The entrance music is one of the most pivotal things about a professional wrestler's persona. Some live on in our collective memory with and we instantly associate certain sounds with wrestlers from all generations. From the breaking glass of Stone Cold's theme to the countdown clock of Chris Jericho, it's part of the whole package that makes each wrestler so special in the eyes of the fans.
In 2016, WWE introduced a slew of great themes that entered their musical pantheon and as the year comes to a close, we take a look at the top themes that became instant earworms and even part of our workout playlists. Since pairing with composers CFO$, the WWE has delivered some of the most memorable themes since the days of the Attitude Era.
Did your favorite make the cut? Check our picks for the best WWE entrance themes of the year!
TJ Perkins "Playing With Power"
Forged from the heart and love of 8-bit gaming era, TJ Perkins's "Playing With Power" became an instant hit with fans. An obvious homage to Mega Man 2's Wily's Castle theme, Perkins hits the arena hyped up and ready to show off his unique array of aerial assault. Nobody has ever had a theme like Perkins' and it breaks the mold of usual themes of this generation that relies on heavy guitar riffs and slick, wild solos.
This theme didn't just catch on with wrestling fans, it spread around the gaming community to the point where Mega Man's official Twitter account was tweeting to Perkins, wishing him luck in a match.
Gallows and Anderson "Omen In The Sky"
When Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson appeared in the WWE, it was quite the coup from New Japan Pro Wrestling. True, their actual WWE career hasn't exactly been the brightest, but that didn't stop them from coming out to a great jam. "Omen in the Sky" just sounds like something outlaws would come out to. Having a sort of Alice In Chains vibe, Gallows and Anderson feel like a force to be reckoned with the second you hear the drums kick in and the Eddie Vedder-like vocals hit.
This is Gallows' second tenure with the company and Anderson's first, and since they couldn't bring Bullet Club's theme with them, this is just as good and makes their presence known from the start.
Bobby Roode "Glorious Domination"
My bias is slightly showing here as this is my current ringtone, but how amazing is this tune? No. How glorious is this?
Poached from TNA, Roode made his first appearance at TakeOver: Dallas and the wrestling world speculated when he was finally making his WWE debut. What we didn't expect was this theme to be one of the best to come out of NXT and one of the catchiest of this generation. When you add in a gospel choir to actually sing it, Glorious Domination becomes that much impressive and leaves that much more of an impression.
There's simply nothing else like it.
AJ Styles "Phenomenal"
AJ Styles has had several themes in his professional wrestling career, but there's something about his first WWE that fits him so perfectly well. Part dirty Georgia rap that rough around the edges, but still possesses plenty of swag and style (pun intended). It has so much going for it that you can't really imagine anybody else coming out to the ring to this.
First premiering with AJ's debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble, it was truly a sign of things to come for Styles this year. We already dubbed him the WWE Star of 2016, and it was hard to deny his theme song a spot on this list as well.
Shinsuke Nakamura "The Rising Sun"
As a longtime fan of Nakamura's work, his New Japan theme was one of their all-time best and possibly one of wrestling's best of the past decade, it was going to be difficult to reproduce a melody that defined such a wrestler.
Well, WWE and CFO$ certainly did that and then some.
Nakamura's new theme, The Rising Sun, hits all the right notes. Literally. Walking away from the usual tropes of Japanese wrestling stars and relies heavy on a strong violin melody that gives the contemporary wrestling icon something truly memorable. Even without a single lyric, the audience continues to sing Nakamura's theme even well after the King of Strong Style has entered the ring.