Wrestlemania is upon us once again. The 32nd edition of WWE’s annual pre-determined sports entertainment takes place this Sunday from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The Undertaker will take on Vince McMahon’s son Shane, in a Hell In A Cell Match. WWE Champion Triple H will defend his title against Roman Reigns. Dean Ambrose will go one-on-one against human t-bone steak Brock Lesnar, and 8 men will battle it out in a ladder match for the Intercontinental title. A bunch of other stuff will happen too. Those interested can get the WWE network for $9.99 a month to watch the wonderful freakshow that is Wrestlemania. Much like last year’s The Top Ten Metal Moments In Pro Wrestling post, I have gathered ten more “metal” moments in wrestling. Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, successfully sue shit-site Gawker for posting your sex tape, and get to reading.
10. WWF Forceable Entry album
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, hard rock/metal merged seamlessly with professional wrestling. This was mostly due to cultural attitudes at the time. Pop culture moved into a more extreme and “in your face” style and both wrestling and metal (nu metal if we’re being specific) were at the forefront. It’s no surprise that the two worlds melded into one big pile of sweaty testosterone.
WWE embraced nu metal with big, bulging arms. Bands like Limp Bizkit, Saliva, and P.O.D. performed live at Wrestlemania. Numerous bands had their music used as theme songs for pay-per-view events and weekly shows. They even created their own record label, SmackDown! Records, signing Kelly Shaefer’s (Atheist) band Neurotica.
The largest bear hug from WWE to metal came in the form of wrestler’s entrance music. It seems that just about every wrestler had theme music provided by a hard rock or metal band and a lot of those songs were released as the compilation album “WWF: Forceable Entry”. And no, that’s not how you’re supposed to spell the word “forcible” but you try correcting a 70-year old Vince McMahon who looks like this.
9. Alice Cooper Appears At Wrestlemania 3
In the coke-fueled haze of the 1980’s, shock-rocker Alice Cooper somehow ended up in the corner of Jake “The Snake” Roberts for his match against The Honky Tonk Man at Wrestlemania 3. Roberts needed some backup just in case Honky Tonk’s manager Jimmy “The Mouth Of The South” Hart wanted to interfere. Fun side note: Jimmy Hart played with the 60’s band The Gentrys. A collaboration between him and Cooper would have been…interesting to say the least.
Cooper didn’t just show up for the live event and wave to the crowd; He did a promo with Roberts on WWF TV and handled Roberts’ pet snake Damien. Jake and Alice’s substance abuse problems have been well-documented, but both are doing much better nowadays. Cooper talked about the event and his love of wrestling here. You can watch the entire match and Cooper’s involvement here.
8. Rob Zombie Appears On Monday Night Raw
For about a year, WWE would have a different celebrity guest host their flagship show Monday Night Raw. It was a shameless ploy to grab headlines to help sagging ratings. Sometimes it worked out pretty great when they had naturally charistmatic and skilled professionals like Hugh Jackman and Bob Barker, but most of the time they were absolutely dog-shit terrible. Or in Buzz Aldrin’s case, clearly drunk on national television.
Rob Zombie’s turn as guest host was somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t great or anything, but it wasn’t total death on live TV. I guess we should count that as a win. For a while, former multi-time WWE Champion Edge used Rob Zombie’s song Never Gonna Stop as his entrance music. Edge even appeared with Zombie on stage for some backing vocals. Apparently that was enough for the two to have an awkward confrontation when Zombie hosted Raw. I do wish he came out to the ring in all his 1998 grim-and-grimy outfit instead of his jeans-and-scarf number. I also wish he had teamed-up once again with his old robot buddy for a match against Edge. A man can dream.
