Few things in wrestling are as resonant as entrance music. A simple few notes can quickly whip a crowd into a frenzy and great tracks become synonymous with the performers that they belong to. Who could imagine the Undertaker approaching the ring without the tolling of death bells, or Ric Flair appearing without the loud "woooo!" and the pompous fanfare of Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’?
One a wrestler's theme becomes established, it rarely changes, the odd remixed element or new soundbite aside. This is unless they undergo a repackaging or a significant character development, such as a major heel or face turn, that would make their previous piece inappropriate for their new role.
Sometimes, however, their music is changed for seemingly no reason. This doesn’t always have an adverse effect, exemplified by CM Punk switching from ‘This Fire Burns’ to Living ‘Cult Of Personality’ or Randy Orton swapping ‘Burn In My Light’ to ‘Voices’, but more often than not it leaves fans scratching their heads, wondering why a performer with a serviceable or beloved theme has been left with something considered inferior by comparison.
Here are some of WWE's worst musical downgrades...
Few entrances in wrestling are as classic as Goldberg’s. An aura was quickly built around the former NFL defensive tackle when he debuted for WCW in 1997, with his theme (‘Invasion’), contributing as much to this as the endless destruction of jobbers that fed his unprecedented winning streak.
Given that it was stock music that had been previously used in the company by former Oriental Express member Pat Tanaka, it was probably only meant to be temporary. It stuck, however, accompanying every one of the prolonged and pyro-laden walks that Goldberg took to the ring.
When Goldberg debuted in the WWE in 2003, two years after WCW’s demise, his appearance was scored by ‘Who’s Next?’ a track that would’ve been perfectly serviceable for anybody else, but was a poor imitation of its predecessor, attempting to replicate its tone with middling results.
Vince McMahon was allegedly unwilling to pay the licensing fees required to secure the usage rights to ‘Invasion’, though he thankfully saw sense ahead of Goldberg’s return to the ring in 2016, where it played over his entrance once more and has continued to do so through each of his limited appearances since.