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5 Ridiculous WCW Rip-Off Theme Songs

Konnan in the NWO Wolfpack

It’s not uncommon for a wrestlers theme to be inspired by a classic song. However, there is a fine line between taking inspiration and taking the p**s.

A wrestlers TV theme might be a tune that echoes the wrestler’s song choice from the indie circuit, or maybe used as a pitch from the wrestler to the composer, to show the vibe and energy they want from their music.

For example, Steve Austin’s theme is inspired by Rage Against The Machines’ Bulls On Parade. The DX band also borrowed their sound heavily from Rage. Even in recent times, songs such as Adam Cole’s“All About The Boom” are clearly inspired by…well, Rage Against The Machine.

Basically, most wrestling theme songs are inspired by Rage Against The Machine, evidently.

But where legendary WWE songsmith Jim Johnson would take ideas from certain songs, legendary Mouth Of The South Jimmy Hart, who was responsible for penning tracks alongside Johnson including Shawn Michaels theme Sexy Boy, seemed to have a new tactic for coming up with music for WCW.

Rather than take inspiration from songs, it felt like he would take the song sheet, trace over it and only change a couple of chords until it was legally “original.”

It’s crazy how much WCW got away with this. It seemed like over half their talent had a knock off theme song that wasn’t even subtle. Here are five of the best/worst handpicked for your amusement.

The Wolfpac Theme

Lex Luger, Sting, Kevin Nash and Konnan throwing up hand signs.

 

When the nWo became too big for one band, it was time for a split. This gave us the Kevin Nash fronted Wolfpac, and the red and black splinter faction was born.

Nash always wanted the nWo to have a real gang feel, and as such, The Wolfpac would come out to various rap songs at house shows. One particular track that Nash was fond of was Burn by Militia.

Burn was quite a simple piece of music, and as such was extremely catchy. Its laid back but gangster sound seemed to fit The Wolfpac perfectly. Although WCW seemed to be spending a lot of money on all sorts of talent and crazy endeavours at the time, song rights weren’t one of them.

So Jimmy Hart penned a copycat version of the theme for TV tapings, with more prominent bass and piano. Lyrics were recorded by rapper C-Murder and specifically spoke about The Wolpac, and how they were back. Causing mass destruction, no less.

Despite now having their own official theme song, The Wolfpac would reportedly still use the original Burn song at house shows.

Jeff Jarrett Theme

Jeff Jarrett Poses with his guitar on Thunder

There are a lot of controversial inductees to the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame, but Kid Rock shouldn’t be one of them. His music has been used for entrance themes, video packages, PPV anthems and more, including a few live performances here and there.

But before WWE, Kid Rock made an appearance at MTV and WCW’s Beach Brawl special, as a guest commentator and co-host back in 1999.

Even though the hick-hop artist had somewhat of a connection with the company, when Jeff Jarrett returned to the company later on that year WCW decided not to use one of Kid Rock’s songs, like WWE would do a year later with American Badass for The Undertaker, but rather just rip one off.

The song in question was Cowboy. The Double JJ theme was insanely close to the original, using the same opening harmonica blast, open three chords, guitar slides and plenty of “wicka wicka’s.”

Despite all this, it seems nowadays Kid Rock doesn’t care, or was never aware, as seen here sharing a moment with Jarret when the two were both inducted into the class of 2018 Hall Of Fame.

 

Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho Makes His Entrance

 

Chris Jericho is living the dream, fulfilling both his life goals of being a professional wrestler and a rock star. The culmination of this achievement has to be the fact that he now sings his theme song, as does the audience in attendance, whenever he makes his entrance into the AEW arena. This wasn’t always the case though.

Back in 1996, It seems Jimmy Hart went through a grunge phase five years after the rest of the world did.

Hart sort out the Seattle sound and implanted it into quite a few of his themes, one of the biggest being Chris Jericho’s second theme that borrowed majorly from Pearl Jam’s Even Flow.

Not only is it a sound-alike, but it’s also structurally the same song, with even the same pauses. On top of that, this wasn’t even Jericho’s first rip-off tune.

As well as Hart’s version of Even Flow, which we wouldn’t be surprised was called Flow Even, Jericho’s first WCW theme was an instrumental of a Mammoth track from 1988 called All The Days, a fact Jericho himself didn’t even know until almost twenty years later.

Diamond Dallas Page

DDP holds aloft the WCW world title.

Jimmy Hart’s grunge phase continues. When Smells Like Teen Spirit was released it became a smash hit, and Nirvana’s signature tune whether they liked it or not.

The track was inspired by a piece of graffiti by Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kills, who wrote on Cobain’s Hotel Wall “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit,” a reference to the deodorant Kurt’s Girlfriend wore.

The song became an anthem for America’s youth, a battle cry for a disillusioned generation. So WCW thought it would be a great fit for a then in his forties Diamond Dallas Page.

Although being a part of the wrestling scene for years as a manager and personality, Diamond Dallas Page didn’t start competing in the ring until 35, so you can see the irony of his theme being a plagiarism of teen rebellion.

As well as the minor chord changes in the track to make everything nice and legal, the lyrics added were a far cry from the haunting of self-questioning lyrics Cobain penned, and instead featured Page shouting things like “SELF HIGH FIVE” “DDP!” and “TOO COOL!”

Raven would also have his own Nirvana rip off theme, which would amp Come As You Are, but at least that kind of suited Raven’s gimmick.

We bet Courtney Love, who was notoriously protective of her late husbands work at the time, loved the WCW tributes. If she even knew they existed, of course.

Vince Russo

Vince Russo addresses the crowd at Bash At The Beach

Black Sabbath’s heavy metal anthem Iron Man, like the subject character of a man who has witnessed the future apocalypse then returned to our time to warn us of the future event only to turned into metal by the Earth’s magnetic field, thus muted and mocked by his contemporaries causing him to create the rage-filled destruction he had witnessed himself, has stood the test of time.

Wow, the only thing more convoluted than the song’s plot is the intro to this list entry and late WCW’s booking. So maybe it was the perfect rip-off choice for Vince Russo.

Possibly the most shameless piece of duplication on this list, although that is debatable, it is almost impossible to work out what part of the song was changed to make it legally different.

Russo would go on to have another rip-off theme in TNA, this time copying System Of A Down’s Toxicity, but it is his Iron-Man theme that will stay in our hearts, and Vince’s I Heart Radio show, as he would proudly bring it back for the broadcast in 2015.

Indecently, Marvel’s Iron-Man, who the song was NOT written about, would make his final three movie appearances in films written and directed by the non-related Russo Brothers. Coincidence? Yes, totally.