First, a quick shout out to Jim (not the guy in the above photo) who planted this idea and is one of my best friends on God’s Green Earth.
I am a pro wrestling fan. Not as big as I once was but I follow it enough that I know who holds all of the titles in the WWE. Given how quickly the belts change hands these days, this is quite an accomplishment. Although I can go on and on about the virtues of professional wrestling, I would like to keep it specific as it relates to baseball as well as the NFL, NBA and NHL.
First an aside about those of you who snicker about wrestling. Talk to me when you quit your love affair with television shows associated with anything Kardashians, Real Housewives or Bachelors. They make pro wrestling look like Masterpiece Theatre. Those shows are about as deep as a laundry basket. Don’t tell me how dumb wrestling is when your idea of entertainment is a staged wedding with a helping of liposuction topped off by a side order of botox.
But I digress.
Back to the wrestling and sports connection. Did you ever notice that whenever a hitter comes to the plate, he is accompanied by music? Or, how star relievers make their grand entrance usually to heavy guitars and drums? That is exactly how pro wrestlers make their way to the ring. Come on, do you think the people who choose “Enter Sandman” for Mariano Rivera were doing something original? They are about a decade too late. The first one to use this song was THE Sandman from ECW. On top of that, Mo would not come in to a game like this. Trevor Hoffman used to enter to “Hell’s Bells”. Sorry but the first one to use an AC/DC song was the late, great Chris Candido.
And forget the hitters. Many guys have different songs for each time they come to the plate. How vain. In fact there are even some hitters that use the same music that wrestlers use for their entrances. I have heard more than one batter use the theme music for Stone Cold Steve Austin. I also seem to recall that Johnny Damon has used the song “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge before his at-bats. Why is that relevant? “Metalingus” was the long time ring entrance theme of the recently retired, one of the best wrestlers ever, Edge. Speaking of Edge, his twin brother plays baseball for the Nationals, a fellow by the name of Jayson Werth.
The influence of wrestling is not limited to baseball. How many times have you heard Guns N Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” at a football game right before a kickoff? That was actually the music of Rick and Scott Steiner circa 1989. The Michael Jordan Bulls used to have a distinctive tune played as their starting five was introduced. That was used by Ricky Steamboat during his first WWE tour culminating at Wrestlemania 3 in 1987, long before its use by the Bulls. Due to copyright isues and lazy research by me, this is a reasonable replica of it.
There is nothing wrong with borrowing a good idea. There is no question baseball and other sports have been influenced by a certain aspect of professional wrestling. I think it is about time we give credit where credit is due.
That’s the bottom line…brother.