Monday, August 11, 2014

Let Us Listen to Metal: An Open Letter to Jim Johnston

A wrestler as cool as Ambrose deserves a theme by a band as cool as Judas Priest
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One of the biggest reasons I got into wrestling was Motorhead's "The Game." When I saw Triple H entering to that piece of ass-kickery, I knew the guy was a big star. The green lights, water spitting and posing were just the icing on the cake. I am sure if Trips had only chosen to just walk into the arena to that entrance theme it would have been pretty much alright. This example also shows the importance of the first note, of the first riff that blasts through those big arena speakers. The rest of the song might be ok-ish, but if the first ten seconds feature that one giant kick ass cock rock piece of wankery then the audience will firstly and most importantly, pop. Secondly it sends a signal to casual viewers that they are going to see a force to be reckoned with. Those are just some of the advantages of having a great entrance theme. 

And what do I see today? I see the young guns being saddled with nondescript pieces of mediocre hard rock from bands who hit their sell by date in '95. Jim Johnston, what the heck man? This will not do. Lets consider the shining stars of the future - The Shield and Bray Wyatt. All three members of the Shield have godawful mediocre music in which - and now note this - the first riff is indistinguishable from the morass it is drowning in. The music does not hit me at that visceral level that it needs to hit me at. It fails miserably. It makes Seth Rollins look and sound like a lower mid card jobber. Wyatt is being reduced to a joke so his "whole world" shtick doesn't pass muster. Roman Reigns has been reduced to Randy Orton levels of "there is nothing you can say" levels of mediocrity because they took away "Sierra Hotel..." and we are stuck with the old Shield theme which, bluntly put, sucks. You know what you could to do to recover from bad booking and even worse music? You could, um, "take inspiration" from the riff masters of the metal world. Not copy the whole song mind you, but look at some of the opening riffs that could suitably be the indicator that "we are here". Let's take a look and make some suggestions, shall we, because what kind of a wrestling blog would NOT tell the WWE how to get the job done!! Plus, we all know that Trips reads this shit so he can keep a finger on the smark pulse.  

First up, poor Bray Wyatt. This man was rumored to have a shot at the streak, today I wouldn't bet on him winning a major Summerslam showdown against Cool Dad Guy Who Lost to That Dancing Guy Who Loses to Everybody. Incidentally, the only thing going for Jericho is, yes, his entrance. It lends him the gravitas that he lacks as a character, and also, nostalgia because wrestling. So how to resurrect Wyatt? Just take a leaf out of the book of these guys.     

Mayhem's "Freezing Moon" is one of the best black metal songs that I have heard till date, and has a killer intro to boot that never fails to send chills up my spine. If Ole Jim could snap out of his Green Day-infused coma and try to come within 10% of this, we might have a Wyatt who is scary and over. Imagine that. Just "borrow" the intro Jim, and make up the rest of the shit, because once you got them on the hook they ain't letting go. Hey, in the live performance above Mayhem's vocalist is a skinny old idiot with white paint on his white face, pretending to slaughter fake animals with his pretend knife and he got over. Surely, Wyatt can get over at the level of a pre 1994- Undertaker, right? 

Next up, my main man, Dean Ambrose. Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. This is a great character and my favorite guy from the Shield. And goddamit if he didn't get the same "Random Entrance Theme Generator" treatment as the rest of the roster. Heck, Heath Slater has got a better entrance theme hook than poor newly babyface Ambrose. The tricky thing while deciding on a theme for Ambrose is that you want this guy to be working on both sides of the fence, and we all know that someday in the future he will be a fantastic heel again, so he needs music that is badass and works to up that babyface fire and is also capable of sending those heelish chills through the crowd that intimates them that something bad is about to happen. You know what? The above goes for all the three members of the Shield. Just can't help it. These are your main eventers of the future and they need the royal "Distinguishable from Radio Rock Entrance Theme" treatment. No which way I look at it, Rollins, Reigns and Deanie Dean are your future. 

I realize that Judas Priest is heavy metal, heck, music at the top of its game and we are dealing with a company which believes that Limp Bizkit is high art who deserve to play songs in public, but it is fun to fantasize, sometimes. Now look at that first riff that kicks this song off. It is the most PERFECT heavy metal riff in history. Yes, I exaggerate when talking about Judas Priest, but untrained writers do not know sometimes how to share their enthusiasm without using broad generalizations and capitalized letters. It has BADASS written all over it in capital letters. Like the guy who comes out to this has to be someone for a reputation for organized madness. Like he will kick your friggin' head in. Oh, Judas Priest, you. This song is ironic and it, as the kids say, rips, both at the same time, because after all, Judas Priest. Perfect for a character who is brainy, ironic, wordy and insane, all at the same time. Dean Ambrose is your man and Priest is your band. 

Now, I know that Vince McMahon must be itching to saddle his latest muscular hot babyface with some AC/DC rip off band's banal hard rock music. But wait, you don't want to turn Roman Reigns into Batista circa 2005 do you now? Not that I have anything against Batista as a hot babyface turning against Evolution, but still, Roman Reigns has a lot of potential to be different from the regular muscle. You see, he is strong and smart at the same time. Well, that's the gimmick. You can send that message of his brainy menace by giving him a riff that whips ass and is a little atmospheric at the same time. For example, check out obscure and underrated band, Cirith Ungol's "Master of the Pit" from their amazing album "King of the Dead". Skip to the 1:50 mark to get a hang of what I am talking about, though any music fan worth his salt would do well to listen to the whole thing. That bass is amazing, innit?!! 

Or, even if you want to go the traditional "this guy is all muscle no brains and he will bust your ass in half" route you could take notes from this monstrous piece of riffing by Bolt Thrower. Skip to the 0:25 mark. 

Either ways, what I want to say is, they better change the themes for their future superstars, because the ones they have right now suck. There. No, TH, I swear this was not an excuse to put up heavy metal songs on yer ole blog because I couldn't think of one decent thing to say after that godawful RAW. Blood, sweat, and vomit, hell yeah!!