WWE‘s summertime extravaganza SummerSlam is coming up on August 23, 2015. This is seen as WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year, only behind WrestleMania; it’s WrestleMania for the summertime basically. Billed as the biggest party of the summer, the event has played host to a number of memorable matches and moments of it’s own over the years. And because of that, in the coming weeks, you’ll likely come across a number of articles counting down SummerSlams’s greatest matches and moments, or even the event’s worst matches and moments (looking at you, Diesel vs. King Mabel). But for my big SummerSlam article, I’m switching it up. The past few weeks, my Top 10s have revolved around either music (Female Country Singers To Watch For, Arthur Theme Songs, Disney Channel Theme Songs) or Wrestling (Eve Torres Moments, Redheads in Wrestling). Well, today, let’s go for both; SummerSlam has had some memorable theme songs overt the years and right here, I’m gonna honor them based on either how summery the song feels, how it translates to WWE television at the time of the show, or even just how good the song is in general. I hope you’re prepare to hear some awesome rock, pop, and hip-hop tunes, because it’s time to count down the Top 10 SummerSlam theme songs!
#10. “St. Anger” by Metallica (2003)
St. Anger is best remembered for being one of the most hated and ridiculed albums in the entire history of rock and metal music. Metallica is one of the big four in metal music and their legacy in the genre is secure, but its doubtful fans will let them live this one down. The title track from the album served as the theme song for the 2003 SummerSlam event, and while the song is also very polarizing, I found myself on the side that enjoyed the song, upon release anyway. Then again, I didn’t grow up a Metallica fan, so I likely wouldn’t have understood the hate the song garnered among their fanbase. To me, it was just a hard rocking song that fit well with the animosity displayed in WWE storylines in my young eyes, especially some of them at the time like the Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar and Kane vs. Rob Van Dam contests. Plus, WWE had a very well put together video to hype SummerSlam that included this song and I loved it so much I watched it a couple dozen times (sadly, I can’t find it online right now, but trust me, it was awesome). So yeah, despite it’s bad reputation (and yes, I do understand the backlash now that I’m older), “St. Anger” still finds a spot on this list.
#9. “Gold Rush” by Kevin Rudolf featuring 2 Chainz & Macklemore (2013)
In 2013, Macklemore & 2 Chainz were both very relevant in the world of music off the success of such singles as “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us”, and “I’m Different”. Sure, they’ve both had their fair share of controversy and criticism, but there’s no denying how big they were that year. And they managed to share a spot on wax with the Clinton Sparks song “Gold Rush”. This song did not chart, despite the fact that it does have Macklemore & 2 Chainz’ then-star power and a killer beat that commands attention. Macklemore’s also isn’t bad with his verse, honestly; definitely not his best, but it was decent enough for the song. As far as the context of the SummerSlam event from that year, I couldn’t think of any feuds it tied into (no, not even the Total Divas feud that gave us Brie Bella vs. Natalya), but go back and watch the 2013 SummerSlam kickoff and try to tell me it didn’t sound awesome in the backdrop of the PPV match graphics. You know they did.
#8. “You Gotta Move” by Aerosmith (2009)
This song was released five years before the 2009 SummerSlam event; basically, WWE jumped on using this song a little too late. But then again, they used a song from the 80s as the theme song to WrestleMania 21 in 2005 (“Big Time” by Peter Gabriel), so it’s not like WWE is gonna let something like time get in the way of using a theme song for a PPV. And on a show which featured John Cena vs. Randy Orton (for the second time in three years at a SummerSlam) and CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy in a thrilling Ladder Match, they needed a really big, epic sounding song to promote it, and that’s what this song sounds like. Granted, the show’s undercard was kinda lackluster, the song kinda got me hyped to watch anyway. Steven Tyler’s voice is powerful on this one and the guitars are just as powerful and loud as all hell. Plus, you can’t resist that harmonica! Most young members of the fanbase may not be too familiar with Aerosmith (aside from Steven Tyler being on American Idol, assuming kids still even watched that) but regardless, the songs rocks enough to make the list.
#7. “Whine Up” by Kat DeLuna featuring Elephant Man (2007)
The 2007 summer music scene had some straight-up bangers on the radio. From “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston to “The Way I Are” by Timbaland and Keri Hilson to the timeless classic that is “Umbrella” by Rihanna and Jay-Z, you could turn on the radio in summer of 2007 and find at least a few songs worthy of letting the top down in the car and blasting through the radio. However, at the time, those weren’t exactly the songs WWE usually got to be the theme songs for PPVs. But in 2007, they went with one of these jams as the official SummerSlam theme: “Whine Up” from then-new artist Kat DeLuna. What does this song have to do with a show that saw Triple H return to squash (King) Booker T in eight minutes and John Cena face Randy Orton in the main event? Not a damn thing. But it is definitely one of the most summertime songs you’ll ever hear; it’s catchy and it’s hot like the summer. It fits the mood of the season and that’s good enough for the biggest party of the summer.
#6. “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare (2008)
2008’s SummerSlam saw them promote the event under the influence of ‘summer blockbusters’. The graphics resembled a movie theater, the tagline read ‘The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer’, and the main promotional poster featured one of WWE’s all-time hottest Divas Maria Kanellis jetting away from an explosion like something out of an action movie (see above). And the theme song for the event, “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare (which also serves as the theme song for Film Brain’s Bad Movie Beatdown show, coincidentally) sounds like the music you’d hear in the trailer for a summer action film. It works fine as a hype-up song for WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year; and on a card that was capped off by an outstanding Hell in a Cell match between two greats in Edge and the Undertaker (where Undertaker literally chokeslams Edge to a metaphorical Hell), this song was a fantastic choice to be the music for the show.
