A couple weeks back I wrote about great entrance songs to use for NCAA or International wrestling matches. My initial thought was to include my guesses into that article on what songs some of the best wrestlers from the past would have chosen, but it got too long, and I decided to make them a separate post. This right here is that thought manifested into a post. What would Dan Gable have come out to? What would John Smith have walked to the Olympic Finals listening to? What would Nick Simmons have walked out to the Midlands finals to? Here are a series of educated guesses as to which songs some of the most legendary and classic wrestlers, would chosen.
Randy Lewis - 1984 Olympic Finals
Let’s start this off with a bang. I was fortunate enough to meet Randy at NCAA’s in Pittsburgh, and he was a blast to talk to. Great sense of humor, lots of laughs, some great stories, all around a fun time. That being said, I believe his sense of humor shines through when choosing a song to walk out to, and what better way to be patriotic than to come out to Team America’s “America, Fuck Yeah” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1mlCPMYtPk
This song is/was an instant classic on a number of levels. It’s patriotic, it’s ridiculous, it’s catchy, and the lyrics are simple enough to remember the first time you hear them. It lets the opponent know “Hey, suck my balls”, which is crucial to impart to the lose whose hand you are about to shake. I get the feeling that Randy would approve.
Cael Sanderson - 4th NCAA Finals
When reading Bobby Douglas’ autobiography, one of the chapters highlights Cael’s career at ISU. Being Cael’s head coach, he shared how he managed the pressure on Cael to keep his streak alive. It’s a ton of pressure to become the first undefeated 4x NCAA Champion ever (I’d imagine), and so Bobby helped Cael keep it in perspective. He’d say to Cael (I’m paraphrasing), “Just lose then. If it’s too much pressure, just go lose a match, and the pressure is gone, and you can just wrestle.” To Cael’s credit, he chose to shoulder the pressure, and to go out and take care of business 159 times in a row. That being said, I like the idea of him walking out to “Loser” by Beck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSPaXgAdzE
Cael is around the age where I bet he’d enjoy that song, and the irony of listening to a song about being a loser, while walking out to become the wrestling histories best winner, is too much fun for me to not write. Also, it’s a damn catchy song, that could for sure get your adrenaline going to go win your 4th NCAA title.
John Smith - 1992 Olympic Finals
Huge fan of John Smith. You know, the whole winning on all stages for a decade thing is pretty impressive, not to mention his incredible coaching career to follow his unparalleled success as a competitor. Additionally, I keep hearing stories about John Smith that crack me up. From declaring that he would find Sammy Henson and kick his ass again, to being able to guess anyone’s weight with a single glance, to wearing bright orange vests and being super animated on the sidelines, he’s truly an OG. For that reason, I’m attaching 1992’s, Geto Boys - “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster” as his walkout music, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IJCFc_qkHw
The video opens with an American Flag, to go along with them cruising and being in a court room and stuff, but the lyrics are the most important part. They describe how gangster they are, and by association, how gangster John was. It would be tough to not bob your head to this song when it comes up, even if it is your opponents walk out music. John is gangster, therefore, this is my choice for him.
Joe Williams - 2003 Midlands
For those of you who aren’t aware, Joe Williams won 10 straight Midlands Championships. Yes, that is a record. Among his other records at Midlands (as of the end of the 2003 Midlands) are most wins (55) and consecutive wins (51). So that’s also super impressive. Also, I recently watched Season 2 of Cobra Kai, so naturally I have Joe Esposito’s, “You’re the Best Around” in my head a lot, therefore, it’s my choice for Joe; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oomCIXGzsR0&t=160s
It’s not hard to see why I chose this. A decade of winning this tournament clearly indicates a level of superiority that will absolutely never be matched again. Sadly, it’s more of an oddity when post graduate wrestlers enter into the Midlands. It used to happen way more often, and was super fun to see. Maybe senior level guys will enter a little more frequently, but nobody will ever do it like Joe Williams did, which makes him forever the Best Around.
Dan Gable - 1972 Olympic Finals
I’m not bound by the laws of time and space. I can attach any song to the wrestler and time that I damn well please. That’s why I write these! That being said, there are two things that are amazing about this song and music video. First of all, it’s patriotic in a sense, so it fits with the whole Olympics thing. Also, I like to imagine replacing Kenny Loggins with Dan Gable in the music video, and that makes me laugh. Lastly, the entire world was very much in the Danger Zone, when it came to stepping on the mat with Danny Mack Gable; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siwpn14IE7E
I mean, it wasn’t a safe zone right? It wasn’t the trust tree that Will Ferrell talks about in Old School. It was very much a place where the world could expect to take some damage. The Russians put a bounty on Dan Gable, and they (along with the rest of the world) couldn’t even score a point! Something tells me Danny Mack likes Kenny Loggins, so all of those things add up to my belief that this is a solid choice.
That’s all for now. Seems like a fun list, and I stand by my choices. Rock on!