According to Mirror Sport, WWE have reportedly come to terms for the release of long-time entrance theme composer Jim Johnston. The musician spent three decades working in Stamford, producing iconic themes for superstars such as 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, The Rock, and The Undertaker.
Johnston had been the promotion's chief composer-in-residence since 1985, though in recent times his duties have been took over by Mike Lauri and John Alicastro, better known under the banner CFO$.
It was during WWE's early-'90s boom period that Johnston was most creatively fertile, penning the memorable themes of grapplers such as The Ultimate Warrior, Jake 'the Snake' Roberts, and Bret 'Hitman' Hart. It was also during this period that Johnston scribed his most enduring piece of entrance music, a riff on Chopin's second sonata for eerie mortician The Undertaker.
The stars dried up somewhat during the company's mid-'90s 'New Generation', but the hits kept coming from Johnston, including Steve Austin's era-defining Rage Against the Machine variation, as well as Goldust's glittering refrain - still in use to this day.
The Attitude Era is just as well loved for Johnston's soundtrack as it is its superstars. Amongst the composer's melodies booming out the Titantron were those of The Rock, Mr. McMahon, Kurt Angle, Kane, Edge, and Chris Jericho.
The final member of WWE's roster to receive the Johnston treatment is Baron Corbin, who recently received a new entrance theme titled Bring the Darkness (End of Days), with vocals provided by Tommy Vext.
Though Johnston has remained off-screen for the bulk of his WWE career, his contributions have occasionally been brought to the fore, including a 60-minute documentary released in 2014 called Signature Sounds: The Music of WWE.
Johnston, an invaluable member of WWE's production crew for 30 years and someone who shaped the company's history as much as any on-air talent, would have been the perfect recipient for the Warrior Award in its intended guise. Hopefully the company will find some other way to pay tribute to their outgoing tunesmith following his departure.
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.