7. Fear Factory, Kid Rock, and WCW Walk Into Spring Break…
File this one under “The late 90’s were a weird time” category. Wrestling was hot. Metal was sort-of mainstream and people still watched MTV. There’s Pulp Fiction jokes, young co-eds celebrating Spring Break in Cancun, and the Nitro Girls. If this were any more 90’s, a Dawson’s Creek episode would break out. Fear Factory doesn’t know why they’re there, MTV VJ Dave Holmes doesn’t know why he’s there and, for some reason, Kid fucking Rock is on commentary with Raven and Jimmy Hart. A TV executive in a solid gold diaper must’ve come up with this mish-mash of television. “The kids like the heavy metals and the wrestling and let’s get that Kid Rocky in there!”
Fear Factory chugs through their songs Shock, Edge Crusher, and Decent while WCW wrestlers Chris Jericho, Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero, Hugh Morrus, Perry Saturn, and Rey Mysterio have a six-man battle royal. FF are off to the side while the match goes on and judging by the crowd shots, no one cares about them. Maybe the crowd was just waiting for Fear Factory to cover “Cars”. Edgecrusher fits oddly well with the action and I’d like to see the live music mixed with wrestling more. You can watch the whole spectacle here.
6. Andy Williams from Every Time I Die Is Now A Wrestler
Every Time I Die guitarist Andy Williams is a big guy. A big, scary guy that looks like he can snap you in half. A big, scary guy that looks like he can snap you in half so I won’t make a Moon River reference for fear of getting powerbombed through a table. ETID are going to be a part of this year’s Warped Tour, so expect to see a lot of this and this with a side of pop punk and emocore. Wrestling is a hard thing to break into, but Williams has been accepted by the community.
Williams just recently competed in his first official singles match against wrestling named Tarik. Unfortunately Williams lost. Even worse, he suffered an injury, tearing his ACL. The results may be predetermined, but the dangers are very real. People in attendance said Williams was impressive. Let’s hope he makes a quick recovery before ETID hits the road with Warped Tour.
Williams talks about his love of pro wrestling on Sam Roberts’s podcast which you can listen to here.
5. UltraMantis Black Puts Out An Album
For years, UltraMantis Black plied his trade on the independent wrestling scene, particularly in the family-friendly promotion CHIKARA. CHIKARA, whose tagline is “The Fun Filled Super Lucha Show” boasts a colorful roster of wrestlers, ranging from characters like Jervis Cottonbelly, Dasher Hatfield, and Ophidian, to Fire Ant, El Hijo Del Ice Cream, and my personal favorite, The Proletariat Boar Of Moldova. Needless to say, it’s a fun, family-friendly organization. That may surprise some people when they hear the music of UltraMantis Black.
Take a little powerviolence, a little hardcore, a dash of grind, and some lucha flare and you’ve got UltraMantis Black. Featuring members of Pissed Jeans and UltraMantis Black himself on vocals., the band harsh, violent, and certainly not family-friendly. Relapse Records put out the debut self-titled album in 2014. This isn’t just a fun little studio project as UMB has also performed live. Maybe we’ll get to hear tag team split with Eat The Turnbuckle in the future.
4. Jun Kasai vs. MASADA
Safe to say, there is a NSFW warning for this match because it is very bloody. (Unless your job is cool with that sort of thing.) That’s not ketchup on their faces. As mentioned in last year’s list, deathmatches are extremely violent wrestling matches where just about anything goes. Tables, chairs, ladders, thumbtacks, glass, barbed wire, and fire are the norm.
Jun Kasai is a Japanese wrestler known for taking an incredible amount of punishment in these types of matches. Known as “The Crazy Monkey” Kasai’s body is a road map of pain from matches past. Countless scars, missing teeth, a back that looks like it has been gnawed on by a wild animal. MASADA is an American wrestler (and heavy metal fan) who also specializes in death matches. It’s not uncommon to see MASADA dishing out violence just as much as receiving it.
Both Kasai and MASADA have faced off before and while there more extreme matches out there, this matchup between the two feel particularly rough while staying somewhat in the confines of being an actual wrestling match. The canvas has been removed, exposing the boards underneath. Chairs are thrown without caution. Tables are broken Glass plates are shattered by their flying bodies. Gusset plates cut and shred flesh like a drunken butcher. At one point, MASADA literally stabs Kasai in the head with little pieces of wood. All to the cheers of the rabid crowd. This may be difficult for some to watch, but it hard to turn away. I leave it up to you do decide if this should be considered “pro wrestling” or just violence porn.
