As a WWE fan, how hyped up do you get every time you hear the sound of a bike revving? Noticed how thunderous the crowd reaction is when you hear, "If you smell" followed by drum rolls? Or when the lights in the arena go off and you hear the bell and thunders? Or the sea of boos when you hear the theme that was originally that of The Shield?
It doesn't take a genius to understand the reason behind these reactions. But not many would realize that it's not only the wrestler's skills or his / her stature that determines these reactions. You better believe that the entrance theme music plays a role in a lot of things, including the response they get.
As pro-wrestling fans, how many times have we mimicked or at least tried to mimic our favourite wrestlers’ entrances? It's impossible to believe there's a single WWE fan that hasn't done that at least a few times over his / her lifetime. In fact, we even took some random song and went on to stake our claim on them as our entrance theme while we play fought. So why are entrance themes so important? What is that makes it so special? Well, a number of things.
First and foremost, it is a very important aspect of a wrestler's character. It's like a part of them. What do you think was one of the most important aspects of Chris Jericho's WWE (Then WWF) debut? It was his entrance theme! It was the whole countdown thing. That cemented Jericho's debut as one of the greatest and most memorable in the history of WWE!
If you were to go back in history and change it, things might have turned out to be fairly different. The Rock's entrance music pretty much signifies the kind of a character he is portraying. It signifies the smack talker he is. Or CM Punk's 'Cult of Personality' for that matter. And so forth and so on. A good entrance is a blessing, while a bad one may be a curse!
So while we discuss the entrance themes in WWE, what is that one name that pops up in your head? Well, it cannot be anyone, but the great Jim Johnston! Jim Johnston is a musician and composer responsible for having written some of the most amazing entrance themes for WWE. From The Rock's 'electrifying' to Stone Cold's 'Unbreakable', and even HHH's 'The Game' that was performed by none other than Motorhead.
Jim Johnston has laid down some extraordinary tunes that serve not only as great entrance themes that really make adds to the WWE wrestlers' characters, but also serve as some classics that we can listen to for the rest of our lives!
What exactly is it that makes Jim Johnston so great? What is it that sets him apart from millions of other musicians out there? For starters, you can't think of anyone who has created the kind of music that Jim did. Sure, there have been a few tracks from musicians not directly working with the WWE.
Living Color's Cult of Personality and Broken Out in Love (Bray Wyatt) by Mark Crozer and The Rels are a couple of such examples. But there haven't been many. The CFO$ pretty much took over WWE's music production in 2013-14, but how many good tunes have they been able to create so far? Out of tens that they have written, there's hardly anything that's going to be something you'd be listening and grooving to 10 years down the line.
Compare this with some masterpieces that Jim Johnston has written over the years and you'll realize just how much this man has contributed to the WWE. One of the greatest examples would be The Undertaker's epic entrance. The whole atmosphere that is created in the arena and even on our TV screens is because of a song, so well written, that it captivates your imagination and makes you believe in the character of the Dead Man.
Another example would be Stone Cold's entrance theme (Unbreakable). The moment you hear the glass shatter, you get goose bumps. We can't be sure of it, but maybe Stone Cold's entrance wouldn't be as epic if not for that!
By now, we all know that Jim Johnston has done some outstanding work with WWE. But what is it that really makes Jim Johnston stand apart? It's his dedication to the WWE. When you think about it, he still hasn't gotten the recognition that he deserves. A good number of fans still aren't even aware of his contributions to the company and its talent. But he kept on doing what he does best.... Make the characters look better with some awe inspiring work for over 3 decades!
It's not very common to see that kind of commitment and dedication. Who knows? Had he left and took up some other independent projects, maybe more people would've been talking about him today... Maybe, maybe not. But it's not easy to miss that kind of a talent!
All said and done, it's high time we honour the man. We, the fans and WWE! There are many faces in the WWE HoF that make you wonder, "How did this one get in here?" while the lack of presence of some make you wonder, "Why, oh why is this great one not in the HoF?" One such person is Jim Johnston.
He's nearing 60. And he has given all he had to give and continues to for the WWE. It's high time WWE acknowledge all that he has done. And there's no better way to do it than induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame among other WWE legends, for Jim Johnston is no less of a legend than anyone in this business!