TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - April 27, 2018
As someone who grew up during the golden age of the WWF, I was exposed to a lot of bad music put out by the organization and its various beefed up entertainers. In the 80s and early 90s, they had three big album releases: The Wrestling Album, Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II, and WrestleMania: The Album, all featuring songs sung by the wrestlers themselves.
I owned Piledriver on both cassette tape and VHS, where they shot videos for every one of those awful songs. In fact, I still can't find the intro and outro to Slick's immortal classic "Jive Soul Bro" where he gives himself a drum roll with two fried chicken legs. Yes, ladies and gents, the WWF has some content that's sure to shock and appall the "woke" amongst you.
Piledriver is probably the pinnacle of the genre, featuring Yacht Rock pioneer Robbie Dupree ("Steal Away") singing the Strike Force theme song "Girls in Cars..."
This tune was later, bizarrely, used as the entrance music for The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase on the NES WrestleMania game.
Also returning to the wrestling music fold is Rick Derringer, whose song "Real American" is perhaps the most well-known entrance theme of all-time thanks to being used by Hulk Hogan for the majority of his career. This time, Derringer penned "Demolition," a tune for the identically named tag team, that wasn't so much a celebration of their fighting for the rights of all Americans as it was an explanation of who they were...
It just demonstrated a total lack of creative writing skills, kind of like those end credits rap songs of the late 80s and early 90s that summarized the plot of the film you just saw.
There were some gems on there, however, like Vince McMahon's warbled tribute to himself, "Stand Back," a celebration of how ballsy he is and how he will use his own testicles as wrecking balls to smash your preconceived notions about him...
My favorite thing about that song is the commenter on YouTube who suggests Trump should have used it as his campaign song. Fingers crossed for 2020.
Wrestling legend Hillbilly Jim also recorded a lovely duet titled "Waking Up Alone" with a female singer credited as "Gertrude." It shows a softer side of the big, overalled wrestler...
I will pay you serious money if you can convince your soon-to-be spouse to use this as your first dance at your wedding. Seriously.
The entire album is full of absolutely amazing stuff like this. Derringer returns to duet his classic "Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo" with Mean Gene Okerlund, Honky Tonk Man does an "explaining who I am" song all about himself, and more.
But my favorite song by a professional wrestler isn't on any of those three albums. No, my favorite song is on Hulk Hogan's one and only solo album—though he is technically credited as performing with "The Wrestling Boot Band." The album Hulk Rules featured a song titled "Hulkster in Heaven," which was the Hulkster's tribute to a recently deceased wrestling superfan...
Make no mistake about it, this is the absolute zenith of sad ballads about a dead wrestling fan, though Hogan seems more busted up about this kid’s death leading to a non-sold out crowd for his upcoming match at Wembley Stadium than the actual loss of “another Hulkamaniac.”
Speaking of which, how many Hulkamaniacs were we losing back then that we could use the phrase “another Hulkamaniac” with the same casualness with which we now say “another mass shooting”? Was it like one a week?
I'm also troubled by the line, "I wish Hulk's love could bring you back again." Is this a passing interest in necromancy for the Hulkster, or is this like the fifteenth thing he's tried to do with the power of love alone? Something tells me it's the latter. Matter of fact, Hulk does a lot of "wishing" in this song, and as my dad always said, "you can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets filled first."
Sure there's other great songs on the album like "I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac," the try 'n' rap tune "Beach Patrol," and the touching "Hulk's the One" a tribute by then wife Linda Hogan, but "Hulkster in Heaven" is the pinnacle of what wrestling songs can be. Overly sentimental, achingly sincere, and completely and utterly tone deaf, in every sense of the term.
If I had a second favorite, it'd be the "We Are the World" of wrestling songs, "If You Only Knew" from what else but Piledriver...