3. Type O Negative Recorded A Theme Song For Kane
In the early 2000’s everyone’s favorite “4 dicks from New York” recorded a theme song for WWE wrestler Kane. Kane’s backstory is out of a slasher film as he has been burned horribly as a child in a fire that killed both his parents. The fire was started by his half-brother, WWE star The Undertaker, and the traumatic event turned Kane into a lumbering psychopath. Yeah, I know. Regardless, this type of character was a perfect fit for Type O Negative’s gothic metal sound.
ToN recorded the song “Out Of The Fire” to be used as Kane’s new theme music for his storyline return. According to an interview with drummer Johnny Kelly and guitarist Kenny Hickey, the band worked extremely hard on composing the song, just to have WWE back out at the last minute. Out Of The Fire was eventually included as a bonus song on their Life Is Killing Me album. It’s a shame the song wasn’t used because it is great. Imagine if Peter put vocals to it. At least fans of the band can still enjoy a rare tune.
2. Sick Nick Mondo
Following the rise and fall of ECW, many wrestling companies tried to fill the void by emphazing violent, hardcore matches and more “adult” themes and storylines. Companies like Xtreme Pro Wrestling, 3PW, and International Pro Wrestling had brief sparks of interest before fading away.
Combat Zone Wrestling, based out of ECW’s home city of Philadelphia, jumped into the fray with their brand of hardcore wrestling dubbed “Ultraviolence”. CZW is still in business today, though their focus on insane spots and copious amounts of weapons, has been toned down significantly in favor of, y’know, actual wrestling. In the early to mid 2000’s though, CZW was soaked in blood and the poisonous dust the spews out of broken light tubes. Wrestlers with wonderful names like The Wifebeater, Nate Hatred, Homeless Jimmy and our old friend Necrobutcher left their bloody mark on various gyms, halls, and even fields across PA, NJ, and DE. All could easily make it on this list of “metal” moments, but one man that special attention is “Sick” Nick Mondo. No music is involved, but Mondo’s career certainly embodies the idea of “metal”.
Mondo was a pretty acrobatic wrestler during his career. He even took on future WWE champion CM Punk at one point. He would do all sorts of flips and corkscrews with little regard for his own safety. Crashing through tables, landing tailbone-first onto concrete floors, falling onto light tubes. It was all a brutal tapestry of pain for the enjoyment of wild fans. More than simply sacrificing his body for a moment here or there, Mondo dove head-first (not literally, but sort-of) into ultraviolent wrestling.
Performing an assault driver off a truck into a stack of tables and light tubes? Check. Taking an insane bump off a roof and landing into a bunch of tables and light tubes? Check. Taking a weed wacker to the torso? Check. That’s all on top of the usual CZW “blood and guts” wrestling.
This sort of stuff obviously takes its toll. After numerous injuries, Mondo retired in 2003. Sadly, Mondo never reached a major organization like WWE or TNA. A documentary on Mondo is available in its entirety on Youtube and Mondo currently writes and produces independent movies.
1. Triple H Speaks At Lemmy’s Memorial
Lemmy Kilmeister’s death hit the music world pretty hard. It also affected the wrestling world as he was a real-life friend of WWE star Executive Vice President Triple H. Motorhead composed not one, not two, but three songs for Triple H’s use over the years. The band even performed Triple H’s theme live at Wrestlemania 17. Oh and again at Wrestlemania 21. Needless to say, but the love and respect was mutual between the two.
Triple H spoke at Lemmy’s memorial service. He brought a bit of levity to the event with some fun stories that encapsulate who Lemmy was as a person. While it’s only about 10 minutes long, it is a positive reflection on both the metal and pro wrestling worlds. It’s a dose of humanity for two genres of entertainment that are big, loud, and larger than life.
Wrestlemania 32 takes place this Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX. You can watch the event live on the WWE Network