One of the biggest influences I had growing up was wrestling. When I was young (and even until now, sometimes), I always imagined being a fighter, entering the ring, walking down the ramp with my own entrance song. When glass shatters, it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin. ‘If you smell…” means The Rock. Screeching tires followed by a car crash means Mankind. The entrance music, in a way, is similar to the finishing move. It’s a signature. Once you hear the first sounds of it, you just know who’s coming out.
Nowadays, the wrestling dream is gone. Wrestling has been replaced by mixed martial arts and the occasional boxing fight (read: Manny Pacquiao versus anybody). And even here, the entrance music plays a big role. Manny Pacquiao, for a long stretch, walked in to Survivor’s classic ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ UFC fighter Chael Sonnen always entered to that cowboy/western-ish song. Benson Henderson always came out to the hip-hop version of ‘Awesome God.’ Mark Muñoz always used ‘Bebot.’ Brock Lesnar always used ‘Enter Sandman.’
So if I were a fighter, what song would welcome me to the ring? My only criteria is the song must be a pumper-up, to boost both me and the crowd. Here are my top 5 choices:
1. You Could Be Mine – Guns N Roses
If this song’s drum intro does not pump you up, I don’t know what will. Every time I hear that drum line, followed by the guitar lines that follow, my senses never fail to be awakened. Then I find my head bobbing to the beat. Then my foot follows. Soon, my hands start air drumming. Give it a listen:
2. The Way I Am – Eminem
The best thing about this song is the interplay of all the musical elements present: the bass, the keyboards, the beat, the bell sound, all working together with the anapestic tetrameter Eminem uses in delivering the verses of the song. Plus, the song is about saying “F*** off” to those expecting too much. I think it’s perfect for a fighter.
3. Three Stars and a Sun – Francis M.
If I were to be a fighter, I’d be representing the Philippines. This song is not only a pumper-up song, it also is nationalistic. Pretty much like how angry and aggressive Eminem is in ‘The Way I Am,’ Francis M. has the same kind of anger in him in his delivery of this song. The rough, dark, ominous guitar line to begin the song, plus the heavy riff that follows after further intensifies the song’s strong feel.
4. Boom – P.O.D.
The song begins with a fast guitar riff and heavy drum beats, and it’s perfect for fighters, especially for young and new ones, because the lyrics talk about catching people by surprise, BOOM, and about exceeding others’ expectations. The bridge of the song, “Is that all you got? I’ll take your best shot,” is also perfect for competition.
5. Anastasia – Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators
As you may have seen, the song’s intro is of paramount importance in picking an entrance song to accompany ring entrance. Anastasia is no different. The song begins with a plucked acoustic guitar, dark and Western-y. I can see two cowboys meeting from a distance, preparing to draw their guns during this part. Then when the full band comes in, a metalized, classical music-inspired guitar line from Slash comes in, followed by a pumpy riff sure to make heads bounce. Myles Kennedy then comes in with his vocals and the song’s beauty is complete.
Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N Roses
Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine