his NWO cronies, the first few notes of the guitar riff from Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” were heard and instantly added to the coolness of the NWO.
Licensed songs in wrestling were a rarity (although they have become more common in AEW in recent years) so this change instantly made Hogan an even bigger deal than he already was. The cost of licensed songs were usually a huge sticking point for promotions, who could usually not afford to pay to play these songs every night on TV. However, former WCW executive Eric Bischoff revealed that WCW were given a very good deal on that cost from Voodoo Child as Hulk Hogan’s entrance music.
Speaking on the latest episode of his “Strictly Business” Podcast, Eric Bischoff revealed;
I think with Voodoo Child, because it just fit — you know if you were scoring a movie and if the NWO was a movie and you had to score it, you would want that music. When you can take the right music that fits the story or fits the character, it only adds to the emotion of the action or anything else you’re seeing in the ring.”
That was relatively affordable — I mean, I think the whole license cost me $100,000 for worldwide rights,” said Bischoff. “I could play up to two-to-three minutes of it. Couldn’t do that today and I negotiated that deal with Jimi Hendrix’s sister, who was at that point in charge of the estate. You couldn’t touch that deal now for that kind of money so you’d probably be better off trying to write your own, and owning it and making it popular.”
Even after leaving WCW following the companies collapse in 2001, Hogan would continue to use Jimi Hendrix’s music upon returning to the WWE. Entering the company as a heel after the Invasion storyline, The Immortal One used the song from April 2002 through May 2003, before turning face and bringing back the iconic red and yellow look and his incredible “Real American” entrance music.
Sadly, due to licensing agreements, the music has been dubbed over on the WWE Network.
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.