#5. “Don’t Give Up” by Kevin Rudolf (2012)
Kevin Rudolf has contributed a number of songs to WWE for PPVs and if I can be honest, there’s nothing really wrong with any of them (unless you count him actually letting the consistently terrible-at-rapping Birdman have a verse on “I Made It”). And while “Don’t Give Up’ is not his best song, it is still very darn catchy. So catchy in fact that WWE decided to make a little music video for it featuring the Superstars and Divas on the WWE roster at the time. And boy, what a fun video it was; if you didn’t find that fun, I don’t know what to say. They even got hard-ass CM Punk to dance, dammit. (Then again, he was the WWE Champion at the time, so he had quite a reason to be a happy at the time.) WWE even got Kevin Rudolf to perform the song on SummerSlam before the main event between Triple H and Brock Lesnar and they had the Divas join him on stage to dance to it. Fans didn’t enjoy it so much; but the fact of the matter is that the song is still a catchy delight with lyrics about the pessimistic expectations of being a star. I wouldn’t be shocked if this has been Zack Ryder’s ringtone for years as he waits for WWE to finally give him a push.
#4. “Get It Poppin’” by Fat Joe featuring Nelly (2005)
Before I type anything, I should probably show you the sexy car washing promotional commercial WWE did for 2005’s event with the Divas that included this song. Nothing gets fans excited for some wrasslin’ quite like Torrie Wilson, Maria Kanellis, and Candice Michelle soaking themselves to some Fat Joe. It was a different time in WWE; a different, slightly less feminist-friendly time in wrestling. But also at the time, Fat Joe and Nelly could still get hits and this catchy little ditty received enough airplay to peak at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. So obviously, this was kind of the start of WWE branching out into using more mainstream songs from other genres on the summer show and not just relying on hard rock jams. They didn’t faze the rock out overnight, though, as this was just the first of two SummerSlam theme songs from that year; the other being a rock song. What song is that? Keep reading to find out.
#3. “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC (1998)
Honestly, the main reason this song is ranked so high is because of the guitar riff on this song. AC/DC is one of those bands that people know consistently use the same sound on most of their tracks and have for years; that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, seeing as so many of their songs are so big and full of energy. They totally subscribe to the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” formula (even WatchMojo has acknowledged it). And one of their biggest hits is this one; after hearing that memorable guitar riff, you’re totally hooked in. and it lends itself completely well to pro wrestling, especially for 1998’s SummerSlam, where the main event saw The Undertaker fight ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. That match was so big itself, they made “Highway to Hell” the official tagline for the match and PPV. If they weren’t able to use “Highway to Hell” as the theme song for this show, that would’ve been a huge missed opportunity. This song was an awesome fit for SummerSlam in 1998.
#2. “Bright Lights, Bigger City” by Cee-Lo Green (2011)
A lot of the songs on this list made it on because it ties into WWE storylines pretty well and some of the songs made it on because it sounds big or like the summer. In a way, I guess all of these fit “Bright Light, Bigger City”. In a way. It doesn’t perfectly tie into WWE storylines, but it does fit the mood of excess and a good time. The way I interpret it, the Superstars and Divas of the WWE are taking this whole big city by storm and it’s gonna be fun. This includes putting on one hell of a show. And yes, this song sounds big as well, at least lyrically because that’s exactly how Cee-Lo describes the environment of it all. Much like Kevin Rudolf in 2012, Cee-lo performed this on the show with Divas dancing with him. The difference, though, is that at least we also got a women’s match at SummerSlam in 2011 (Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix); for a time, that just didn’t happen. And I say he delivered; great song, memorable performance, and it totally makes up for Kevin Nash screwing CM Punk at the end of the show, right? …..Right?
#1. “Remedy” by Seether (2005)
2005’s SummerSlam was the show that featured many huge matches: Guerrero vs. Mysterio, Batista vs. JBL, Cena vs. Jericho, Hardy vs. Edge, and the sheer comedy that was Michaels vs. Hogan. A card like this surely need a very rockin’ theme song to go with it, correct? Well, that’s what they got with “Remedy”. I admit that one reason I put this song at #1 is because I just love this song in general. The hard guitar work is extremely catchy and Seether frontman Shaun Morgan’s vocals are as strong as they are effectively grungy. This is also what WWE theme songs in general sounded like back then, so it wasn’t much of a break from the norm. But when promoting the show, having this song playing in the background, it just sounded like it fit. “Get It Poppin’” may have been the better summer anthem of SummerSlam’s themes in 2005, but “Remedy” is the more enjoyable song overall in my opinion. If you ask me, it’s SummerSlam’s coolest and best theme song.
This song may sound like complete nonsense when singing it (the hooks sounds like “Bawitdaba”, dang it), but it’s catchy enough and sounds like a song you’d hear in a canoeing montage from at a summer camp.
It has the world “summer” in the title! It’d be wrong to not mention it somewhere!
An enjoyable syrupy and summery jam, even if the lyrics have jack squat to do with wrestling. Again, though, imagine if an optimistic Zack Ryder had this as his ringtone based on the hook along.
Yeah, Chris Jericho‘s band provided a theme song for SummerSlam last year. He even competed against Bray Wyatt on the show! Jericho, you multi-tasker!
I can’t stand Flo Rida; one of the blandest, lamest, most unspectacular music artists ever. However, this song gets an HM only because of it’s beat. How does such a nothing-special rapper constantly get such awesome beats?
The only thing keeping this off the list is that it reminds me more of ECW than SummerSlam.
What do you think of this edition of Tuesday Top 10? Leave a comment or tweet me up @FearlessRiOT with your opinion or even to suggest a topic for the next edition!
[All PPV posters are owned by WWE; all album/single covers are owned by the artist’s respective record labels]