REMEMBERING

The year was 1992, and World Championship Wrestling was desperately seeking mainstream acceptance.

 

Thanks to a crop of great performers (Sting, The Steiner Brothers, etc.), constant promotion of the product on TBS and more frequent pay-per-view outings, things were slowly beginning to turn around.  WCW was becoming more merchandise savvy, as well, with action figures, its own in-house magazine, and yes....a CD featuring wrestlers' theme music. 

 

Let's be perfectly clear: none of the theme songs on this album were particularly - how shall I put this? - good. Our recent ranking of the Top 50 Wrestling Theme Songs didn't feature a single entry from Slam Jam 1, all of which were themes created specifically for this album. And, as you may have guessed, there was never a Slam Jam 2. 

 

Still, it's always fun to look back on the album's 11 tracks, some 24 years later. Click on the videos below to each track!

Don't Step To Ron

 

The theme song for Ron Simmons (who, around this time, was WCW World Champion) sounds like it was composed by a hapless white dude who had previously written "rap" jingles for local car dealerships such as "Monty's Upstate Chevrolet".

 

Sample lyric: "I can't wait to getcha in the ring/ you're one of us next/I'm gonna catch you off guard with a suplex."

 

Overall rating: DAMN!

Man Called Sting

 

Sting's theme is arguably the most famous from this CD, and despite a decent 80's hair metal band effort, this one really fails to match the real-life excitement produced by The Stinger.

 

Sample lyric: "There's a man called Stiiiiiiiing/a maaaaan called Sting!/He's a man called Stiiiiiiing/A MAAAAN called Sting!"

 

Overall rating: Needs more cowbell.

Mr. Bang Bang

 

Cactus Jack's theme song is eerily reminiscent of the Rick Derringer (and Mean Gene) song "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo", which would have been fine if Mick Foley was portraying a roller derby star in 1978 instead of a hardcore legend.

 

Sample lyric: "He's as strange as a man can be/he ain't got no family!"

 

Overall rating: If you skip this track, you will Have A Nice Day.

Master Of The DDT

 

Remember Jake The Snake Roberts? Remember how awesome his cold, calculating character was back in the day? Now picture him coming to the ring to a song composed a Cinderella tribute band. WHY?

 

Sample lyric: "Jake The Snake..... he's not like you or me/A mastermind.... the master of the DDT."

 

Overall rating: Jake's "demons" may very well have begun after listening to this turd of a theme song.

Freebird Forever

 

Instead of using the AWESOME "Badstreet USA" that The Fabulous Freebirds were known for, they produced this - a Michael Hayes-performed ballad that is competent enough in theory, but is absolutely not entrance theme material.

 

Sample lyric: "Two years later, we gained another/it was a little strange at first, but then he became my brother."

 

Overall rating:  Sounds like something you'd sing for karaoke night at the country and western bar.

Simply Ravishing

 

Instead of borrowing from the "Stripper" theme that punctuated Ravishing Rick Rude's entire career, they opted for an early 90's glam rock theme that was sung by a Tina Turner knockoff.

 

Sample lyric: "He's bold and cocky/he struts like the king/ain't no way to stop, the Rude Awakening."

 

Overall rating: To quote Rude himself - "CUT MY MUSIC!" This Rude theme isn't exactly Glorious.

Here Comes Johnny B. Badd

 

This is the best track on the CD in terms of suiting the wrestler (Johnny B. Badd). Basically, it's a ripoff of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, sung by the "Welllll, it's The Big Show..." dude, with a touch of the "Saved By The Bell" theme thrown in for good measure.

 

Sample lyric: "He's Johnny B. Badd/You don't wanna make him mad/He's as pretty as picture/He looks just like Little Richard."

 

Overall rating:  I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

The Natural

 

Again - there's nothing particularly terrible about this song, but it's incredibly bland, not unlike the wrestler it was patterned after - "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes. To think, just three years later, he would become one of wrestling's most controversial personas as Goldust!

 

Sample lyric: "Well, they call him The Natural (NATURAL), Natural as can be/Yeah, they call him The Natural (NATURAL)/ It just comes naturally."

 

Overall rating: This sounds like it could have been an alternate theme song to "The Dukes of Hazard." Them Duke Boys are in trouble now....

The Dragon

 

I've always HATED this song, and not because of the Thomas Dolby/DeBarge hybrid tune. The lyrics focus on how Ricky The Dragon Steamboat would never cheat on his wife. Um.... is that something ANY WRESTLING FAN would ever give a crap about? He loves his son? His only fantasy is his wife? WHO CARES? Steamboat's character is basically a freaking ninja - just play that up! No need for this "good father and provider" shit, thank you very much. 

 

Sample lyric: "I'm not saying that women don't fall all over him/But he don't give in/He's a family man."

 

Overall rating: What the actual f*ck? Did Steamer write this to apologize to his wife for something?

He's Smokin'

 

Honestly, WCW was just getting lazy at this point in the CD. The tune is servicable enough, although way too upbeat for the Barry Windham character. It's like the composed asked WCW "Who is this Barry Windham guy?" and they answered "Well, um.... he's tall, he's big, he's.... I dunno. I got nothing." And why the hell is he smoking? A heel gimmick, maybe, but Barry was a babyface by this point.

 

Sample lyric: "He likes to beat people up and he likes to have fun/You know I'm talking about Barry Wind-ham!"

 

Overall rating: The only people smokin' anything were the composers of this song.

Steinerized

 

(1) It sounds like a poor man's version of "Man Called Sting", which wasn't exactly a Grammy winner itself. (2) It doesn't fit the unpredictability and viciousness of The Steiners, which was the whole point behind giving them a non-"Welcome To The Jungle" theme. (3) The lyrics state that "they don't do drugs", which likely would have gone out the window once the Big Poppa Pump character came around. (4) The singer says "Steinerized", like, 700 times, and that's not even a word!

 

Sample lyric: "If you think your tag team is better than the others/get your attitude adjusted when you meet The Steiner Brothers"

 

Overall rating: The only people smokin' anything were the composers of this song.

Overall Analysis: This is no "Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II". Hell, it's not even "WrestleMania: The Album" (which, ironically, has a track on it called "Slam Jam"). 

 

The WCW stars deserved better than this lazy mix of hair metal and Hallmark-grade lyrics, and it's not surprising that most of these songs had disappeared within a year of this CD's release.

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